15 Things You Never Knew About 'The Mummy' on its 20th Anniversary
It's been 20 years since Universal delivered one of the best movie reboots of all time in "The Mummy." No amount of lackluster sequels, direct-to-video spinoffs or re-reboots will dull the appeal of this modern-day classic. Celebrate that anniversary with some fun facts you might not know about the making of "The Mummy."
1. Universal originally planned on rebooting "The Mummy" as a low-budget horror film in the early 1990's. Clive Barker was attached to direct, and the film would have focused on a modern-day museum curator attempting to raise an army of undead mummies.
2.Tom Cruise was originally offered the lead role but turned it down. Cruise would go on to star in the 2017 reboot instead.
3. Because of the dangerous political situation in Egypt, most of the filming had to be done in Morocco instead.
4. Even Morocco had its significant dangers. All the main cast members had to have kidnapping insurance. Director Stephen Sommers opted not to inform his cast of this detail until after production wrapped.
6. Fraser's colleagues didn't fare much better. Everyone on set was required to drink a specially created beverage every two hours in order to stay hydrated, and numerous crew members were hospitalized after being bitten or stung by poisonous animals.
7. The collapsing library stunt was achieved in a single take. That's fortunate for the crew, as rebuilding the set would have taken a full day's work.
8. The character Ardeth Bay was originally supposed to have been killed off in the film's climax, but Sommers rewrote that part after realizing he liked Oded Fehr too much. Fehr would instead reprise his role in "The Mummy Returns."
9. Bay is also intended as an homage to the 1932 film. In that version, Imhotep himself takes up the cover identity of Ardeth Bay (an anagram for "Death by Ra") when he tries to pass himself off as a modern Egyptian.
11. That cloak wasn't the only classic Hollywood prop o be re-purposed during production. Many of the plastic dummies used to depict Imhotep's victims were previously featured in 1985's "Lifeforce."
12. Sommers originally planned on paying tribute to the classic Universal logo during the opening of the film. While he abandoned the idea, he re-purposed it in 2004's "Van Helsing" instead.
13. If you're wondering how scarabs could survive so long in Imhotep's tomb without a food source, an earlier draft of the screenplay revealed that the scarabs themselves were affected by Imhotep's curse after biting him.
14. There are technically eight films in this incarnation of the "Mummy" franchise. The original film spawned two direct sequels and the 2003 spinoff "The Scorpion King," which itself currently has three sequels and one prequel.
15. "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns" also inspired an animated series that ran for two seasons between 2001 and 2003.