1999’s The Mummy Director Addresses the Tom Cruise Reboot

The Mummy director Stephen Sommers explains what bothers him most about the panned reboot starring Tom Cruise.

The Mummy, the version released in 1999, recently returned to theaters for its 25th anniversary, as it remains popular with its fans. That’s a stark contrast to the 2017 movie starring Tom Cruise, which was heavily panned upon release and not as fondly remembered by filmgoers.

Stephen Sommers, who directed the 1999 film and its 2001 sequel, The Mummy Returns, shared his thoughts on the 2017 reboot. He confirmed that he had no involvement with the film whatsoever, creative or otherwise, as nobody from the production ever reached out to him. Sommers said that he actually felt “insulted” by the radio silence from director Alex Kurtzman and writers David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, and Dylan Kussman. From his point of view, Sommers sees it as “common courtesy” to reach out to the previous filmmakers when doing a reboot, noting that he was still involved with 2008’s The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

The Mummy 2017

“Actually, I was kind of insulted because the writers and director [Alex Kurtzman] of that Tom Cruise one, no one ever contacted me,” Sommers said. “I contact people if I was going to take over somebody’s thing. The third one, which Rob [Cohen] directed, it’s kind of my baby. I didn’t want to step on his toes, so I helped produce it. But I had nothing to do with the Tom Cruise one. They never contacted me or called me. I was doing other things, and it’s not like I sat crying. I just think it’s common courtesy.”

“I was kind of insulted because the writers and director [Alex Kurtzman] of that Tom Cruise one, no one ever contacted me.”

Sommers also explained why he didn’t personally direct The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. He said that he felt like he felt like The Mummy and The Scorpion King felt complete when together, and he wasn’t up for continuing the story himself with a third installment. As Sommers noted, the difficulty in making third chapters had him interested from the start, and he knew that the recasting of Rachel Weisz’s character wouldn’t make things any easier.

Stephen Sommers Wasn’t Up for Directing Part 3

“I didn’t want to do the third movie because I just felt like the first two really came together,” he said. “I’m really proud of both of them. Third ones are just very hard. So I knew right off, I didn’t want to direct it, and Rachel wasn’t going to be in it. We always kind of joke that the third one is called The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, but it really doesn’t have a mummy in it. That’s when NBC bought Universal, and NBC was doing the Olympics in China. They’re like, ‘Is there any way you could do a Mummy movie in China?’”

The Mummy, from director Stephen Sommers, is currently streaming on Peacock.


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