Bizarre Reason Why Rachel Weisz Never Returned for Mummy 3
The third Mummy movie received a lot of criticism, partly because of the replacement of the female lead. Here's why the actress didn't return to her iconic role.
Rachel Weisz did not return as Evelyn, the wife of protagonist Rick O'Connell, in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor in 2008.
That fact came as a surprise to many fans, as it was role of Evelyn in the first two The Mummy movies that made the actress a household name in Hollywood.
The director of the Mummy 3, Rob Cohen, gave an interview in which he explained why Rachel Weisz did not return for the third installment.
Cohen claimed that the actress turned down the role because she didn't want to play a character with a grown son, which would have made her character more mature:
“I got a very angry phone call from her agent, saying she'll never play the mother of a 21-year-old. I said, 'OK, good, fine, bye.’”
Then, there were rumors that Rachel had left The Mummy 3 due to script issues. Reportedly, the actress did not want to return to the franchise as she initially considered the last movie a failure.
By the way, it did in fact get low ratings and a lot of criticism from both the viewers and the critics.
However, Weisz later explained her absence from the third movie herself. The actress admitted that the reason for her absence from The Mummy 3 was scheduling issues. The filming required five months in China, and the actress was unable to devote that much time to the project.
Universal considered the possibility of creating a fourth sequel called The Mummy: Rise of the Aztec. Ultimately, the studio decided to cancel development on The Mummy 4 and restart the franchise in an attempt to create a shared universe.
It was The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, that was supposed to lay the groundwork for the universe. But when the movie failed, the franchise was put on hold.
While Rachel Weisz seemingly left the character of Evelyn behind, there's a popular trend in Hollywood to revive old franchises decades later. Despite several injuries during the filming of The Mummy, Brendan Fraser has confirmed that he would like to return to the role of Rick O'Connell.
So with the prospect of Brendan Fraser returning, there's a chance that Universal may decide to reboot the franchise with Rachel Weisz as Evelyn.
Source: Digital Spy