For the last 25 years, the iconic movie The Mummy, starring Brendan Fraser, has been ruling the hearts of fans. As a tribute, the action-adventure classic was recently re-released in theaters in North America to celebrate its 25th anniversary. According to Box Office Mojo, the film grossed around $1 million across 1,200 screens, with fans rushing to relive the nostalgia.

Besides making audiences relive the adventure, the film director, Stephen Sommers, took the opportunity to debunk some old rumors about how the cast was chosen.

Stephen Sommers
Stephen Sommers directing | Credits: Rotten Tomatoes

The Mummy‘s re-screening brought the director back to the past, as Sommers recalled the rumor of casting Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt for the lead role of Rick O’Connell, played by Fraser.

Stephen Sommers Debunks Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt Casting Rumors for The Mummy

The Mummy (1999)
The Mummy (1999) | Credits: IMDb)

In the context of the new The Mummy movie, there were rumors that Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt were the original choices for the role of the lead actor. However, Stephen Sommers has dismissed these talks and revealed what happened in the casting. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said,

“My editor Bobby [Ducsay] is my main critic, and even before I finished the script, Bob was like, “Oh, this is Brendan Fraser.” I don’t think I’d even seen George of the Jungle at that point. We knew that the hero had to be a tough guy but with a heart.”

“Recently, I read an article saying that we went out to Tom Cruise and then Brad Pitt. I’m like, “No, we only went to Brendan.” Brendan loved it right away. The studio had a list of actresses like Ashley Judd and other young American actresses. I said, “They’re all American. She should be English.” So Rachel was the gal, and off we went.”

Also read: “He balked at taking direction from a green director”: Tom Cruise’s Ego Reportedly Came in the Way of Him Starring in The Shawshank Redemption

Sommers clearly said that Brendan Fraser was the only person to be accepted for the role from the very beginning. His physical approach, comic timing, and charisma made him the ideal choice. The director also stated that Universal Studios was not looking for a big name because the title of the movie itself is the main attraction.

Sommers also dismissed the rumors of considering Sylvester Stallone, as he was a big star himself, and the studio was also not ready to spend too much on casting him.

Tom Cruise Failed to Reboot the Franchise With The Mummy

The Mummy (2017)
The Mummy (2017) | via Universal Pictures YouTube

Although Tom Cruise was never approached in the first The Mummy franchise, he was eventually approached in the 2017 reboot of the series. It was supposed to be the first step in creating the Dark Universe series for Universal Pictures. However, the movie did not live up to expectations and it failed to recreate the impact of its predecessors.

Cruise’s screen presence, along with the studio’s efforts to give a fresh spark to the franchise failed miserably. According to Variety, many sources related to the production have connected this to Cruise’s control over the script and post-production.

Also read: “There aren’t a lot of guys at all who look like me”: Dwayne Johnson Was Devastated After Losing a Role to Tom Cruise That He Felt He Was Born to Play

It is said that Cruise’s contract gave him complete control over the creative process on set. Although it can be thought that there’s nothing wrong with Cruise’s vision for perfection, it might also be the case that too much control failed to keep the right level of balance that the original The Mummy had.

In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sommers revealed that he felt kind of insulted because he was never contacted for the reboot of the franchise. He also said that he knows nobody from Universal Pictures now, and it will take something special to bring him in once again.

Also read: ‘The Mummy should…..not be terrifying and scary’: Brendan Fraser Criticizes Tom Cruise’s 2017 Mummy Movie, Open To Mummy 4 To Restart Franchise

The fact that the original The Mummy was re-released recently and Sommers’ confessions show the reason why it is still loved by the audience. With the fate of the franchise uncertain, it will be interesting to see if the studio decides to continue with its vision of Dark Universe or not.

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