The Mummy Returns

Trivia: In the tomb, Alex knocks over the columns the same way Evie knocked over the bookcases in "The Mummy."

Trivia: While reading the Book of the Dead, Alex needs help translating the hieroglyph of a stork, which Jonathan gives to him. Jonathan needed help translating the same symbol in "The Mummy."

Trivia: When the pygmies fall into the river after they blow up the bridge, look closely. As the right hand end falls into the ravine, one end is glowing from the blast, and one of the pygmies climbs on top of it and rides it down, hand waving, exactly like the scene from "Dr. Strangelove, or How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb". Must be deliberate, and definitely worth a look.

The Mummy Returns mistake picture

Trivia: The scene where Imhotep is resurrecting the Scorpion King, he is hitting a big gong. A bald guy, in a loin cloth, hitting a big gong...this is a nod to the opening title of any 'Rank' picture.


Trivia: This is mentioned on the commentary, but I've got to mention it here because it's great. The scene where Rick's stalking Imhotep and there's a sequence of shots alternating pitch black and Rick's face illuminated, was quite tricky. They set up the camera on a dolly track, shut off all the lights, then tracked backwards while Brendan Fraser walked forwards, with two guys lighting the scene by using flamethrowers either side of the camera, trying not to fall down the holes in the floor of the set all the time. Genius.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Trivia: Freddie Boath passed on auditioning for Harry Potter to audition for this film instead, because he was such a fan of The Mummy.


Trivia: In order to maintain his perfect sculpted, hairless look, the titular mummy actor Arnold Vosloo had to shave his body head-to-toe twice a day during filming.


Trivia: Brendan Fraser was somewhat amused and annoyed by the fact that the O'Connells owned a giant estate in the film, as he felt they'd feel more at home in an apartment or smaller house. Director Stephen Sommers said that the reason for the large house was because a large-scale action set-piece takes place in their home, and it just wouldn't work with a smaller house or apartment.


Trivia: Despite playing the titular character, Mummy actor Arnold Vosloo doesn't appear in the film until 50 minutes in. Up until that point, only his voice is heard, and the character is portrayed by a digital model.


Trivia: Stephen Sommers has joked that the time-jump in-between films was done only because he didn't want to work with a baby, and a multi-year time-jump instead allowed the O'Connells' son to be an older child.


Trivia: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson reportedly suffered both sunstroke and food poisoning while on-set. It was said that despite shooting in the (very hot) desert, in between takes, he'd be shivering cold and wrapped in blankets.


Trivia: Originally, Jonathan was going to own a casino, which he purchased with his share of the treasure from the first film. The battle in which Evelyn is kidnapped was going to take place there. However, for budgetary reasons, this idea was dropped early on, since it would have been a massive cost to build a casino set for only one or two short scenes. The battle was then relocated to Rick and Evelyn's house.


Trivia: At Izzy's home, there's a man in a bathtub reading a newspaper that's focused on in one shot. You can faintly hear him humming a few notes. The humming was actually done by director Stephen Sommers in an audible cameo, and it was looped over the scene. (Though contrary to popular belief, the man in the tub was just an extra - not director Sommers).


Trivia: The only entry in the Mummy series to not have an opening title card. The first film, third film and all of the Scorpion King spin-offs have opening title cards, while this film only displays the title during the end credits.


Trivia: One of the film's most common criticisms is that the CGI for the Scorpion King is notably of a lower quality than all of the other effects. There's actually a reason for this. The character was an early attempt at attempting to make a photorealistic humanoid, and thus the effect took much more work to complete. Additionally, the effect was made before a technique called "subsurface scattering" became prevalent, thus causing the plastic-like sheen on the skin. (Subsurface scattering is a technique that simulates how light penetrates and/or reflects off multi-layered surfaces like skin, thus allowing more realistic lighting and a less plasticy look.) It was so complicated trying to get the character to look "right," that they simply ran out of time and had to use what they had done, even though it wasn't quite complete.


Trivia: As of 2020, "The Mummy Returns" is still the highest grossing Universal "Mummy" movie both domestically and worldwide. It was the highest grossing of the Stephen Sommers series, and also grossed more than the 2017 reboot in unadjusted dollars. (And if you adjust for inflation, it actually grossed nearly twice what the 2017 film did).


Factual error: When Brendan Fraser & his son are running to reach the pyramid before the sun hits it, the sunrise line approaches the pyramid along the ground, but the sun would naturally have hit the pyramid at the top first and worked its way down to the ground. [Some people insist on trying to correct this - think of it this way. If the sun's illuminating the ground from way up in the sky, what's keeping something higher up than the ground in darkness?] (01:34:40)

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Suggested correction: Despite the additional comments this posting is wrong. The terminator line - the distinct boundary between sunlit day and dark night - moves horizontally across the surface of the earth, from east to west. It is perfectly feasible for the land behind Rick (i.e. to the east) to be in bright sunlight while the pyramid - to the west - is still in darkness. What is not feasible is anyone outrunning the terminator line, which moves at around 1500 kmh in the latitudes they are in.

Try it for yourself - get a round object, such as a basketball, a map tack and a flashlight. As you shine the flashlight on the ball you will see the equivalent of the day/night terminator line. Now stick the map tack into the ball and slowly rotate the ball with the light still shining on it. As it moves, the terminator moves and the map tack will become illuminated before the surface of the ball at the base of the tack. The light will move down from the top of the tack. The only way it would work as shown in the movie is if everything is exactly flat - with no differences in altitude above the ground. Obviously that is not the case. (Of course, if you don't want to poke holes in your basketball, you can use any combination of something round and something to stick to it.)

The original post is correct. Because of its sheer height, the top of the pyramid would receive direct sunlight first, just as a mountaintop receives sunlight before it appears on level ground.

Charles Austin Miller

It is perfectly possible for a mountain to be in complete darkness and the low lying land nearby to be brightly sunlit if the mountain is to the west and has not yet been reached by the terminator line. I repeat, the terminator line moves horizontally (in all practical terms) across the surface of the earth and as a result anything west of the line will be in darkness regardless of its height and will stay that way until the line reaches it.

Look, you're talking about mountains miles away beyond the terminator (so far away that they would be beyond the range of sight anyway). We are talking about a pyramid, easily the tallest thing in the immediate vicinity, in the near background, only a mile away at most. Under the physical conditions and locations present in this film, the pyramid should be illuminated top-down. Period.

Charles Austin Miller

More mistakes in The Mummy Returns

Rick O'Connell: Knowing my brother in law, he probably deserves whatever you're about to do to him. But this is my house, and I have certain rules about snakes and dismemberment.

More quotes from The Mummy Returns

Question: I heard that Max Cavallera from Sepultura provided all the yells and the shouting for the rock. Is this true?

More questions & answers from The Mummy Returns

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