With Brendan Fraser emerging back into the spotlight in Hollywood, it's the perfect time for The Mummy to get a new legacy sequel with Fraser returning alongside Rachel Weisz. Recently, it was announced that Fraser had picked up a major role when he was cast alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon. The news was met with widespread celebrations for the actor by fans on social media.
The "Brendan Fraser Renaissance," aka the "Brenaissance," is clearly in full swing. He currently appears in a main role on the DC Universe and HBO Max series Doom Patrol, with season 3 set to premiere in September. Fraser has also been cast in a lead role in Requiem for a Dream helmer Darren Aronofsky's next movie The Whale, another big win for the actor. Still, given that we're still living through Hollywood's "Reboot Era," so to speak, the possibility of revisiting Fraser's Mummy movies needs to be on the table.
After hitting the scene in the early 1990s, Brendan Fraser took on one of his most popular roles by playing adventurer Rick O'Connell in 1999's The Mummy. Rachel Weisz co-starred as Evelyn Carnahan, aka Evy, who accompanies Rick on a trip to Hamnupatra, the City of the Dead, along with her brother Jonathan (John Hannah). Written and directed by Stephen Sommers, the movie was a huge success at the box office in addition to hitting well with fans, spawning an ongoing movie series.
In 2001, Fraser returned in the hit sequel The Mummy Returns. Also written and directed by Sommers, the sequel brought back Weisz as Evy alongside Fraser's Rick, Hannah's Jonathan, and Arnold Vosloo's Imhotep. The sequel is also notable for featuring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in his first movie role as the Scorpion King, a character that would be given his own successful spinoff in 2002. Like the first movie, The Mummy Returns was a big hit at the box office when it was released.
After a seven-year hiatus, Fraser would play the role of Rick O'Connell one last time in the 2008 sequel The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Moving the story from Egypt to China, the sequel brought new names into the cast like Jet Li, Anthony Wong, and Michelle Yeoh. Though John Hannah also returned as Jonathan, the role of Evy was recast with Maria Bello in part due to Weisz refusing to leave her young son behind to film for five months in China.
Unfortunately, The Mummy 3 did not see the same levels of success as its predecessors. It was widely panned with Evy's recasting in particular rubbing many fans the wrong way. While Bello is a fine actress, big fans of The Mummy and its sequel had grown accustomed to Weisz as Evy alongside Fraser's Rick. At one point, there were rumblings of the studio developing The Mummy 4 with Bello back as Evy, but for better or for worse, the project was shelved.
Tom Cruise has since rebooted the series with 2017's The Mummy meant to spawn a whole new franchise akin to the Fraser movies. Unfortunately for Universal, it drastically underperformed at the box office and fared even worse with critics, killing the potential plans for this new franchise to continue. The studio has since been partnering up with Blumhouse to reimagine other Universal Monster movies like the 2020 hit The Invisible Man, but there are no firm plans set for The Mummy's future at this time.
Meanwhile, after four sequels of its own, The Scorpion King is currently in the process of getting rebooted. Alongside Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia, The Rock will executive produce an upcoming new take on the story set in modern times with Jonathan Herman on board to write the screenplay. Perhaps this is in part due to people feeling leery after 2017's The Mummy, but the news of The Scorpion King getting reimagined with a new actor as Mathayus of Akkad hasn't exactly been met with the utmost enthusiasm from fans.
In recent years, filmgoers seem to be more receptive to legacy sequels over flat out reboots. Bringing back fan favorites in new sequels, even in a limited capacity, might be the way to go. Just look at the fan excitement for the upcoming legacy sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife compared to the 2016 reboot. 2018's Halloween has also proven to be very successful, inspiring more legacy sequels to come in other franchises. It could easily be argued that no future installment of The Mummy series could make fans any more excited than if they brought back Fraser and Weisz for one last adventure.
Even without The Mummy, Fraser is going to be plenty busy. Fans can look for him to appear in main roles in the upcoming movies The Whale and Killers of the Flower Moon. Meanwhile, Weisz recently appeared in Black Widow alongside Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh. Let's hope the two can reunite soon enough, ideally for the next installment of The Mummy.