Ever since The Whale premiered in Venice last month, critics have been hailing the film as Brendan Fraser’s comeback performance. But to a generation of fans, he’ll always be known as Rick O’Connell, the swashbuckling protagonist of 1999’s The Mummy. The original film and its two sequels (which bowed in 2001 and 2008) all made decent money at the box office, despite earning consistently middling reviews. Unfortunately, Universal’s 2017 reboot of the franchise was nowhere near as successful, and Fraser (via Variety) has his own thoughts about why it didn’t reach the same heights.
Universal famously marketed the Mummy reboot as the first installment of their Dark Universe. At the time, the studio’s goal was to unite all of their monster characters in one series of films. However, not even Tom Cruise’s star power could save day in the long run. The movie was a critical and commercial failure that dashed all hopes for any sequels or spinoffs. And in Fraser’s view, it’s all because the reboot took itself way too seriously.
“It is hard to make that movie,” said Frasier. “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. […] I know how difficult it is to pull it off. I tried to do it three times.”
Fraser made his last appearance as Rick in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, which is generally considered to be the trilogy’s weakest installment. But there are still legions of viewers who wouldn’t mind seeing another O’Connell family adventure on the big screen. Fraser seems to think that this is unlikely to happen. Regardless, he’s not 0pposed to playing Rick again.
“I don’t know how it would work,” confessed Fraser. “But I’d be open to it if someone came up with the right conceit.”
Do you agree with Fraser’s thoughts on Universal’s Mummy reboot? Would you like to see him play Rick O’Connell again? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Universal Horrors: The Studio’s Classic Films, 1931-1946, 2d edition
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