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Brendan Fraser Would Return To The Mummy Franchise Under One Condition

After disappearing from Hollywood casting lists, Brendan Fraser has experienced something of a career revival of late. He's part of the HBO Max TV show "Doom Patrol" and he'll be in the upcoming "Killers of the Flower Moon" from Martin Scorsese. But the star is fondly recalled by many because of the part he played in moviegoing memories during the 1990s and 2000s, like "Blast from the Past," "Crash," and "Encino Man." Given that, it's natural that his newly reclaimed status as a working actor is giving media and fans the opportunity to ask about old projects they loved.

One of those projects is "The Mummy," which released in 1999 and spawned sequels, an animated series, a spinoff series ("The Scorpion King") and the 2017 reboot flop (per Rotten Tomatoes) starring Tom Cruise. That reboot was supposed to jump-start the "Dark Universe" franchise, but its failure to ignite much interest made Universal Pictures take a long hard look at its strategy and focus on individualized stand-alone features instead (via Variety). 

Despite that 2017 failure, people like Cinema Blend's Mike Reyes still want to see more of "The Mummy" series. In 2019, Thrillist called the original film "the only perfect movie." Given this, it's hardly a surprise that Fraser was asked about returning to "The Mummy" at Fan Expo Canada in 2019. Here's what he said.

Fraser would absolutely do another Mummy film ... with the right approach

During a 2019 panel at Fan Expo Canada (via Comic Book), a fan asked Fraser if there were any new "The Mummy" movies on the horizon. He responded, "For me? Do you want one?" Naturally, this response received plenty of cheers from people in the audience, so he said, "Did you hear that, Universal?" After feigning ignorance about the 2017 reboot, he acknowledged he would be on board for a new version. "Absolutely," he told the crowd. But there seems to be a bit of a caveat. 

"Just gotta say, I know how hard it is to make that movie," Fraser said. "I tried to do it three times, and the essential ingredient is fun. You gotta remember to have fun. So if there's a fun way to approach it again, I'm all in." He also praised his co-star in the first two movies. "I mean, come on. It's Rachel Weisz, she's lovely," he commented. "She got stuck with all the exposition in that show. Which is good, that means all the talking. I was just the guy like, 'Hurry up, let's go, come on! That thing is gonna go bang!' It worked out."

Of course, just because he's up for another "The Mummy" installment doesn't mean the film's going to happen. However, there was a time when a fourth movie in "The Mummy" franchise was in the works.

The fourth The Mummy movie that never was

The Brendan Fraser starring "The Mummy" trilogy of films was a classic case of diminishing returns. While the original is remembered as a cult classic, the sequel doesn't have quite the same cultural cache, and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" enjoys even less fan enthusiasm and an abysmal 12% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Presumably, the middling reception to the third film — which dramatically changed the setting and recast Rachel Weisz with Maria Bello — and Universal's plans for a reboot ended up being the final nails in the sarcophagus of the original franchise (via Variety). But before it was entombed, there were actually concrete plans in the works for a fourth film.

According to Simon Brew of Film Stories, the cast of "Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" were signed up for several more potential films in the series, with the next installment having already been hashed out. The fourth movie would follow in the footsteps of the third by switching up the location of the action, this time to Latin America. "The Mummy: Rise of the Aztec" would have presumably followed in similar footsteps as the previous films but with an Aztec mummy instead of Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) or The Dragon Emperor (Jet Li). One of the most intriguing bits of information about the canceled fourth film is that Antonio Banderas was apparently slated to play the mummified villain.

"Rise of the Aztec" was even lightly set up at the end of "Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" with the character Jonathan (John Hannah) announcing that he's on his way to Peru (which is not in Mexico, where the Aztec civilization existed but could have been used as a jumping-off point). Unfortunately for fans of the originals, it seems unlikely that this particular movie will ever get unearthed.