The Mummy turns 25; original director slams the Tom Cruise remake

With The Mummy celebrating its 25th anniversary this weekend, the film’s director reflects on the 2017 reboot which infamously tanked.

Last Updated on May 29, 2024

the mummy 1999

1999 was an amazing year for movies. But, among all the classics like The Matrix, Fight Club, Being John Malkovich, Magnolia, Go, Three Kings, and so many more, one that often gets overlooked is The Mummy. Originally, the summer of ’99 was supposed to be all about Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, but a few weeks before that movie opened, The Mummy turned out to be an unexpected smash for Universal Pictures, with it spawning two sequels, a spin-off movie, and (less cool), a reboot. With the movie turning 25, the film’s director Stephen Sommers, revisited the film during an extended sit-down with THR. For those who may not be aware of his career, Sommers made a whole slew of super-fun adventure movies in the 90s, including a really solid re-imagining of The Jungle Book for Disney and the creature feature Deep Rising. The Mummy propelled him to the A-list, although he’s laid low since making Odd Thomas back in 2013. 

In the interview Sommers gives the scoop on how Brendan Fraser transformed himself into an action star for the franchise. He explains why he opted not to direct the third film in the franchise, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (although he produced it), and what he thinks of the 2017 reboot

Expectedly, he’s not a fan, telling THR, “I was kind of insulted because the writers and director [Alex Kurtzman] of that Tom Cruise one, no one ever contacted me. I contact people if I was going to take over somebody’s thing. The third one, which Rob [Cohen] directed, it’s kind of my baby. I didn’t want to step on his toes, so I helped produce it. But I had nothing to do with the Tom Cruise one. They never contacted me or called me. I was doing other things, and it’s not like I sat crying. I just think it’s common courtesy.”

Sommers also says he’d be game to revisit the franchise if the original stars, Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz were involved. “It would have to be something really special. Of course, I would work with all of those actors again.”

For our older readers, do you remember seeing The Mummy in theatres 25 years ago? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.