The previous incarnation of the classic horror tale saw Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz terrorised by Imhotep in Stephen Sommers' The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001), which was later followed by the China-set, Weisz-less The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor in 2008. The franchise also spawned 'The Scorpion King' spin-off series with Dwayne Johnson starring in 2002's The Scorpion King, later followed by two straight-to-DVD sequels featuring MMA star Randy Couture and pro-wrestler Dave Bautista.
The new project has been assigned to Prometheus screenwriter Jon Spaihts, who hopes to explore the source material in greater depth and make something special with the brand:
"I see it as the sort of opportunity I had with Prometheus...To go back to a franchise's roots in dark, scary source material, and simultaneously open it up to an epic scale we haven't seen before."
These thoughts indicate that the new The Mummy film(s) will be yet another 're-interpretation' job, and the possibility of the franchise being used as a 'springboard' for an up-and-coming actor or two is relatively high. Spaihts' presence on the project is encouraging, but cinema-goers will doubtless bemoan the lack of originality in another move that sees the same old stories dusted off and recycled as new 'brands'.