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Brendan Fraser Feels The Mummy's Authenticity Was What Garnered Global Attention

In the summer of 1999, a remake of a slow-burn, black-and-white Universal monster movie took audiences by storm. "The Mummy" was released in theaters in May of 1999 and was a rousing success, taking the legacy of the 1932 "The Mummy" and updating it for modern audiences. This success, of course, led to a pair of sequels, one in 2001 and another in 2008. "The Mummy" changed action movies by making history cool. This cemented "The Mummy" series as a long-running franchise.

With the success of the film, it's hard to believe its legacy would ever be in doubt, but director Stephen Sommers told Entertainment Weekly that nobody believed that the project would be a success. He said, "Then people saw our 30-second Super Bowl spot. It went from nobody wanting to see 'The Mummy' to, the next day, the studio was on fire. We thought, "Man, this film could do $20 million." That would have been a pretty big opening. The next day [after The Mummy was released], I hear the phone ringing downstairs ... Ron Meyer [president of Universal Studios] said, "The movie's going to open at $45 million."

Brendan Fraser, then having starred in "Encino Man," "Airheads," and "George of the Jungle," shot to Hollywood superstardom after the release of "The Mummy." Now, Fraser might finally win an Academy Award in 2022 for his performance in "The Whale." While there's no doubting Fraser's star power, the actor mused about what made "The Mummy" series so globally appealing.

Brendan Fraser attributes filming on location to the film's genuine feel that attracts audiences from around the world

Brendan Fraser broke down some of his most iconic characters for GQ, and one the most heavily featured segments in the interview was about his work as Rick O'Connell in 1999's "The Mummy" and its subsequent sequels. The immense popularity of the film series is not lost on Fraser. He attributes the film's success to its authenticity.

The films actually shot in Morocco in the same place that "Lawrence of Arabia" was filmed. Fraser said, "We rode our own camels, we wheeled our weapons, we fought one another, we ran around in the heat," when talking about the film's authenticity. "I think [shooting in Morocco] made it more globally appealing than if it had been, you know, shot in Arizona or New Mexico," he continued.

Fraser went on to describe the environment while shooting. He said, "It was thrilling. It had a little bit of, not danger, per se, but some risk taking to it ... Will we survive?" He also addressed the film's appeal in an interview with PopVerse. "I loved being part of a movie that we didn't know if it was an action, comedy, horror, adventure, romance. All of the above," Fraser said. "I think it had so much appeal because everybody wanted a little bit of all of those things I just mentioned. And by whatever movie magic, it came together for us."

Looking at these interviews, there's a sense of nostalgia in what Fraser is saying. One can really get the sense that he genuinely loved making these movies. All of it appears to be in good fun, too, because when asked if he would return to the franchise, Fraser responded to GQ, "Absolutely! Got a script?"