Time has a funny way of changing how people look at movies. Some films that were critically panned turn out to have far more depth than expected, while films that raked in the cash and/or praise don’t hold up. Stephen Sommers’ The Mummy falls into the former category, as fans have come to appreciate its blend of horror, action, and comedy over the years. Those fans packed Emerald City Comic Con’s main stage on Saturday in order to view a panel with stars Brendan Fraser (Rick O’Connell) and Oded Fehr (Ardeth Bey). Amy Ratcliffe served as moderator for the panel.
The duo talked about how the film has gathered a passionate fanbase nearly 20 years after its debut. Fraser revealed that he and other cast members thought the film would be the end of their careers and were surprised when it took off. Fehr said that most of the autographs he signed were for fans’ moms. “I’m popular with moms,” he said with a laugh. They also had nothing but praise for their co-star Rachel Weisz. Fraser correctly identified Evie O’Connell as “a badass librarian”. When the subject of Tom Cruise’s Mummy film and The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor came up, they diplomatically referred to it as “the elephant in the room”.
When discussing what went on while filming The Mummy, the duo had plenty of hilarious behind-the-scenes stories. Fraser revealed that kidnapping insurance was taken out on the cast and that Fehr chose to stay behind in the Moroccan desert while other crew members went back to their hotel. Fehr joked that he was essentially wearing “a dress and heels” for his first ever big role; he was surprised when Sommers asked him to come back for The Mummy Returns. They even discussed their ad-lib moments – for Fraser, it was the scene where Rick pokes Imhotep in the eyes (he even said he was inspired by The Three Stooges) while Fehr came up with Bey’s line “This is my first bus ride” after the Medjai warrior survived a sandstorm. “I’m…not good at improv,” Fehr joked.
Prior to discussing The Mummy, Ratcliffe asked the duo about their other projects. For Fraser, he talked about Doom Patrol and how he was drawn to Robotman because “Cliff Steele is a better person as a machine than he was as a person.” He then revealed that an upcoming episode of Doom Patrol‘s fourth season would be a “full-blown musical”. Fehr discussed his tenure on Star Trek Discovery, saying that he was overcome with emotion when viewing the Discovery bridge. “I called my wife to tell her, ‘I’m on the bride, honey!’ And she says, ‘What bridge’?” he said, drawing uproarious laughter from the crowd.
A Q&A session followed, which featured Fehr and Fraser reminiscing on misbehaving camels, CGI insects, and Arnold Voosloo killing scorpions with his bare hands. When it was my turn at the mic, I asked Fehr about his thoughts on voice acting given his roles as Doctor Fate in Justice League Unlimited and Ra’s al Ghul in Young Justice. “We were just talking about that on the way here!” he replied, before saying that it felt easier due to the lack of pressure. “You don’t even have to wear pants!” Fraser added.
Given the earthshaking applause that Fraser and Fehr received, as well as the packed house, it’s safe to say that The Mummy is truly a cinematic masterpiece. And if Universal ever wanted to revisit the franchise, I’m sure fans would line up around the block to support it – Ardeth Bey, Monster Hunter could carry a whole trilogy.
The Mummy is available to stream on Peacock.