Universal has been trying to turn its stable of Universal Monsters into a shared universe for quite some time. The corpses to The Wolfman, Dracula Untold and 2017’s The Mummy are all the proof you need, as the Dark Universe experiment failed not once, but twice, to do just that.
With a third spin of the wheel coming through movies like Leigh Whannell’s take on The Invisible Man, starring Elizabeth Moss, those legendary monsters are not going anywhere anytime soon. However, there’s another option as to how Universal could revive one of its most prized franchises.
Rather than introduces us to another new version of The Mummy, perhaps it’s time to dust off the Brendan Fraser/Rachel Weisz-led series for another ride. It may sound crazy at first, but hear me out, as I think there are some pretty amazing reasons for why sending Rick and Evie on another supernatural adventure is just the ticket to Universal’s monster woes.
Brendan Fraser Is Still Game For Another Mummy Movie
Point blank, the first reason is something that’s so obvious it shouldn’t even need to be said. In a recent interview, Brendan Fraser himself said he’d be game to do another Mummy movie. So long as this new film approaches the material with the right amount of fun, the man himself has said that he’d be ready to head off into the fray again.
The fact that Brendan Fraser would put that thought into the world after the rough patch he went through in life says something. With part of those tough times including getting really banged up due to The Mummy movies, you’d think Brendan Fraser wouldn’t want to have anything to do with them. And yet, he’s ready and willing to have fun again. Something tells me if the right Mummy script landed on his desk, he’d be all smiles, and that’s too good of a moment to pass up.
Legacyquels Are Hot Right Now
The term “legacyquel” came into play pretty recently, but the concept itself has been at work for quite some time. Basically, if you’re making a sequel to a franchise after a long period of time, but you’re including new characters and concepts as well, you’re making a legacyquel. And as we’ve seen with Jurassic World and its sequel, as well as tons of other films that have made nostalgic hits of themselves, it’s a pretty hot concept.
Having The Mummy wade into the world of legacyquels is a perfect way for Universal to embrace its existing IP, while also pushing it forward into the next chapter. Fraser’s Rick and Rachel Weisz’s Evie are one of those pairs you could drop into any sort of monstrous adventure.
Rick And Evelyn Are Characters Who Haven’t Gone Out Of Style
Part of the mistake with the Tom Cruise-starring version of The Mummy was that whoever selected that film as a Dark Universe kickoff probably did so because of the popularity of the Brendan Fraser/Rachel Weisz series, without realizing what made it so successful. Here’s a hint: it wasn’t just Arnold Vosloo’s Imhotep that made the films a success, as Fraser and Weisz’s Thin Man-style chemistry made the monster hunting even more exciting.
You could cook up a story about how Rick and Evie age much slower than normal people because of the supernatural forces they’ve tangled with and bring them to the modern age. Or you could make a fantastic period adventure, like director Stephen Sommers did with those first two films. Either way, so long as Rick and Evelyn O’Connell, as well as the rest of their Mummy friends and family, are able to match wits while fighting great evil, you can team them up against anything.
The Dark Universe Made It Easy To Pick Up Where The Mummy Left Off
While that latest version of The Mummy does have a lot of explaining to do, it managed to do a couple things right. Not only does it set up Tom Cruise’s Nick Morton as a new Mummy, it also incorporated the “Book of the Dead” from the Fraser/Weisz films into that particular universe. Should anyone looking to bring Rick and Evie back want to use another Mummy, we have one now, and the timing couldn’t be better.
Again, there could be an easy explanation as to why those characters come back into the modern world, and a lot of supernatural fun could be part of the process. Plus, with Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll and his organization Prodigium being the current custodians of the book, there’s plenty of room for divulging the details of how he got it in the first place. More than likely, through an adventure with The O’Connells.
We Can’t Let The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor End The Series
Bringing back a franchise like The Mummy is definitely dangerous. If one isn’t careful, it could turn into one hell of a mess that sees everything that made it so special fall away. That fate has certainly befallen the Brendan Fraser variant of The Mummy, as seen in its ill-advised threequel The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor; and it’s also why at least one final Mummy movie is in order.
With a story and execution that felt like a cheap imitation of the previously polished franchise, it didn’t even let fans say good bye to Rachel Weisz’s Evie, as she refused to return for this third film. That right there makes the film easy to forget about, but the general boredom that movie inspired was so antithetical to what Stephen Sommers’ previous films gave us. If we’re to do The Mummy justice, let’s start by giving it a sequel it deserves, and potentially the ending it needs to be a complete and consistently good trilogy.
Legacyquels are sometimes a method of righting the wrongs of franchises who lost their way. Robocop Returns and Terminator: Dark Fate are both looking to wipe the slate clean, and dial things back to overwrite the less favored entries in their respective series. It’s only fair that The Mummy would be allowed to take that same tactic, and bring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz back together to potentially finish the series in style, if not resurrect it for a continued partnership that would please fans all over.
As of this moment, it doesn’t look like any big plans are in the works for The Mummy, as the failure of the 2017 reboot has probably buried that title for a couple of years. Thought the Universal Monsters will have their day at the movies again thanks to Paul Feig’s upcoming Dark Army project he’s now working on. Adept to comedy and suspense in equal turns, and with a penchant for the sparkling wit that Feig loves to add to his work, the writer/director could breathe new life into this extremely fitting franchise.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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