Tom Cruise has re-teamed with two of the writers on the Mission: Impossible films–Davis Koepp and Alex Kurtzman–to launch the latest movie adaptation of The Mummy. It will be the fourth major cinematic adaptation of the franchise. The first was the Universal run that spanned from 1932 to 1955, followed by the four Hammer Film versions in the 60s and 70s, and most recently, the Stephen Sommers’ 1999-2008 Mummy trilogy. That last series also spawned four Scorpion King spin-off films.
1999’s The Mummy and 2001’s The Mummy Returns were box office hits, grossing almost $900 million combined worldwide. A few years before films like National Treasure and the return of Indiana Jones, the Mummy movies represented a welcomed return to a certain kind of classic Hollywood action/adventure movie that was largely lacking from theaters at the time.
The movies also served as breakouts for a number of actors. For some, it was their only major blockbuster before returning to smaller roles– deliberately, in most cases– while for others, it was just the beginning of what would be another decade or two at the top of Hollywood’s A-list. One actor in particular would eventually become a “rock” for a $5 billion car action franchise.
Where Are They Now? The Cast of The Mummy (And Returns).
15. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – The Scorpion King
While Dwayne Johnson will likely end up being more known as an actor than a wrestler when all is said and done, he was still very much The Rock when he first began wading into acting. After a few TV cameos, Johnson’s first role in a major Hollywood movie was in The Mummy Returns. Although his major breakthrough wouldn’t come until his starring role in the 2002 spin-off film The Scorpion King, Johnson’s path to being one of Hollywood’s most bankable action stars definitely began in the second Mummy movie.
Johnson spent the next decade building his resumé with a variety of roles ranging from action to comedy to animation. But it was with his entrance into the Fast and Furious franchise beginning with Fast Five that Johnson was catapulted into the upper stratosphere of Hollywood’s biggest names and top earners. The actor continues to star in one major Hollywood movie after another, following up The Fate of the Furious with the Baywatch movie reboot and the upcoming Jumanji sequel– and that’s just this year.
14. Arnold Vosloo – Imhotep
Getting to star as the titular big bad in The Mummy— aka Imhotep– is definitely Arnold Vosloo’s most famous role, but the actor was prolific before his breakout and has stayed plenty busy since.
Vosloo appeared in several major Hollywood films in the 2000s, including Blood Diamond and both G.I. Joe movies– where he would re-team with Mummy co-stars Dwayne Johnson, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Kevin J. O’Connor.
The bulk of his most notable work in recent years has been on television, where he has done one-0ff appearances on Alias, Gotham, Grimm, and Elementary, as well as multi-episode stints on 24, Bones, NCIS, Cape Town, Chuck, and most recently, the Amazon series Bosch.
13. Oded Fehr – Ardeth Bay
1999 was definitely Oded Fehr’s first breakout year, starring in both The Mummy— as warrior chieftain Ardeth Bay– and the hit Rob Schneider comedy Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. 2004 was an equally big year for the actor in terms of increased mainstream recognition, kicking off his three-movie stint in the Resident Evil film series, beginning his role as Dr. Fate in the Justice League Unlimited animated series, and playing the main villain in the seventh season of the TV show Charmed.
The bulk of the rest of Fehr’s work has been on television, appearing on shows such as Burn Notice, Medium, Law & Order, the 2009 reboot of V, NCIS, The Blacklist, and 24: Legacy. During the sixth season of the ABC TV series Once Upon a Time in a story arc based around Aladdin, Fehr played a live-action version of classic villain Jafar.
11. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje – Lock-Nah
Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s turn as Lock-Nah, a bodyguard for Imhotep’s army in The Mummy Returns, was one of the actor’s first blockbuster movies– but it certainly wasn’t his breakout role. That distinction belongs to the actor’s portrayal of convict Simon Adebisi on the HBO prison drama Oz. Akinnuoye-Agbaje then followed up his Mummy Returns appearance with another blockbuster, The Bourne Identity, before returning to another major television role as Mr. Eko on Lost.
Akinnuoye-Agbaje has continued to take on roles in both movies and TV series in recent years. On the television side, he has most recently played the title character for the FXX animated series Major Lazer as well as had a two-episode stint on Game of Thrones. Among his more notable film roles, he appeared as Kurse in Thor: The Dark World, played real-life NFL player Dave Duerson in the drama Concussion, and was Killer Croc in last year’s Suicide Squad.
10. Patricia Velásquez – Anck-Su-Namun/Meela
Patricia Velásquez– often considered the first Latina supermodel– decided to take acting classes in addition to her prolific modeling career. It only took a few short years before her breakthrough role in The Mummy as Anck-Su-Namun, concubine to Imhotep. Even after her character meets her end in the first Mummy, Velásquez still returned for the sequel, with her character being resurrected/reincarnated.
While Velásquez hasn’t had any other roles as big as her Mummy parts, the actress still worked steadily throughout the 2000s with various TV and movie roles–most notably in appearances on Ugly Betty, Arrested Development, and The L Word. She has also stayed busy with charity work, founding the Wayúu Tayá Foundatio, which raises money for the indigenous people of Venezuela, as well as dedicating aid to various other groups in need. She appeared on the 2012 season of The Apprentice on behalf of the foundation.
9. Aharon Ipalé – Pharaoh Seti I
Real-life ancient Egyptian pharaoh Seti I has been played by some of the most talented actors around; John Turturro in Exodus: Gods and Kings, Patrick Stewart in the animated The Prince of Egypt, and Aharon Ipalé in The Mummy (and later, again, in a filmed stage production of The Ten Commandments).
Veteran actor Ipalé had already been working for nearly 30 years when he appeared in The Mummy, with credits going back as early as the 1971 film adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof and also including Xanadu and Ishtar. The actor appeared in only two more major films after his three turns playing Seti I– 2007’s Charlie Wilson’s War with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, and 2016’s The Promise with Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac. However, he had some success in shifting to television work in his later years, with roles on Alias, Ray Donovan, and the Jack Black/Tim Robbins political comedy The Brink.
8. Corey Johnson – Mr. Daniels
Corey Johnson is one of those “Hey, it’s that guy!” actors who you might not know by name, but you’ll definitely know his face and have probably seen a dozen things he’s been in. One of the American treasure hunters in The Mummy who was eventually murdered, Johnson didn’t have a huge role in the film, but it nonetheless seemed to kick start his career in a big way. Since 1999, the actor’s resumé hasn’t seen a single year without at least a couple roles, everything from major movies, to TV show appearances, to video game voice work.
If you’re still not quite convinced where else besides The Mummy you might know Johnson from, maybe this list of things he’s been in will jog your memory: Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, Hellboy, Doctor Who (Chris Eccleston season), United 93, The Bourne Ultimatum, Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, Captain Phillips, Kingsman: The Secret Service, 24: Live Another Day, and Ex Machina.
7. Omid Djalili – Gad Hassan
After spending a few years growing his fame as a stand-up comedian, actor Omid Djalili broke into acting in a big way when he starred in three major Hollywood films in 1999: The Mummy (as prison warden Gad Hassan), Notting Hill, and The World is Not Enough— and then Gladiator the following year.
In the ensuing 17 years, Djalili has continued to add both major Hollywood movies– Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Spy Game, Over the Hedge, Sex and the City 2— and smaller roles to his growing acting portfolio.
Currently, he can be seen in the TV series Stan Lee’s Lucky Man and was a guest star in a 2017 episode of the current television incarnation of Thunderbirds Are Go. His most recent film appearance was in last year’s The Comedian’s Guide to Survival.
6. Alun Armstrong – Baltus Hafez
By the time Alun Armstrong played museum curator-turned-cult leader Baltus Hafez in The Mummy Returns, the actor had already appeared in over two dozen movies. Among the box office hits and cult classics to Armstrong’s name pre-Mummy are A Bridge Too Far, Krull, Patriot Games, Braveheart, and Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow. His total television appearances in the ’70s, ’80, and ’90s reach triple digits, including General Hospital, Tales From the Crypt, MacGyver, and Married…with Children. And that isn’t even getting into his incredibly prolific live theatre work during those decades!
Armstrong did a few more big-budget Hollywood movies after Mummy Returns, appearing in Van Helsing (also directed by Stephen Sommers) and Eragon. But most recently, he has made noteworthy appearances on TV shows including Downtown Abbey, Penny Dreadful, and the currently-airing Frontier. He has also remained active in the theatre up until fairly recently, appearing in a different production each year for 2012, 2013, and 2014.
5. Jonathan Hyde – Allen Chamberlain
For many of the actors in The Mummy, even the veterans, the movie was their first taste of big blockbuster Hollywood filmmaking. Prior to his role as archaeologist and treasure hunter Allen Chamberlain, Jonathan Hyde had already appeared in Titanic and in dual roles in Jumanji— so the whole Hollywood blockbuster thing was already been there, done that for him.
In fact, Hyde seemed to be done with that whole scene after Mummy, largely choosing smaller roles in the 2000s. He wouldn’t return to bigger mainstream films until 2015’s Guillermo Del Toro horror film Crimson Peak. What modern audiences will most likely know him from is his three-season stretch as Eldritch Palmer on the FX series The Strain, and as a voice on the Netflix animated series Trollhunters— both of which are also Del Toro productions, coincidentally.
4. Kevin J. O’Connor – Beni Gabor
Kevin J. O’Connor had packed a lot of movies into his thirteen years as a professional actor prior to appearing as wise-cracking treasure hunter guide Beni Gabor in The Mummy. He appeared in everything from silly comedies (Peggy Sue Got Married, Canadian Bacon) to dramatic fair (Steel Magnolias, Amistad) to action flicks (F/X2, Virtuosity) throughout the ’80s and ’90s.
Post-Mummy, in addition to appearing in Stephen Sommers’ other films Van Helsing and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, O’Connor also got in with acclaimed writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson, who cast him in There Will Be Blood and The Master. The actor has also appeared in several more TV shows, most notably in recurring roles on The Others, The Beast, The Mob Doctor, and Chicago P.D.
O’Connor’s most recent role was as the creepy “Yellow Card Man” in the Hulu miniseries 11.22.63 starring James Franco and based on the novel by Stephen King.
3. John Hannah – Jonathan Carnahan
Before joining the cast of The Mummy as treasure hunter– and brother to Rachel Weisz’s character– Jonathan Carnahan, John Hannah was best known for his acclaimed role in 1994’s Four Weddings and a Funeral. He also spent three seasons as the titular character in the popular mid-90s British TV series McCallum.
Beyond appearing in all three Mummy installments, Hannah’s film roles in the 2000s were largely British movies that weren’t as well-known in North America. On the television front, he again led a TV series for three years– British procedural Rebus— and also appeared in numerous shows including Alias (clearly a favorite among Mummy cast members), Frasier, Carnivàle, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, Damages, and Elementary.
Perhaps Hannah’s most recognizable post-Mummy role is also his most recent, putting in over 20 episodes on the Marvel series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as scientist Holden Radcliffe.
2. Rachel Weisz – Evelyn Carnahan
Librarian-turned-adventure Evelyn Carnahan, love interest to Brendan Fraser’s Rick O’Connell, was definitely the mainstream breakout role for Rachel Weisz. Her career really took off after the film, going on to star in big-name movies like About A Boy, Constantine, Enemy at the Gates, The Brother Bloom, and then-husband Darren Aronofksy’s The Fountain.
Weisz hasn’t slowed down a bit in the 2010s, stacking blockbusters like The Bourne Legacy and Oz the Great and Powerful onto her already-impressive resumé. She is the star of the drama My Cousin Rachel, due for release on June 9th (the same day as the new Mummy movie), and already has two more movies in the pipeline– 2017’s Disobedience with Rachel McAdams, and 2018’s The Favourite which teams her with Emma Stone.
1. Brendan Fraser – Rick O’Connell
Brendan Fraser had already showed tremendous range in the 90s, with roles in goofy comedies, like Airheads and Encino Man; and complex, serious films, like School Ties and Gods and Monsters. Despite already receiving top billing in a number of big Hollywood movies, it’s easy to make the case that the role that truly made him a AAA film lead was The Mummy.
Fraser continued to bounce effortlessly from one type of film to another in the years following The Mummy, going from Dudley Do-Right and Monkeybone to Gimme Shelter and Best Picture Oscar Winner Crash. Over the last few years, Fraser has also joined the ranks of Hollywood actors successfully transitioning to television, appearing in acclaimed miniseries Texas Rising alongside Bill Paxton, and Golden Globe-winning Showtime drama The Affair.
He also continues to remain active in film, starring in two 2017 movies: Behind the Curtain of Night and The Field.
Will you see the new Mummy movie or are you sticking with the original cast? Let us know comments!
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