When speaking of classic movies, there's no doubt that action adventure horror film "The Mummy" cannot be left out of the conversation. Most people are familiar with The Mummy starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, and Kevin J. O'Connor but in actual fact, it was a loose remake of the 1932 film "The Mummy" which starred Boris Karloff in the title role. No one knew there was going to be a remake 67 years later written and directed by Stephen Sommers with Arnold Vosloo in the title role as the reanimated mummy.
The thought of remaking the film began in 1992 with James Jacks & Sean Daniel deciding to update it for the 1990s with the help of Universal Studios. The difficulty was that they would only be given the go ahead if they kept the budget around $10 million. They recruited several filmmakers with different ideas attempting to stay on budget and come up with a great script at the same time but this proved to be a challenge.
Finally, Jacks & Daniels were contacted in 1997 by Stephen Sommers with his vision of The Mummy and likened it to Jason and the Argonauts. He said the idea was inspired by the likes of Indiana Jones and wanted to recreate the things he liked as a child on a much bigger scale. It had been 4 years since he had wanted to film The Mummy but the people he needed to work with had to be focused elsewhere. He was given the opportunity to make his vision become a reality after Universal like his idea to the point that they increased his budget from $15 million to $80 million. This also came at a time when Babe: Pig in the City had failed to make an impact in the box office so the studio decided to revisit it's successful franchises from the 1930s.
Filming took place in Marrakech, Morocco in the year of 1998 and lasted seventeen weeks. During filming in the Sahara, the cast and crew endured dehydration, sandstorms and also snakes which most of them had never experienced before.
The Mummy debuted in cinemas on the 7th of May 1999, and grossed $43 million in 3,210 theaters during it's opening weekend in the United States alone and $416 million worldwide. The film exceeded most expectations leading to numerous sequels, spin-offs, video games and accolades including The BMI Film Awards & Saturn Awards.
After watching the film, it will become understandable why it was such a challenge to make the movie. If the movie turns out to be your taste, you'll be glad to find out that it has a 2nd and a 3rd installment to fill your appetite.
~ Written By Tanaka Musanhi
Picture © Universal Pictures
Text © Tanaka Musanhi