Brendan Fraser’s Absence From The Mummy Explained

The consensus on the 2017 reboot/sequel of The Mummy is in, and it is not pretty reading for Universal. Sitting on a dire 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the studio are grasping for commercial straws as they hope to entice viewers back for their upcoming installments in the Dark Universe.

Written off as a blockbuster that lacks any genuine thrills, chills or excitement, not even the inclusion of Tom Cruise could save this reinvention. But director Alex Kurtzman has ignored the calls from critics as the filmmaker talked with Entertainment Weekly, arguing that there was a strong appetite to see a reimagined Mummy once more.

2 Hat Tips Enough For Fraser at Universal

Brendan Fraser in The Mummy

Kurtzman's background had him well placed to take the reigns of the first Dark Universe picture, despite having just the one directorial position before. Writing and producing such movies as Cowboys & Aliens, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Star Trek, the 43-year old tried his best to amp up the hype from moviegoers.

"The Mummy is so familiar to people. It has endured for so long, because it asks some really fascinating questions about life after death," he remarks. "And the mythology of The Mummy has always been so interesting. Because it is so familiar to people, we wanted to give them an entry point that was easy, and yet, we wanted to do it in a way that felt fresh and different. That's why we led with The Mummy."

In this new and "improved" film from Universal, they did provide an Easter Egg from the original franchise that was spawned in 1999. Set in the 1930s and 40s, Brendan Fraser's character would likely be passed on. For Kurtzman, there was no opportunity or desire to bring the actor back into the fold.

"We wanted to tip our hat to it, and there are two moments that do that in the film (including the Book of Amun-Ra, which Fraser's character use to defeat Imhotep in 1999's The Mummy). We never really talked actively about bringing Brendan Fraser in, because he lived in a very different time period than the modern day and so he would be potentially not even alive. (Laughs) Unless he himself were a monster, it didn't seem like he would make a whole lot of sense. And if he were a monster, then we would have had a lot of explaining to do about why he was there."

Practice Pub Made Good For Rusty

Russell Crowe in The Mummy

The performance of Russell Crowe did not go over well with reviewers either, offering a weak attempt at a British accent for his role as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hide. Yet the Australian clearly knew how to entertain himself and his co-stars off camera as Jake Johnson told Entertainment Weekly that the rugby league owner and part-time rocker went out of his way to bring the pub experience to set.

"He built on the soundstage in England a replica pub of his pub in Australia and threw a cast and crew party there one night," said Johnson. "If you don't love that about the guy, there's something wrong with ya."

At least someone got value for money from this adventure.

Source: ET, Cinemablend