12 Crazy Facts About “The Mummy” Franchise That Made Us Appreciate the Movies Even More
Although it was initially rejected by test audiences, The Mummy became a huge box office hit soon after its original release. This made the iconic duo of Rick and Evelyn, played by Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, return to the big screen soon after for a sequel, which was also a commercial success.
1. Tom Cruise was offered the lead role, but he turned it down.
Many famous actors were considered for the role of Rick O’Connell, including Tom Cruise, but the actor turned it down and Brendan Fraser was cast instead. Cruise had almost 2 decades to change his mind, and he eventually went on to star in the 2017 reboot of The Mummy.
2. The actor who played Imhotep had to be fully shaved twice a day during filming.
Arnold Vosloo’s character required his whole body to be completely hairless while shooting. And even though they first tried waxing, Vosloo didn’t want to repeat the painful experience, so staff members opted for shaving his body twice a day instead.
3. Rachel Weisz’s character was named after a real person.
The character of Evelyn Carnahan was inspired by Evelyn Herbert, who was the daughter of British Egyptologist George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon. In 1922, the real-life Evelyn and her father were the first 2 people in modern times to enter Tutankhamun’s tomb.
4. The movies were actually filmed in Morocco, not Egypt.
Although the action of the first 2 movies in the trilogy is set in Egypt, due to several issues, cast members couldn’t film there. Instead, they chose Morocco as the location, and what we see as early twentieth-century Cairo in the movies is actually Marrakech.
5. The actors on set had to drink a special brew every few hours.
Because they were shooting in the desert, the actors faced several real-life dangers, including dehydration. To prevent this, the medical team on set came up with a special concoction that the actors had to drink every few hours.
6. Rachel Weisz and Patricia Velasquez spent several months training just for one scene.
Although stunt doubles could have easily been used for the fight scene in The Mummy Returns, both actresses decided to avoid this. Instead, they trained for 3 months for up to 8 hours a day to get in shape and be able to shoot the scene themselves.
7. Real rats and insects were used for some of the scenes.
The horror we see on Weisz’s face when she’s tied up and has rats crawl over here is genuine. Real rats were used for the scene, as well as other insects and vermin. The actor who played Dr. Chamberlain also had actual locusts crawl all over his neck and face.
8. The set was built inside of a volcano.
9. The scene in the library was filmed in just one take.
In one of the first scenes of the movie, Weisz’s character is putting away books in the library. But the clumsy librarian causes most of the books to come tumbling down. Putting them all back on the shelves would’ve taken many hours, but thanks to Weisz’s great acting, the scene was filmed in just one single take.
10. The Medjai were originally supposed to be tattooed head to toe.
Director Stephen Sommers changed his mind because he thought actor Oded Fehr was too handsome to be covered in so many tattoos.
11. The actor who played Beni wasn’t very well-liked by the camels.
Beni, played by Kevin J. O’Connor, is a very unlikable character in the movie, and even the camels seemed to agree. During the scene where he loads up the camels, the animals refuse to move. This, however, wasn’t scripted, but it seems the camels decided to add their own touch to the film.
12. Brendan Fraser almost died while filming the scene in the gallows.
In one of the scenes, Rick O’Connell is imprisoned and taken to the gallows to be hanged, while Evelyn tries to negotiate his release and ends up saving his life. Although a stunt double was used for the body shots, Fraser still had to have a rope placed around his neck for close-ups. During the second take, the rope was tightened to make Fraser’s acting more realistic, but the actor actually ended up passing out and had to be revived by the EMTs on set.
What’s your favorite movie from The Mummy franchise? And who’s your favorite character?