These days there is seemingly no movie that can’t be shoehorned into a cinematic universe. Following the mammoth success of Marvel Studios, Universal has decided to reboot their old monster movie classics into the imaginatively titled “Dark Universe”, starting with a reboot of The Mummy. But before it was a grim-dark action film, and after it was a classic Boris Karloff picture, The Mummy was a surprise smash hit of 1999. As the sarcophagus gets cracked open once again, we take a look at what happened to the last people to venture into the mummy’s tomb…
Stephen Sommers (Director)
The huge success of The Mummy earned Stephen Sommers two Saturn Award nominations, and cemented his reputation as a director of Bruckheimer-esque, swashbuckling action fare. He would go on to direct The Mummy Returns in 2001, as well as writing and producing spin-off The Scorpion King and two of its sequels (all of which you can hear about in our recent podcast). Sommers’ other films include the criminally underrated Van Helsing and the pretty mediocre G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. He’s been attached to remakes of When Worlds Collide and Flash Gordon, though both have long been consigned to development hell. His most recent film, Odd Thomas (2013), starred the late Anton Yelchin as a clairvoyant in small-town America.
Brendan Fraser (Rick O’Connell)
In the late ’90s, cinemagoers couldn’t move for Brendan Fraser. He found huge success thanks to the Mummy films as well as comedies like George of the Jungle and Bedazzled, and even found a more dramatic role in controversial Oscar-winner Crash. Sadly, the 2000s saw diminishing returns for the actor. The third Mummy movie, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, wasn’t the box office smash its predecessors were, and while Journey to the Centre of the Earth proved to be a massive hit, Fraser was replaced in the sequel by Dwayne Johnson. Still, he’s done some interesting TV work since then, including a recurring role on Scrubs and a guest spot on The Affair.
Rachel Weisz (Evie Carnahan)
With the exception of Dwayne Johnson, Rachel Weisz has enjoyed by far the largest success of anyone involved in the Mummy franchise. She’s starred in blockbusters like Oz the Great and Powerful and The Bourne Legacy, and arthouse affairs like Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain and Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster. She even won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Constant Gardener. Most recently she starred in the film adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s novel My Cousin Rachel, which is released this week.
Arnold Vosloo (Imhotep)
South African actor Arnold Vosloo hasn’t done much film acting since The Mummy Returns; his most notable screen credits were small roles in Blood Diamond (2006) and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, where he reunited with Sommers. That said, he has done plenty of television work; starring in shows such as 24, NCIS, Bones, Psych, and Alias. According to an interview with Charlie Rose, Vosloo is still recognised by people on the street… who mistake him for Billy Zane.
John Hannah (Jonathan Carnahan)
Despite opting to return for both Mummy sequels with Brendan Fraser, John Hannah has mostly spent the last decade in television. He’s carved out a niche for himself starring in crime dramas like McCallum, Rebus, New Street Law and In Cold Blood, as well as Charlie Brooker’s genre pastiche A Touch of Cloth. He had a recurring role in the first two seasons of Spartacus, and most recently became a regular character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when he joined Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 2016. So, it’s only a matter of time before we find out he’ll be in Infinity War.
Kevin J. O’Connor (Beni Gabor)
Kevin J. O’Connor is a favourite of director Stephen Sommers. After they worked together on The Mummy Sommers cast O’Connor in Van Helsing, where he played Igor, as well as giving him the role of Doctor Mindbender in G.I. Joe. He’s also appeared in two of Paul Thomas Anderson‘s films: in The Master he plays an acolyte of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s charismatic cult leader, while in There Will Be Blood he played “Henry”, an impostor who claims to be the brother of Daniel Plainview.
Patricia Velásquez (Anck-Su-Namun)
Though Imhotep’s lover Anck-Su-Namun was basically a plot device in the first film, by the time The Mummy Returns rolled around, Venezuelan actor Patricia Velásquez got upgraded to a full-on speaking role. Fans of Arrested Development may recognise her as Marta Estrella, an actress on the Spanish soap opera El Amor Prohibido who ends up in a love triangle with G.O.B. and Michael Bluth. Velásquez is also a founding member of the Wayúu Tayá Foundation, which assists the indigenous population of Venezuela.
Oded Fehr (Ardeth Bay)
Following his role as Medjai warrior and all-around heartthrob Ardeth Bay (more like Ardeth Bae, are we right?), Israeli actor Oded Fehr jumped to the Resident Evil franchise for three movies between 2004 and 2012. He’s also had plenty of television work, starring as the main antagonist in Season 7 of Charmed and appearing in Law and Order: Los Angeles, NCIS, and 24: Legacy among others.
Omid Djalili (Warden Gad Hassan)
The Mummy was Omid Djalili’s acting debut, and since then he’s gone on to star in films such as Notting Hill, The World is Not Enough, Gladiator, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – roles which, unfortunately, tend to lean into stereotypes about Middle-Eastern people. As a standup comedian, Djalili’s become a near-permanent presence on British television, making regular appearances on Live at the Apollo as well as just about every panel show you can think of.