The Mummy’s director Stephen Sommers opened up about the film prior to his take over; a different approach was assumed, loosely based on the 1932’s classic horror flick of the same name. Sommers turned down many actors, and ultimately, the role went to Fraser, who proved to be a perfect portrayal of Rick with his iconic performance. Fraser hooked up with the co-stars, John Hannah and Rachel Weisz, as they mistakenly revived the Mummy of Egyptian priest Imhotep.
The Mummy 1999’s version was a box office hit upon its release, making Fraser a superstar and prompting franchise sequels and spinoffs.
While Sommers exclusively tells SYFY Wire during the conversation about the original plans of Universal Studios to remake The Mummy, until he joined the board to lead the project, the studio had already gone over several writers and directors. He further proclaimed the film was originally set in LA and meant to be a direct replica of the prior version of Boris Karloff’s film.
There had been half a dozen different writers and directors on it. In fact, the guy before me was John Sayles and he was gonna write it and direct it. His script was actually good, but it all took place in Los Angeles because for nine years, they were basically trying to do a remake of the Boris Karloff Mummy. Which is ridiculous. I love the Boris Karloff [version], but I had no interest in remaking that movie.
I go, ‘Hell, I’ll need $15 million just for the visual effects.’ When I told the studio my vision of it, they went, ‘Well, yeah, if you’re gonna do a remake of the Boris Karloff Mummy, a low-budget horror movie with a guy wrapped in bandages, you’re not gonna spend that much money. But if you’re gonna do something [bigger, we’ll give you more money].’
Why 1999’s The Mummy Was A Chartbuster?
Even though Universal Studios intends to rekindle The Mummy with Tom Cruise 2017 revamp, the studio is still up to now mirror the same widespread appeal and endorsement spawned by Fraser’s ground-breaking performance as the action-bonafide Rick. Despite the mixed reviews, the movie became an ultimate hit and was the number one film on its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, the highest-grossing film with $416 million worldwide. The howling success of The Mummy overshadowed its hyped competitor Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, with its crowning stroke.
Apart from becoming a massive hit at the box office, The Mummy remake was carried out to be the best cult classic of its era which was much acclaimed by audiences across the globe. The film was a perfect mashup of horror adventure with a few fun bits. Sommers’ work flashed back to well-known franchises such as Indiana Jones and took other adventure flicks to the next level. Smashing the concept of stereotypic characterization of action heroes and persecuted maiden, and provides a variety of well-defined and realistic characters who are true to life and rooted.
Above all, the collective efforts of the entire cast of The Mummy lead up to the most enchanting and unforgettable viewing experience ever. From the charismatic onscreen chemistry between Fraser and Weisz to the mischievous Hannah, even the small roles justified their characters. Until the present, after 24 years, the film remains a classic and left the legacy behind for upcoming releases of action-adventure films to follow.