Brendan Fraser has expressed interest in returning to make The Mummy 4, but a straight-up fourth movie in the franchise isn’t what the O’Connell family needs. The first two Mummy movies were fun adventures, showcasing the charisma and talents of Fraser and his co-star Rachel Weisz. The third, by contrast, tried to make up for a lackluster script with more excess and was ultimately hamstrung by its predictability and lackluster CGI.
The first two entries in The Mummy franchise worked because they never took themselves too seriously. They understood what audiences wanted from the genre: action, a dash of romance, a sinister but campy villain, and protagonists it was impossible not to love. None of the sequels to The Mummy aged well or succeeded at replicating the undeniable chemistry of the original. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor introduced new characters and settings in an attempt to create a new vibe and ruined the franchise instead.
Arguably the most important change between the second and third movies was the recasting of Evelyn, the wife of Fraser’s Rick O’Connell. Maria Bello did her best, but she simply couldn’t replicate the same kind of dazzling chemistry that existed between Fraser and Rachel Weisz. The Mummy 4 would work best if she was brought back for the new movie. The franchise would have to undergo a significant retcon, giving it a chance to work from a clean narrative slate while bringing the key members of its original cast.
The Mummy 4 could return to the Egyptian roots of the original two movies. It wouldn’t necessarily have to involve Imhotep, The Mummy’s original villain. However, it would certainly be exciting for fans of the franchise to see the O’Connells go head-to-head with another ancient Egyptian figure, more similar to the types of characters who have long been an established part of mummy horror movies. In the best-case scenario, this fourth installment would see the cast return in some form of legacy sequel, one which serves as an homage to the original without being beholden to its specific series of events.
In order for The Mummy 4 to have any hope of capturing the magic of the original two, it would have to pretend as if the third one, with all of its negative connotations and reputation, had never happened, perhaps by returning to its Egyptian roots. The Mummy (with Brendan Fraser on board as Rick) would do just as well to have the character wake from a dream of Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and go on with Weisz as Evie pretending the third film never happened.
It might prove a bit of a challenge to bring The Mummy 4 to the big screen. It will be an even bigger one to give it the kind of appeal that has allowed the first two to become undeniable parts of the adventure movie canon. However, it’s entirely possible that with the entire original cast returning and a solid script, this new iteration of an enduringly popular movie franchise could very well become a success in its own right.
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