‘Mummy 3’ rounds out cast, replaces Weisz with Maria Bello

May 15, 2007

Up until now, I had been hopeful that the latest installment in The Mummy franchise would be able to pull off another good, if not great, movie with Mummy 3:  Curse of the Dragon.  My hopes were dashed with the news that studio has decided to recast the role of Evie O’Connell.

Fraser and WeiszWe already knew that Rachel Weisz, who played the role of Evie in the first two films, would not be joining the cast of Mummy 3 due to scheduling conflicts. 

I actually had no problem with this news.  I liked the idea of a father-son adventure.  What better way to extend the life of a franchise with an aging action hero than to give him a son that’ll carry on the adventure?  In fact, I believe Indiana Jones is trying the same technique for its fourth installment.  Besides I liked what we saw of Alex O’Connell in The Mummy Returns and am interested in how he grew up.

Maria BelloA father-son adventure would allow the franchise to continue without Weisz.  Her absence could be explained early on and it would leave the door open for Weisz to return in a later movie.  If a female lead is needed, a love interest for Alex could always be added.  But apparently, no one at the studio is listening to me.  Variety announced that Maria Bello will replace Weisz as Evie.

I personally have nothing against Bello.  I liked her as the no-nonsense bar owner on Coyote Ugly and as Mel Gibson’s girlfriend in Payback.  I even liked her short stint on ER as Dr. Anna Del Amico.  But you just don’t replace an actress on a well-established franchise.  Fans will notice.  By doing so, the studio has already said that it’s not out to make the best sequel that it can.

With so many options available — rewriting the script, casting another female lead in a different role, postponing the film until Weisz is available, the studio took the easy (and probably cheap) way out.  Fans of the Mummy franchise will definitely notice.  And this one is not happy about the decision.  This sequel has just move down to my wait until it comes out on DVD list.

Bello joins a returning Brendan Fraser who will reprise his role as Rick O’Connell and Luke Ford as their son Alex (despite my previous report that Alex Pettyfer would have this role). 

(photos courtesy of filmmonthly.com)

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With Weisz out, Mummy 3 gets a title and a revised plot

April 22, 2007

The third installment in the Mummy franchise has finally been named.  The sequel to The Mummy and The Mummy Returns will be called Mummy 3:  Curse of the Dragon and as reported in my earlier post will be a father-son adventure, according to IESB.net.

The Mummy ReturnsWith Rachel Weisz (Evy O’Connell) officially out of the picture, the script is being retooled to focus on the O’Connell men.  Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) and his son Alex (Alex Pettyfer Luke Ford) will visit China where they battle the mummy of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shihuang, played by Jet Li. 

While I’m unclear as to how Qin is resurrected, Qin has a purpose — to take over the world (like all resurrected mummies) using his warriors who were cursed by being turned into terracotta statues.  I’m not up on my Chinese history, but I hear that the plot seems to have connections with China’s heritage including the real terracotta warriors.

While fans  (my husband included) are jumping ship based on Weisz’ absence, I’m still optimistic about Mummy 3:  Curse of the Dragon.  The father-son adventure thing worked for the third chapter of Indian Jones.  I loved Fraser and Weisz’ chemistry in the first two movies, but it’ll be nice to see what kind of bonding the father-son duo can muster.  And a change of scenery — from Egypt to China — will do the franchise some good.

The movie is scheduled to begin filming this summer in Montreal and is expected to be released in July 2008.  Until then, we’ll just have to wait and see.


Mummy 3 to be the Adventures of Alex O’Connell

April 13, 2007

Scheduled to be released in July 2008, Mummy 3, the fourth movie in the Mummy franchise (if you include the Scorpian King) will focus on the adventures of Alex O’Connell, the son of Rick (Branden Fraser) and Evy (Rachel Weisz). 

The Mummy ReturnsAs we saw in the The Mummy Returns, trouble just seems to naturally find smart-aleck Alex, who is now growing up and eager to join his dad in the family business of treasure hunting.

Cinemablend reports that Universal is looking at casting Brit Alex Pettyfer (Stormbreaker) as the now older Alex O’Connell in Mummy 3

Together with Branden Fraser, who just sealed his deal to reprise his role according to Vanity, Alex will face the mummy of the first Emperor of Qin (Jet Li) as the villain in this sequel directed by Rob Cohen (xXx, Fast and the Furious).

But alas, the O’Connell boys’ adventures will be sans mom.  Vanity also reports that Weisz will not be returning to reprise her roles as Evy O’Connell.   Weisz, who won an Oscar last year for playing a pregnant woman in The Constant Gardner while she herself was pregnant in real life, is already appearing in four movies to be released in 2008 including Sin City 2.  No word yet if John Hannah will return as Uncle Jonathan.

Both The Mummy and The Mummy Returns are staples in our house, so I look forward this sequel.  Personally, I’m not familiar with Pettyfer’s work, but hope he can take Freddie Boath’s place as the always-in-trouble Alex.  Weisz will be missed, but I’m glad that at least Fraser will be returning.  My list of movies to see in 2008 is already starting to fill.