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Brendan Fraser Has Thoughts on That Failed ‘The Mummy’ Reboot (and the Idea of Coming Back Into the Franchise)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 11: Brendan Fraser onstage during "The Whale" UK Premiere during the 66th BFI London Film Festival at The Royal Festival Hall on October 11, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for BFI)

A major new starring role in Darren Aronofsky’s buzzed-about The Whale, health issues, alleged sexual abuse by those in the industry, and then the cancellation of Warner Bros. Batgirl has right now as the first moment in over a decade that actor Brendan Fraser is a main figure in a major press tour. Yes, he’s a primary character in HBO Max’s ensemble Doom Patrol, but The Whale finally has Fraser front and center again (where he deserves to be). In interviews as of late, he’s been asked about his new film, but also questions people have wanted Fraser’s thoughts on over the last 10+ years—including his thoughts on The Mummy franchise.

Seeing two of the three Fraser’s The Mummy films a dozen times as a kid, I only knew the franchise as a “grown-up” VHS I was allowed to watch. It wasn’t until the last 5-6 years that I realized that Fraser had been in so many other movies (movies that were great and not so great). Because of my long-standing relationship with The Mummy, like the interviewers, I’m most interested in where he stands on The Mummy series. Fraser told Variety that in early 2023, he’s open to joining a continuation of the series if it works. Fraser stated, “I don’t know how it would work […] But I’d be open to it if someone came up with the right conceit.”

I think he was talking about the script, but I’m most concerned about the physicality of the movie. Fraser was injured while working on the films (and other action roles). In his 30s and 40s, he’s had multiple surgeries that took a lot of recovery time. While most were film-related, life also happened, and he was injured clearing a tree after a hurricane. To play his same character, it would probably need to be animated (which I’m 100% not opposed to at all) or have his character’s son, Alex, playing the lead.

What didn’t work in Tom Cruise’s film

Fraser reflected on why he thought the much-maligned, widely panned 2017 reboot attempt (which was the final nail on the coffin of Universal Studio’s Dark Universe), didn’t quite work. The movie has a shockingly low 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, and many, many one-star reviews. Fraser said:

The ingredient that we had going for our Mummy, which I didn’t see in that film, was fun. That was what was lacking in that incarnation. It was too much of a straight-ahead horror movie. The Mummy should be a thrill ride, but not terrifying and scary.

This is a very diplomatic take from Fraser, considering everything that was said to be wrong with the execution of the newer Mummy. With only trailers on YouTube as my frame of reference for how the original series was marketed, I can see what he’s talking about. The trailer for the 2017 film seemed to sell Tom Cruise in the military (again), and the villain, Princess Ahmanet (played by Sofia Boutella), was leaning into the horror. It’s not fair to a movie that more directly centers on Egypt, but Suicide Squad came out the year before, and Ahamenet’s design looked similar to Enchantress (played by Cara Delevingne). Fraser’s The Mummy movies succeeded so gloriously because they were fun, and funny, alongside moments of fright and many action sequences. Not to mention the iconic, chemistry-laden, opposites-attract relationship between Fraser’s adventurer Rick and Evelyn Weisz’s librarian Evelyn, a starring duo that commonly causes the Internet to opine these days that the film series launched a new generation of bisexuals, since many audience members were in love with both characters and their actors.

In the Mummy reboots Fraser starred in, the most horror were those damned scarabs that could go under your skin. Because I’ve always been in a home with cats, Imhotep and his soldiers never scared me. Those mummies don’t mess with felines.

(via Variety, featured image: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for BFI)

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(she/her) Award-winning artist and blogger with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. Starting as an Online Editor for her college paper in October 2017, Alyssa began writing for the first time within two months of working in the newsroom. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3. Still trying to beat Saxon Farm on RCT 3 (so I can 100% the game.)