Maria Bello is joining the cast of The Mummy 3, but she won’t be playing a new character. Instead, she’ll replace Rachel Weisz as Evelyn O’Connell.

After a lot of discussion, Weisz declined to be in the film. Our sources say it’s because the script sucks and even Brendan Fraser only agreed to do it because they backed up a Brinks truck and unloaded it on his front porch. Universal of course, says it’s for less depressing reasons.

If Weisz really left because the script is so bad, you’re probably wondering why Maria Bello would do it. After all, she has a history of sticking with smaller, artsy projects like The Cooler or A History of Violence. Personally, I think she just felt ready for a big paycheck. Every actress needs at least one blockbuster payment to fill her bank account and for her this is it. Rachel Weisz already has her blockbuster money, and didn’t need it. But that’s just my wild guess. Maybe the script is brilliant and Bello loves it. Who knows.

This third Mummy film is directed by Rob Cohen, whose last movie was the flop Stealth. Before that, he directed the pretty good Vin Diesel action movie xXx. Luckily, he had very little to do with the terrible, knock-off sequel.

Also in the cast with Fraser and Bello is Luke Ford as the full-grown son of Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz/Maria Bello’s characters. The script by ‘Smallville’s’ Miles Millar and Alfred Gough follows the O’Connell family to China where they fight the shape-shifting mummy of a former Chinese emperor played by Jet Li. Michelle Yeoh plays the wizard who cursed the emperor and turned him into an angry, mostly dead, bandaged freak.

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