In the age of remakes and reboots, it may be time to return to The Mummy franchise with a fourth installment — albeit only if one crucial actor makes an appearance. Brendan Fraser has already stated his interest in returning to play Rick O’Connell (via Variety). However, it would take more than just the suave adventurer to make The Mummy sequel a success. Other key characters are just as important to the franchise, and history has revealed that not recasting them hasn’t yielded favorable results.
The first film in The Mummy franchise, released in 1999, was a critical and commercial hit, grossing $43 million on its opening weekend (via Box Office Mojo). It seemed to have the perfect combination of romance and adventure — made from a recipe of one part history and five parts campy horror. The 2001 sequel The Mummy Returns (with the infamous CGI Scorpion King), saw an even high gross for its domestic opening, at $68 million. However, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) bombed at the box office, leaving the franchise at a disappointing end. However, it may be time to change this with The Mummy 4 — assuming the film avoids past missteps.
Rachel Weisz As Evelyn O’Connell Needs To Happen For The Mummy 4 To Work
One of the most notable differences between the first two The Mummy movies and Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is the recasting of the ever-capable Egyptologist Evelyn O’Connell. Previously played by actress Rachel Weisz, the third installment saw her replaced with Coyote Ugly actress Maria Bello. While there are few complaints about Bello’s performance, changing such a critical character to The Mummy movies was jarring and left the relationship between Evelyn and Rick O’Connell feeling uncomfortable.
The chemistry between Weisz and Fraser — and by extension, The Mummy‘s Evie and Rick — was precisely what made the first movie endearing to many. Evie’s love for history and genius reasoning combined with Mr. O’Connel’s charm and calculated brawn came together to create a unique team compared to similarly campy action movies like Indiana Jones. If The Mummy 4 were ever to be a reality, the nostalgic reunion of the actors who made Evelyn and Rick O’Connell so lovable would be a must to draw audiences back to the franchise.
The Failure Of The Mummy 3 Proves The Franchise Must Return To Its Roots
Of course, Weisz’s absence isn’t all that was wrong with The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Nonetheless, if The Mummy 4 were to be a success, it would need to learn from the mistakes of its predecessor. Tom Cruise’s The Mummy (2017), which has also been deemed a box-office bomb, proved that more than action and horror are needed to pull off The Mummy successfully. Similarly, without the chemistry of Weisz and Fraser, The Mummy 3 felt like a silly action movie that didn’t take its characters seriously.
Recasting Evelyn O’Connell showed that The Mummy didn’t place a high enough value on the character and her importance. It’s unlikely that Brendan Fraser would have been recast as Rick O’Connell, so the same should have been true for Evie. She provided the charm, intelligence, and fun that was the other side of O’Connell’s coin. This quality provided the first The Mummy with its solid foundation and is precisely what The Mummy 4 comeback would need, if it were to become the success that everyone is hoping for. MORE: Was The Mummy’s Anck-Su-Namun A Real Person?