It’s still Wonder Woman’s world as Gal Gadot’s hit continues to dominate the North American box office against a dismal debut for Tom Cruise’s The Mummy, on Friday.
But whatever the box office may suggest, the newest edition of the Mummy franchise stole the spotlight. Sofia Boutella has already proven herself as alien warrior Jaylah in last summer’s Star Trek Beyond. Her standout moment came when Jaylah reclined in Kirk’s (Chris Pine) captain chair — a scene inspired by Boutella resting during rehearsals.
Sofia Boutella had a nightmare shooting for The Mummy in which her character Princess Ahmanet is dealt tough justice, ancient Egypt-style, for killing her pharaoh dad and baby brother. She was entombed alive in a sarcophagus.
Boutella’s eyes popped scarily wide through the head-to-toe mummification bandages as she was placed into the stone coffin.
“There was a lot of fear, I didn’t need much acting to look frightened,” recalls Boutella, whose first language is French, speaking by phone. “It was weird, I felt really dispowered. I don’t know if that word exists, did I just make that up?”
“Ahmanet is the ultimate feminist, I think,” Boutella added of her character, an Egyptian royal who is denied her shot at becoming pharaoh because she’s not a man, thus igniting her wrath.
Boutella’s Ahmanet is the force putting fear into London and Tom Cruise’s soldier of fortune, Nick Morton when he accidentally awakens her after 5,000 years.
The film enters during a mighty woman weekend at the box office along with Gal Gadot’s blockbuster Wonder Woman, which is still dominating with $100 million-plus last weekend. Both characters follow wildly different screen paths, but are owned entirely by powerful female performances.
Just having the mummy cast as a woman signals a major change from the original 1932 movie, which starred Boris Karloff.