The Mummy Star Brendan Fraser Shares Why Tom Cruise Reboot Flopped

Back in 2017, Universal Pictures embarked on the ambitious task of reviving its iconic Universal Monsters for a shared universe of reboots, but the first entry, The Mummy, was a critical failure, which star of the 1999 The Mummy Brendan Fraser claimed was due to the lack of fun in the Tom Cruise film. Back in 1932, Boris Karloff starred in The Mummy, which was a creepy adventure, while Fraser's film was more of a swashbuckling adventure. The 2017 reboot, which was meant to kick off the "Dark Universe," attempted to embrace the concept's horror roots, while also injecting impressive action sequences.

"It is hard to make that movie," Fraser admitted to Variety. "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."

With Fraser's film going on to inspire two follow-ups, clearly his take on the material was a success, though with it largely being absent of straightforward horror elements, it was a different tone than the original. However, the Dark Universe was intentionally embracing a different tone, though that approach seemingly wasn't what audiences were interested in.

Since the early days of cinema, characters like The Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, The Wolf Man, and The Invisible Man cemented themselves as horror icons, and while incarnations of these archetypes have been brought to life over the years, prior to the Dark Universe there had been a lapse in proper revivals of the characters. The Mummy was a high-profile attempt to bring the figures back to their rightful glory, which included stars like Cruise, Javier Bardem, and Russell Crowe being announced as joining the franchise.

Cruise's The Mummy went on to take in $410 million worldwide, which is nothing to scoff at, but with a reported budget close to that figure, the experience was considered a wash financially. With the film's critical reviews calculated to just 15% according to aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the reaction from audiences was immensely disappointing, resulting in the entire concept of the Dark Universe being delayed indefinitely. Thanks to the success of The Invisible Man in 2020, which reinterpreted the source material, some talks of reviving abandoned plans for the Dark Universe emerge throughout the year.

Stay tuned for details on the future of the Dark Universe.

What do you think of Fraser's remarks? Let us know in the comments or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!