Brendan Fraser Is Open to a Fourth 'Mummy' Movie, Explains Why Tom Cruise's Reboot Flopped

The actor first took on the role of Rick O'Connell in 1999.

Brendan Fraser first took on the role of Rick O'Connell in The Mummy back in 1999, and while he went on to star in two other films in the action-adventure franchise, he hasn't reprised the beloved character since 2008’s The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Now, nearly 15 years later, the 53-year-old actor is opening up about whether he'd ever revisit the role again.

"I don’t know how it would work,” Fraser tells Variety in an interview published Wednesday. “But I’d be open to it if someone came up with the right conceit.”

When the franchise was rebooted in 2017, it was Tom Cruise who took on the challenge of playing the lead in the Mummy film. However, the movie performed poorly at the box office -- leading all plans for more films in the Dark Universe series to be canceled -- and Fraser explains why he believes the reboot flopped.

“It is hard to make that movie,” he says. “The ingredient that we had going for our Mummy, which I didn’t see in that film, was fun. That was what was lacking in that incarnation. It was too much of a straight-ahead horror movie. The Mummy should be a thrill ride, but not terrifying and scary.”  

“I know how difficult it is to pull it off,” Fraser adds. “I tried to do it three times.”

More recently, Fraser transformed into a 600-pound man for Darren Aronofsky's The Whale, which landed him a six-minute standing ovation when it debuted at the 2022 Venice Film Festival last month. In videos that surfaced online of the touching moment, Fraser can be seen getting visibly emotional as the crowd cheers.

"The standing ovation for #TheWhale was so enthusiastic, Brendan Fraser tried to leave the theater but the crowd’s applause made him stay. #Venezia79," Variety Editor-in-Chief Ramin Setoodeh tweeted at the time, also sharing a clip of Fraser taking a bow."

Fraser's Mummy Returns co-star, Dwayne Johnson, couldn't help but share his excitement for the actor's success. "Man this makes me so happy to see this beautiful ovation for Brendan," Johnson tweeted, reposting Setoodeh's video. "He supported me coming into his Mummy Returns franchise for my first ever role, which kicked off my Hollywood career. Rooting for all your success brother and congrats to my bud Darren Aronofsky. #TheWhale."

In the film, Fraser portrays an isolated writing teacher whose health is in life-threatening decline. His character strugglers to reconnect with his teenage daughter, who is played by Sadie Sink.

"My journey to where I am now has been to explore as many characters as I can and this presented the biggest challenge to me that I wanted," Fraser said during a press conference about the movie. "By far and away, I think that Charlie is the most heroic man I have ever played because his super power is to see the good in others and bring that out in him and, in that process, he's on his journey of salvation."