Brendan Fraser open to fourth ‘mummy movie’, talks Tom Cruise reboot

“‘The Mummy’ was meant to be thrilling, but not terrifying and frightening. I know how difficult it is to pull it off. I tried three times.”

THE MUMMY, from left: John Hannah, Brendan Fraser, 1999. ©Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

Brendan Fraser had starred in many successful films prior to 1999, including comedies like Encino Man and Oscar-winning dramas like Gods and Monsters. But this year he found his pivotal role in the Universal Studios blockbuster The Mummy as adventurer Rick O’Connell. And while Fraser appears to have wrapped up the role in 2008’s Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, he hasn’t ruled out a return to the franchise.

“I don’t know how it would work,” Fraser said in an interview with Variety. “But I’d be open to it if someone came up with the right idea.”

Fraser spoke about The Mummy as part of a Variety cover story with Darren Aronofsky, the director of his new film The Whale. The film stars Fraser as a middle-aged teacher trying to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter. It’s widely credited as Fraser’s comeback vehicle after years of stalling his career – and has garnered the actor considerable Oscar buzz.

Following 2008’s “Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,” Universal rebooted the series in 2017 with a “Mummy” movie starring Tom Cruise as part of the studio’s Dark Universe rebuild. This film received negative reviews and mediocre box office, prompting Universal to scrap the Dark Universe initiative – a series of linked films about classic Universal horror monsters – that it was planning.

When asked what he thought of the Tom Cruise film, Fraser said he felt the film failed because it overemphasized the horror element of The Mummy franchise. Though the original 1932 Mummy movie was a fairly straightforward monster film, Fraser’s 1999 film and its two sequels emphasized horror in favor of an action-adventure film a la Indiana Jones franchise.

“It’s hard to make this film. The ingredient we had for our ‘mom’ that I didn’t see in that movie was fun,” Fraser told Variety. “That’s what was missing from this incarnation. It was too much of a straight forward horror film. The Mummy was meant to be thrilling, but not terrifying and scary. I know how hard it is to pull this off. I tried three times.”

The Whale hits theaters on December 9th on A24.

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Lindsay Lowe

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