'The Mummy' at 25: Director Stephen Sommers reminisces

Released on May 7, 1999, the movie grossed $409 million globally, kickstarting a franchise that included two sequels and a spinoff

By CT Desk

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Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser in 'The Mummy'
Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser in 'The Mummy'

Published: Mon 13 May 2024, 4:40 PM

As 'The Mummy' celebrates its 25th anniversary, director Stephen Sommers took a trip down memory lane, recalling the film's journey from conception to box office success. Released on May 7, 1999, the movie grossed $409 million globally, kickstarting a franchise that included two sequels and a spinoff.

Sommers reminisced about the casting process, revealing that Brendan Fraser was always their first choice for the lead role of explorer Rick O’Connell. He also highlighted the importance of casting Rachel Weisz as Evelyn Carnahan, emphasizing the need for an English actress to bring authenticity to the character.


Director Stephen Sommers on the set of 'The Mummy'
Director Stephen Sommers on the set of 'The Mummy'

Despite initial doubts about the film's reception, Sommers credited a Super Bowl spot for generating buzz and changing perceptions. He expressed gratitude for the enduring popularity of 'The Mummy,' noting its frequent appearances on television and the positive impact on his career.

"It’s always on TV somewhere. And I know, especially because the residual checks are great. I hate to say it, but somehow it’s endeared itself to a lot of people," he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


"I suddenly had a panic attack. I’m thinking, “I love mummies and ancient Egypt, but maybe no one else will.” And then the 30-second Super Bowl spot came out. It went from nobody having any interest in seeing a Mummy movie to everybody like, “Holy shit. That was really cool.”"

Reflecting on the film's enduring appeal, Sommers acknowledged its place in popular culture and the joy it continues to bring audiences worldwide.

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