With the popularity of reboots and nostalgia sequels, the hope for a The Mummy 4 movie has been high—but it would need to avoid some of the mistakes made by its predecessors. The first The Mummy movie is still considered a success and has become a cult classic. However, the performance of the subsequent sequels saw a steady decline in audiences’ interest. This wasn’t because people were no longer thrilled by tales of the undead (or Brendan Fraser’s rugged Rick O’Connell character) but because the franchise struggled to learn from its mistakes.


When The Mummy was released, it proved to be the fun action thriller that audiences sought. The Mummy Returns attempted to duplicate this success, and though it didn’t quite meet the same standard, it checked several of the boxes that pleased audiences the first time around. However, it also made a few mistakes that contributed to the tapering of interest. Then, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor hit the theaters, and it not only repeated these mistakes but added serval of its own. Now, if The Mummy 4 were to be a success, it would need to have learned from all those that came before.RELATED: Why The Mummy’s Hom-Dai Curse Never Made Any Sense

The Mummy 4 Can’t Recast Major Characters


The most significant mistake of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor was the decision to proceed with the film even though Evelyn O’Connell’s original actress, Rachel Weisz, could not return. Maria Bello instead played the character, and though her performance was more than adequate, it significantly disrupted the image of the character. The Mummy 3 underestimated the public love for the character, and it drastically impacted its success.

If The Mummy 4 were to become a reality, it would need to bring back all the central cast. This would mean Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser), Evelyn O’Connell (Weisz), and Jonathan Carnahan (John Hannah) would all need to be recognizable as their The Mummy counterparts. This is especially true since any return to The Mummy franchise would depend heavily on nostalgia—and recasting everyone’s favorite characters just wouldn’t do it.

The Mummy Franchise Doesn’t Need A Younger Focus


Alex O’Connell, Rick and Evie’s son, was first introduced in The Mummy Returns as a pretentious young boy who perfectly embodied the personalities of both his parents. It was a fun idea to play around with, and it helped audiences to see how far Rick and Evie had come since the first movie. However, this was taken further in Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, where the adult Alex became a stronger focus of the story. The problem is that it ultimately shifted Rick’s character from being the exciting action figure to little more than the angry father archetype.

This change was likely made in The Mummy 3 because of the assumption that audiences would rather have a young protagonist to cheer for. However, the failure of the third Mummy movie and the success of other films featuring “older” leads prove this isn’t the case. The Indiana Jones sequel movies demonstrate that audiences will love a nostalgic action hero no matter his age. Bringing in a younger protagonist is not only unnecessary but a little insulting. The Mummy 4 would need to focus on its legacy cast—not try to pander to audiences with a young face.

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The Mummy 4 Needs To Bring Back Rick & Evie’s Chemistry


Part of what made The Mummy so fun was watching Rick and Evie fall in love. They had those contradictory qualities (the brains and the brain) that made them just unlikely enough to be interesting—but it came down to the chemistry between Fraser and Weisz. Though their romance was as cheesy as expected from such a campy thriller movie, it still inspired shivers and contented sighs from audiences. Unfortunately, this began to fall away throughout the sequels until the casting change in Tomb of the Dragon Emperor eliminated their chemistry altogether.

Fraser and Bello might have been able to duplicate the chemistry from the previous films in The Mummy 3, but since the plot focused on Rick and Evie struggling to find their spark again, it all just fell apart. Of course, no couple will be as fiery 20 years into marriage as they were when they first found each other, but realism was never what The Mummy movies were after. If the characters were to be again brought to the screen in The Mummy 4, the fiery passion would need to come with them.

A Rich Villain Backstory Is A Mummy Franchise Must

The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor digital Jet Li (1)

Though The Mummy Returns didn’t quite live up to the expectations set by The Mummy, it did well by diving deeper into the already fascinating history of the central villain, Imhotep. Tomb of the Dragon Emperor introduced a new villain (which wasn’t necessarily a mistake), but the Emperor’s story didn’t bring the same kind of thrill as his predecessor. Imhotep was both sympathetic and terrible.

The things Imhotep did both disgusted and delighted audiences. His love for Anck-Su-Namun was full of forbidden passion, and his decision to bring her back to life was both creepy and deliciously romantic. In comparison, the Dragon Emperor’s desire for power and immortality fell flat, leaving him entirely forgettable. The Mummy 4 would need a villain that, like Imhotep, leaves audiences questioning whether they hate or sympathize with them. Ultimately, being undead with an army of even more undead just isn’t enough.

RELATED: Was The Mummy’s Anck-Su-Namun A Real Person?

The Mummy 4 Needs To Balance Comedy & Action


The first The Mummy movie was already dancing in dangerous territory with its comedy. Evelyn’s drunken flirting and Jonathan’s general goofiness weren’t exactly grade-A comedy. However, it worked because it was balanced with just the right amount of action. The Mummy Returns started shifting a little too far into the silly category, but it ultimately pulled off a balance. However, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, though full of action, just didn’t land with its comedy.

On the other hand, the 2017 reboot of The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, jumped entirely in the opposite direction. The film lacked any amount of fun, whether silly or otherwise. It was all action and horror through and through, which meant it lost a great deal of the flavor that made The Mummy franchise successful, to begin with. The 2017 The Mummy and Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’s flop proves that The Mummy 4 would need to return to the golden formula from the first movie—and maybe even improve on it.

Imhotep Shouldn’t Return For The Mummy 4

The mummy imhotep real

Though the villain of Tomb for the Dragon Emperor failed to leave an impact, this might be because The Mummy Returns had set the third installment up for failure. Since Imhotep was so thrilling in the first movie, he was brought back in the second. However, this established a president. Having the same villain in two consecutive films made it harder to shift gears in The Mummy 3. If the Mummy franchise had hoped to continue making films, it should have either continued with the same villain (which still would have gotten old) or started right out in the second Mummy movie with a new villain.

Enough time has passed now that The Mummy 4 would be free to bring back previous villains or start completely fresh. Still, if the Mummy franchise were to learn from its past mistakes, it would leave Imhotep in the grave. If the original mummy were to return for The Mummy 4, it would mean that any additional sequels would be nearly impossible without him. However, if The Mummy 4 were to establish itself with a fresh but equally exciting villain, the door would be open for the franchise to continue in any direction instead of limiting itself as the previous mistakes in the franchise did.

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