Although starring as Rick O’Connell in The Mummy franchise elevated Brendan Fraser’s star power, the role also exacted an extreme physical toll.

Brendan Fraser details how his role in The Mummy franchise took a harsh physical toll on his body. Released in 1999, The Mummy sees Fraser playing adventurer Rick O’Connell, who teams up with Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) and Jonathan (John Hannah) to defeat a resurrected ancient Egyptian Mummy. While earning somewhat mixed reviews from critics, the film was a hit at the box office and spawned a sequel in 2001 called The Mummy Returns. Fraser would return for a third outing in 2008 with The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, a film that was lambasted by critics and underperformed at the box office, essentially killing the franchise until Tom Cruise’s failed reboot in 2017.


In a recent interview with The Telegraph following his Oscar nomination for his performance in The Whale, Fraser reveals that starring in The Mummy franchise wasn’t an experience that was good for his body. The actor recalls that, in an effort to feel like he was earning his big paychecks for the movies, he did many of his own stunts. This stunt work led to a number of injuries and subsequent surgical procedures, including repairs to his vocal cords, a partial knee replacement, and a spinal procedure called a lumbar laminectomy. Check out Fraser’s full comment below:

“I got a little banged up from years of doing my own stunts and needed a surgical fix on the spine and the hinges. And that took a lot out of me. I knew I would get better, but it took a long time.

“[While filming The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,] every morning I was putting myself together like a gladiator with muscle tape and ice packs, strapping on this Transformer-like exoskeleton just to get through the scene.”

Related: The Mummy 4 Isn’t The Future Fraser & The O’Connells Need

Could Brendan Fraser Return For The Mummy 4?

Ardeth Bay. Rick O'Connell and Jonathan Hammond in The Mummy

Cruise attempted to reboot The Mummy franchise in 2017, but the film was a failure both critically and commercially, and the franchise has been on ice ever since. Although Fraser hasn’t played O’Connell in about 15 years now, the actor has said that he would be open to returning for The Mummy 4 if the right idea is developed. At the time of writing, a fourth installment is not in development, but Fraser’s career resurgence with The Whale and other projects like No Sudden Move and Doom Patrol have reignited interest to see the actor play O’Connell once more.

Considering Weisz did not return for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and was recast with Maria Bello, any prospective fourth installment would have a problem right out of the gate in terms of how this recast is addressed. Instead of making a fourth movie about the further adventures of Rick, Evelyn, and Jonathan, The Mummy 4 should actually feature Fraser’s hero in more of a mentor role for a new group of characters. A fourth entry could return to the mythology and the fun of the first two The Mummy movies while pushing the franchise forward and allowing a new set of heroes to carry the baton forward.

Arguably, however, the best future for The Mummy franchise might actually be to let it continue to lie dormant. While Fraser is once again making headlines, which has reignited interest in The Mummy 4, it may be more interesting to see the actor take on other types of roles. The Whale features Fraser undergoing a major appearance transformation and has proven to the world once again just how talented of an actor he really is. Instead of taking another stab at The Mummy franchise, which now has just as many lackluster installments as it does good ones (perhaps more), Fraser may be better served as an actor by taking on more outside-the-box movies that allow him to truly flex his acting muscles in new and exciting ways.

More: The Mummy’s Brendan Fraser’s Character Can Be The New Indiana Jones

Source: The Telegraph

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