In 2017, Universal Pictures attempted a new big-budget take on its classic brand, ‘The Mummy’, but unlike the millennium-era romps starring Brendan Fraser, this new version starred Tom Cruise and was played straight. But audiences weren’t feeling it. Earning just $80 million at the domestic box office, that version of ‘The Mummy’ is one of the most notorious flops in years.
But would audiences be more open to a revival that continued the story from Fraser’s film series? Or perhaps more importantly, would Fraser be game to return?
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The actor appeared at FAN EXPO Canada, where a fan asked if there was any hope of seeing him in another ‘Mummy’ picture, to which he replied, “For me? Do you want one?” The crowd responded with a roaring round of applause, to which Fraser reacted:
“Did you hear that, Universal?”
When it was mentioned that Universal had tried and failed to reboot the brand, Fraser deadpanned, “Oh, they did?” But when he was asked if he would return, he simply uttered:
He then added:
“Just gotta say, I know how hard it is to make that movie. I tried to do it three times, and the essential ingredient is fun. You gotta remember to have fun. So if there’s a fun way to approach it again, I’m all in.”
Fraser’s first ‘Mummy’ came out in 1999. Ultimately, it made $155 million in the US. That may not sound like much, but keep in mind that’s in 1999 money. Fraser portrayed former-French Foreign Legionnaire Rick O’Connell, a role that was ironically offered to Tom Cruise, who turned it down. Rachel Weisz appeared as Egyptologist Evelyn Carnahan, with Arnold Vosloo as the titular Mummy, Imhotep. Fraser returned for two sequels, ‘The Mummy Returns’ in 2001, and ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emporer’ in 2008. For the latter, the role of Evelyn was recast with Maria Bello stepping in. ‘Tomb of the Dragon Emporer’ wound of underperforming, causing Universal to scrap plans for another film, which would have been called ‘The Mummy: Rise of the Aztecs’.
Instead, Universal opted to completely overhaul the brand with the 2017 film, which they had hoped would kick off an entire shared universe based on their classic monsters, but that version of ‘The Mummy’ was such a flop that future films, some of which were already in development, were scrapped. The upcoming ‘Invisible Man’ will possibly kick off a shared universe of movies, but these will be made with micro-budgets and overseen by horror hitmakers Blumhouse.
It’s possible that ‘The Mummy’ will wind up as part of that franchise, but it sounds as though fans still have love for Fraser’s comedic-action films, so it may be a good idea to revisit that style.
Would you like to see a new ‘Mummy’ film featuring Fraser?