The Mummy (franchise)

The Mummy is the title of several horror-adventure film series centered on an ancient Egyptian priest who is accidentally resurrected, bringing with him a powerful curse, and the ensuing efforts of heroic archaeologists to stop him. These three series of films accompany a spin-off film series, two comic book adaptations, three video games, an animated television series, and a roller coaster ride.

Universal Monster Films series (1932–1955)

The original series of films consisted of five installments which starred iconic horror actors such as Boris Karloff (only in the original one, as Imhotep); Tom Tyler and Lon Chaney Jr. as Kharis; and lastly Eddie Parker, who played Klaris, a cousin of Kharis. The series of films is a part of the larger Universal Monsters franchise.

Year Film The Mummy actor
1932 The Mummy Boris Karloff
1940 The Mummy's Hand Tom Tyler
1942 The Mummy's Tomb
Lon Chaney Jr.
The Mummy's Ghost
The Mummy's Curse
1955 Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy Eddie Parker

Hammer Horror series (1959–1971)

In 1959, the British Hammer Film Productions began its own The Mummy series of films. These include the following:

Stephen Sommers series (1999–2015)

The Mummy

Trilogy box set cover
Directed by Stephen Sommers
The Mummy and The Mummy Returns
Rob Cohen
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Produced by Sean Daniel
James Jacks
Screenplay by Stephen Sommers
Alfred Gough
Miles Millar
Starring List of The Mummy characters
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Alan Silvestri
Randy Edelman
John Debney (additional music)
Edited by Bob Ducsay
Ray Bushey III
Kelly Matsumoto
Joel Negron
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
Running time
366 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $323 million
Box office $1.415 billion


Originally a proposed remake of The Mummy would have been directed by horror filmmaker/writer Clive Barker. Barker’s vision for the film was violent, with the story revolving around the head of a contemporary art museum who turns out to be a cultist trying to reanimate mummies.[1][2] Barker's take was "dark, sexual and filled with mysticism",[3] and that, "it would have been a great low-budget movie".[1]

In 1999, Stephen Sommers wrote and directed a remake of The Mummy, loosely based on the original film of 1932. This film switches genres from the emphasis on horror to adventure, concentrating more on action sequences and effects, and a higher element of Egyptian lore. The film became a box office success spawning two sequels and a cancelled fourth film, a spin-off series, and an animated television series. The first two films received mixed reviews, while the third one received mostly negative reviews.

The Mummy Trilogy

Cancelled Fourth Film

After Tomb of the Dragon Emperor was released, actress Maria Bello stated that another Mummy film will "absolutely" be made, and that she had already signed on.[4] Actor Luke Ford was signed on for three films as well.[5] But in 2012, Universal Pictures announced they've cancelled the film.

The Scorpion King spin-off series (2002–2015)

This spin-off series follows the adventures of Mathayus, who would later be known as the Scorpion King and, eventually, become a foe in The Mummy Returns. The films are as follows:

Critical and public response

Original Trilogy
Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore IMDB
Critics Audience
The Mummy 56% (113 reviews) 75% 48 (34 reviews) B 7.0 (317 080 votes)
The Mummy Returns 47% (158 reviews) 63% 48 (31 reviews) A- 6.3 (247 569 votes)
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor 12% (170 reviews) 30% 31 (33 reviews) B- 5.2 (117 633 votes)
Average 38% 56% 42 B 6.2
The Scorpion King
The Scorpion King 41% (156 reviews) 38% 45 (30 reviews) B 5.5 (101 827 votes)
The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior - 18% - - 3.8 (10 588 votes)
The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption - 23% - - 3.7 (6 167 votes)
The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power - 18% - - 4.2 (1 504 votes)
Average 41% 25% 45 B 4.3
Total Average 39% 37% 43 B 5.1

Feature films

Number Title Release date Director Continuity
1 The Mummy December 22, 1932 Karl Freund Universal Monsters
2 The Mummy's Hand September 20, 1940 Christy Cabanne
3 The Mummy's Tomb October 23, 1942 Harold Young
4 The Mummy's Ghost July 7, 1944 Reginald Le Borg
5 The Mummy's Curse December 22, 1944 Leslie Goodwins
6 Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy June 23, 1955 Charles Lamont
7 The Mummy September 25, 1959 Terence Fisher Hammer Stand-alone Films
8 The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb October 18, 1964 Michael Carreras
9 The Mummy's Shroud March 15, 1967 John Gilling
10 Blood from the Mummy's Tomb October 14, 1971 Seth Holt
Michael Carreras
11 The Mummy May 7, 1999 Stephen Sommers The Mummy Trilogy
12 The Mummy Returns April 29, 2001
13 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor August 1, 2008 Rob Cohen
14 The Mummy June 9, 2017 Alex Kurtzman Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe

Cast and characters

Character Original films The Mummy Trilogy Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe Animated series Spin-off film series
The Mummy
The Mummy
The Mummy Returns
The Mummy:
Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

The Mummy
The Mummy:
The Animated Series

The Scorpion King
The Scorpion King 2:
Rise of a Warrior

The Scorpion King 3:
Battle for Redemption

The Scorpion King 4:
Quest for Power

Richard “Rick” O'Connell   Brendan Fraser   John Schneider  
Evelyn Carnahan-O'Connell
Princess Nefertiri
  Rachel Weisz Maria Bello   Grey DeLisle  
Jonathan Carnahan   John Hannah   Tom Kenny  
Alexander Rupert O'Connell   Freddie Boath Luke Ford   Chris Marquette  
The Scorpion King
"The Rock"
"The Rock"
Michael Copon Victor Webster
The Mummy
Boris Karloff Arnold Vosloo Mentioned   Jim Cummings  
Ardeth Bay Boris Karloff Oded Fehr   Nicholas Guest  
Meela Nais / Anck-su-namun Zita Johann Patricia Velásquez   Lenore Zann  
Pharaoh Seti I   Aharon Ipalé  
Cassandra   Kelly Hu   Kelly Hu  
Beni Gabor   Kevin J. O'Connor  
Dr. Allen Chamberlain   Jonathan Hyde  
Dr. Terrance Bay   Erick Avari  
Isaac Henderson   Stephen Dunham  
David Daniels   Corey Johnson  
Bernard Burns   Tuc Watkins  
Warden Gad Hassan   Omid Djalili  
Captain Winston Havlock   Bernard Fox  
Baltus Hafez   Alun Armstrong  
Lock-Nah   Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje  
Izzy Buttons   Shaun Parkes  
Red Willits   Bruce Byron  
Jacques Clemons   Joe Dixon  
Jacob Spivey   Tom Fisher  
Qin Shi Huang
The Dragon Emperor / The Mummy
  Jet Li
General Yang   Anthony Wang
Lin   Isabella Leong
Mad Dog Maguire   Liam Cunningham
Professor Roger Wilson   David Calder
General Ming Guo   Russell Wong
Zi-Yuan   Michelle Yeoh
Tyler Colt   Tom Cruise
Jenny Halsey   Annabelle Wallis
Princess Ahmanet
The Mummy
  Sofia Boutella
Colonel Gideon Forster   Courtney B. Vance
Dr. Henry Jekyll   Russell Crowe


Year Film Director(s) Producer(s) Writer(s) Composer(s) Editor(s) Cinematographer Distributor(s)
1932 The Mummy Karl Freund Carl Laemmle, Jr. Screenplay:
John L. Balderston

Nina Wilcox Putnam
Richard Schayer
James Dietrich Milton Carruth Charles Stumar
Universal Pictures
1999 The Mummy Stephen Sommers Sean Daniel
James Jacks
Stephen Sommers

Stephen Sommers
Lloyd Fonvielle
Kevin Jarre
Jerry Goldsmith Bob Ducsay Adrian Biddle
2001 The Mummy Returns Stephen Sommers Alan Silvestri Bob Ducsay
Kelly Matsumoto
2008 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Rob Cohen Sean Daniel
James Jacks
Bob Ducsay
Stephen Sommers
Alfred Gough
Miles Millar
Randy Edelman Joel Negron
Kelly Matsumoto
Simon Duggan
2017 The Mummy Alex Kurtzman Sean Daniel
Alex Kurtzman
Roberto Orci
Chris Morgan
Jon Spaihts Brian Tyler Paul Hirsch Ben Seresin

Derivative works

The entrance to Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Two video game adaptations of The Mummy (1999) were developed by Rebellion Developments and published by Konami in 2000: an action-adventure game for the PlayStation and PC[6] as well as a Game Boy Color puzzle game.[7] Dreamcast version was announced but later cancelled in the late 2000. The Mummy Returns released in late 2001 for the PlayStation 2 and developed by Blitz Games, the Game Boy Color version was developed by GameBrains, both versions were published by Universal Interactive. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor was released in 2008, developed by Eurocom for the PlayStation 2 and the Wii, the Nintendo DS released was developed by A2M, all versions were published by Sierra Entertainment. In March 2012, a massive multiplayer online game known as The Mummy Online was released.

In May 2001, Chaos! Comics released the first of a three issue series inspired by the film, titled 'The Mummy Valley of the Gods'.[8] The plot was supposed to take place between the first film and The Mummy Returns. Rick and Evelyn are on their honeymoon in Egypt and end up embarking on yet another adventure where they must unravel the mysteries of the Orb of Destiny and discover the location of the Valley of the Gods hidden beneath the sands. However, the second and third issues were never published.[9] This was most likely due to Chaos later filing bankruptcy in 2002 and selling the rights to all their titles at that time. Years later in 2008, another Mummy comic series was released by IDW Publishing, spanning four issues. This series was titled 'The Mummy: the Rise and Fall of Xango's Ax'. Unlike the preceding comic series, all of the planned issues were published.[10]

From 2001 until 2003, The Mummy: The Animated Series was made by Universal Animation Studios. It was based on the Stephen Sommers series of films and was set between 1934 and 1935. The series was later renamed The Mummy: Secrets of the Medjai.

The film also inspired a roller coaster ride named Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride in Universal Studios Theme Parks, Florida.[11] Similar rides can also be found in Hollywood and Singapore.[12]

Reboot and shared universe

Main article: The Mummy (2017 film)

On April 4, 2012, Universal Studios announced that they are developing a reboot of the series, with Jon Spaihts to write the film and Sean Daniel who produced the three films, will be returning as producer.[13] On May 1, 2012, Universal signed on with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman a two-year deal to produce the Mummy reboot through their K/O Paper Products banner.[14] On September 24, 2012, it was announced that Universal has set Len Wiseman to direct the film.[15] In December 2012, it was being said that The Mummy reboot will be different from the classic trilogy, it'll be a completely new take on the mythology, and it will be set in present day.[16] On February 14, 2013, Universal set The Hunger Games' writer Billy Ray to write a competitive draft for the Mummy reboot against Spaihts written script.[17] On July 31, 2013, director Wiseman has left the film project due of schedule conflicts.[18] On September 13, 2013, news reported that Mama's director Andrés Muschietti is in talks to direct the film.[19]

In October 2013, Orci spoke to IGN, hinted that both The Mummy and Van Helsing reboots will have a shared universe.[20] On November 27, 2013, Universal has set the film for an April 22, 2016 release.[21] On May 6, 2014, director Muschetti left the film due to creative differences, which Spaihts wrote the latest draft of the script, which reimagined The Mummy in modern-day with new characters not seen in previous iterations and a protagonist imbued with a human personality.[22] On July 16, 2014, Universal announced that they had tapped Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan to develop all classic movie monsters which include Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, and The Mummy.[23] The first film they will develop together will be The Mummy, for which they had begun the meetings.[23] So on July 30, Kurtzman was set to direct the film.[24] Next day, the film's release date was pushed back to March 27, 2017, when Universal announced the April 22 for its new film The Huntsman. The film's plot is set in Iraq and follows a Navy SEAL and his team that battle Mummies led by Ashurbanipal.[25]

On October 14, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Kurtzman and Spaihts has two scripts with a male and a female mummy villain.[26] On November 24, 2015, Variety reports that Tom Cruise is in talks to star in the film. Variety also reports that Cruise isn’t expected to produce, but he will play a major part in development.[27] On December 8, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Sofia Boutella is in talks for the female Mummy role in the reboot.[28] It was announced that Cruise and Boutella will star in the reboot with a June 9, 2017 release date.[29] In March 2016, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson are in talks for a role of an archaeologist and a member of the military.[30][31] The film began production in April 2016 located in Oxford, England.[32]


  1. 1 2 Slotek, Jim (May 2, 1999). "Unwrapping The Mummy". Toronto Sun.
  2. The Mummy That Wasn't", Cinescape (May 3, 1999).
  3. Hobson, Louis B (May 1, 1999). "Universal rolls out new, improved Mummy", Calgary Sun.
  4. Adler, Shawn (2008-03-10). "'Mummy 3' Star Maria Bello Talks About Taking Over For Rachel Weisz, Fighting An Invisible Baddie". MTV. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
  5. "Luke Ford Signed For Three 'Mummy' Films". Bloody-Disgusting. 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
  6. "The Mummy (PSX)". IGN. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  7. "The Mummy (GBC)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  8. "The Mummy Valley of the Gods (Issue List)". Comic Collector Live Database. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
  9. "The Mummy Valley of the Gods (Issue #2)". Comic Collector Live Database. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
  10. "The Mummy: the Rise and Fall of Xango's Ax (Issue List)". Comic Collector Live Database. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
  11. Universal Studios Hollywood - Revenge of the Mummy - the Ride
  12. Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride at Universal Orlando Resort
  13. Gallagher, Brian (4 April 2012). "'The Mummy' Gets Reboot from 'Prometheus' Writer Jon Spaihts". Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  14. "Universal Signs Kurtzman And Orci; Pair Takes On 'The Mummy' And 'Van Helsing'". 1 May 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  15. Fleming Jr, Mike (24 September 2012). "Len Wiseman Wrapping Up Deal To Helm Universal Reboot Of 'The Mummy'". Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  16. "The Mummy Remake to Be an Epic Horror Movie Set in Present Day America". 13 December 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  17. Brodesser-Akner, Claude (14 February 2013). "Starving for Mummy Reboot, Universal Hires Hunger Games Screenwriter to Pen Competing Script". Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  18. Sneider, Jeff (31 July 2013). "Director Len Wiseman Exits 'The Mummy' Reboot at Universal". Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  19. Kit, Borys (13 September 2013). "'Mama' Director in Talks to Helm 'Mummy' Reboot for Universal". Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  20. Tilly, Chris (18 October 2013). "Bob Orci Discusses Van Helsing Reboot". Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  21. "Universal Dates 'The Mummy' Reboot For April 2016, Pushes 'Warcraft' Out Of 'Star Wars' Slot". 27 November 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  22. Sneider, Jeff (6 May 2014). "'Mummy' Reboot Loses 'Mama' Director Andy Muschetti". Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  23. 1 2 Fleming Jr, Mike (16 July 2014). "Universal Taps Alex Kurtzman, Chris Morgan To Relaunch Classic Movie Monster Franchises". Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  24. Kit, Borys (30 July 2014). "Alex Kurtzman to Direct 'The Mummy' Reboot". Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  25. Williams, Celeb (October 22, 2014). "EXCLUSIVE: First Plot Details on Alex Kurtzman's 'The Mummy' Reboot". Superhero Movies News. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  26. Ford, Rebecca (October 14, 2015). "New Mummy in Universal's Monster Might Be Female". The Hollywood Reporter.
  27. Kroll, Justin (November 24, 2015). "Tom Cruise in Talks to Star in 'The Mummy' Reboot (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  28. Kit, Borys; Ford, Rebecca (December 8, 2015). "'Kingsman' Actress Sofia Boutella in Talks to Star in 'The Mummy' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  29. Kroll, Justin (January 21, 2016). "Tom Cruise's 'The Mummy' Gets New Release Date". Variety.
  30. Kroll, Justin (March 7, 2016). "Tom Cruise's 'Mummy' Reboot Casts Annabelle Wallis". Variety.
  31. Kit, Borys (March 8, 2016). "'New Girl' Star Jake Johnson Joins Tom Cruise in 'The Mummy' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  32. "Tom Cruise looks scared with Annabelle Wallis on set of new Mummy film".
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