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Based on the phenomenally popular “Mummy” films that have grossed nearly $1 billion worldwide and heralding a new era in thrill rides, Universal Studios ride designers will introduce “Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride,” the first attraction in history to feature a fusion of threshold technology, high-speed roller coaster engineering, CGI and other movie-based immersive storytelling techniques-- as signature attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando.
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“Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride,” set to open June 2004 at Universal Studios Hollywood, will be among the world’s fastest indoor roller coasters.
Ten years in research and development, the indoor thrill ride will integrate design concepts by visionary filmmaker Stephen Sommers, who reinvigorated the classic Universal monster film “The Mummy” in 1999’s worldwide smash and its even more popular sequel in 2001, both of which he wrote and directed.
The introduction of “Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride” coincides with Universal Studios Hollywood’s 40th Anniversary. As the Hollywood landmark enters its fifth decade, the arrival of this ground-breaking thrill ride signals a milestone in the transformation of what was first conceived as a “behind the scenes look at Hollywood filmmaking” into a world-class entertainment destination. The movie-based theme park has fully evolved from its Studio Tour beginnings by adding rides and attractions that employ the latest in both movie and theme park technologies and offer both local and visiting guests a uniquely immersive entertainment experience.
“This really is the latest evolution for the entire ride industry,” said Scott Trowbridge, vice president of design and creative development for Universal Parks & Resorts. “The ‘Revenge of the Mummy’ ride is the next threshold attraction in our industry – there is no other ride like it anywhere.”
The design and construction of the ride marks an unparalleled collaboration between a director and producers from the worlds of moviemaking and theme park design. Sommers’ longtime creative partner, Bob Ducsay, also applied extensive creative input into the ride.
Unique methodology in theming and technical elements for the ride have been conceived by the combined team resulting in a unique “High Velocity Show Immersion System” that completely engulfs the riders’ senses in the eerily-haunted world of “Revenge of the Mummy.”
The ride will also possess elaborately staged “dark ride scenes” and a revolutionary new ride track employing new linear induction motors to create a series of visual, visceral and motion-based effects that will continually surprise guests while drawing them into Sommers’ immersive storylines that have thrilled hundreds of millions of movie-goers worldwide.
“This is really a thrill for me,” Sommers said. “I am really energized to have the world of ‘The Mummy’ films turned into a thrilling, scary, scream-worthy ride. This is in many ways the next sequel of ‘The Mummy,’ and one that I personally can’t wait to experience firsthand.
“I am especially happy that it extends my successful partnership with Universal into a new and exciting area.”
In two of the world’s largest sound stages, unsuspecting guests will be swept into a terrifying underworld of ancient Egypt awash in deadly curses, powerful forces of nature and vengeful creatures intent on wreaking havoc.
The same technology employed in futuristic trains using magnetic levitation are being unveiled and utilized in the ride launch system. Among the ride’s many unprecedented design elements, magnetic propulsion launch wave systems will be employed throughout the experience, thrusting riders forward, backward and forward again.
“Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride” themed elements will be the most elaborate ever created for a thrill ride experience. Universal’s ride producers have traveled to London’s British Museum to assure the authenticity of the ride’s shadowy, curse-ridden interior environment that will range from glistening golden amulets to dusty canopic jars containing the grisly remains of the haunted long-deceased royalty portrayed in the ride.
Other dramatic elements will include objects and figures that startlingly materialize. Contrasting lighting effects will alter light levels from daytime ambience to total darkness. The number and quality of the ride’s fast-paced scenic effects will be unparalleled in theme park history and the experience from inside each of the ride’s cars will vary. Riders may experience different scenic elements each time they ride.
“When we conceived of attractions like ‘Back To The Future,’ ‘Terminator 2-3D’ and ‘The Adventures of Spiderman,’ ” Trowbridge said, “we envisioned that there was yet another level to enthrall our guests. We researched and integrated technology from a multitude of areas and then searched for the right story to make this ride leap to life. ‘Revenge of the Mummy’ accomplishes that.”
This new ride continues Universal Studios Hollywood’s’ successful tradition of creating attractions from its own library of hit films, including “E.T.,” “Back To The Future” and “Backdraft,” all of which have become popular attractions at its theme parks.
Q & A with directot Stephen Sommers
Universal Studios Hollywood’s “Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride” marks an unparalleled collaboration between a director of major motion pictures and designers of theme park rides and attractions.
Stephen Sommers, visionary filmmaker and creator of the “Mummy” films, comments on the transformation of his blockbuster movie franchise into a groundbreaking theme park attraction and his role in bringing the psychological thrill ride “Revenge of the Mummy–The Ride” to life.
Q: How does it feel to have the fantasy world and story you created in the
“Mummy” movies turned into a physical ride?
Sommers: It’s truly a thrill to be taking the story into a different medium.
Five years ago, I wrote a script that was turned into a movie that succeeded beyond my wildest imagination. Many of the effects we employed in making the “Mummy” films broke new ground in the film world and now that we’ve been asked to help craft the franchise into a theme park attraction, we hope to bring the same spirit of innovation to the project
Q: Was the creation of a theme park attraction always a goal?
Sommers: Years ago, while we were working on “The Mummy,” my crew and I were sitting around talking and, half-jokingly, someone said ‘we’ll know we’ve made it when we have our own theme park ride.’ So, here it is.
Q: Is “Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride” re-inventing the way theme park
attractions are designed and built?
Sommers: “Revenge of the Mummy” really represents the next category of thrill rides. It takes the horror genre and stretches it as far as possible. The concept is to play against people’s primal fears by fusing motion with very sophisticated special effects in a way they haven’t ever experienced, all in the service of an underlying storyline. It’s going to be huge, it’s going to be fast and it’s going to be wild fun.
Q: How did your experience as a writer and director prepare you for designing
a theme park ride?
Sommers: Movies themselves are great rides. I always loved old movies, I’ve always loved roller coasters and I’ve always loved haunted houses. I always thought it would be a thrill to combine a roller coaster with a haunted house and that is essentially what we’ve created.
Q: Are the twists and turns of a movie parallel to the twists and turns of a
Sommers: On a great roller coaster, every time you come around a turn, the ride thrusts you into a new scene. You think you know what’s going to happen and then it surprises you, just like a good movie would. It’s that element of shock, the unremitting fear of the unknown, the suspense of ‘what’s next?’ and ‘what’s around the corner?’ that taps into people’s consciousness and delivers a great experience in either medium.
Q: How does the narrative of “The Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride” flow
from the storylines of your “Mummy” movies?
Sommers: The narrative of the ride is basically the sequel to the “Mummy” movies. It marks the next step of the adventure, the next chapter. We’ve captured the best aspects from the films, a collection of the most menacing, horrifying and wild thrills, and compressed them into several minutes of sheer terror and speed.
Q: The “Mummy” movies were praised for their production design and special
effects. Can guests expect the same of “Revenge of the Mummy?”
Sommers: Yes. Many of us from the original “Mummy” movies - myself, my producer and editor Bob Ducsay, Allan Cameron, the production designer and Alan Silvestri, the “Mummy” composer - collaborated on this ride. It was a project we very loyal and passionate about. It marked the continuation of our “Mummy” movies so we took great attention to detail and creative design. We wanted this roller coaster to be bigger and better - and faster - than the movie.
Q: How does the presence of Imhotep translate from the big screen to a
theme park ride?
Sommers: On the ride, there is no obstacle between Imhotep and the audience. Imhotep is now a living, breathing, lurking three-dimensional character. “Revenge Of The Mummy” marks a new threshold in technology, CGI and immersive storytelling and in many ways accomplishes more than what we can achieve in the movies.
Q: Does “Revenge of The Mummy—The Ride” tread into scarier territory than
Sommers: The difference between a ride and a movie is that we only have a few minutes to get people’s adrenaline pumping. To create an unforgettable screaming, riveting experience, to scare the hell out of our riders, fear has to be unleashed immediately and it has to be extreme.
Dont't forget to also check out: The Mummy Returns