A reader pointed me to this site (“In Production with Rob Cohen”) created for the upcoming Mummy 3 movie, which has since been given the way-too-long title of, “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”. Whatever happened to brevity? I could have just gone with “Mummy 3” and leave it at that. In any case, the site is actually a blog for director Rob Cohen, who hasn’t exactly been received warmly by Internet fanboys who seems to hate everything he does. Then again, he’s replacing director Stephen Sommers on the franchise’s third installment, and Sommers isn’t exactly a favorite among fanboys nowadays after having been named director of the live-action G.I. Joe movie. Then again, Internet fanboys can get a little bitchy, so nevermind them.
In his first blogging post, Cohen writes about the movie:
I am taking the story to a new place: China. Jet Li plays a despotic Emperor in 50 B.C. whose evil is punished by a terrible curse laid on him by wizardress Michelle Yeoh: he and his army are turned into to terra cotta for all time; that is, unless he is re-awakened which, of course, is where the O’Connell’s come back into it.
The story moves to the year 1946. When we find them, Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn (Maria Bello) are retired to Oxfordshire, England, having been spies for the British during World War II. They are bored silly and welcome the offer of “one last mission” from the Foreign Office. Their assignment: courier a precious artifact back to the museum in Shanghai, China from which it was stolen.
Back to Asia: China is in turmoil but Jonathan (John Hannah) owns an Egyptian-themed bar in Shanghai. Unbeknownst to his parents, now grown-up Alex O’Connell (Luke Ford) is following in the family business as a young archaeologist on a dig in north-central China. He makes the discovery of a lifetime: the tomb of the Dragon Emperor, which has been buried for millennia. A beautiful assassin (Isabella Leong) tries to kill him to keep the location secret but Alex prevails. The Emperor’s monument is transported back to Shanghai where another plot is in motion: military zealot Anthony Wong intends to awaken the Emperor and aid him in the re-conquest of China and the raising of his terra cotta army of ten thousand clay warriors (google The Terra Cotta army of Xi’an if you want to read more about the history of this wonder of the ancient world).
The family is reunited and high adventure ensues: crash landings, treks thru the Himalayas, Yeti, avalanches (bigger than the one I did in “XXX”), Shangri-la, three-headed dragons, pools of eternal life, epic battles, a shape-shifting Jet Li….I could go on but I don’t want to give it all away.
“The Mummy 3” stars Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello (standing in for the missing Rachel Weisz), Jet Li (in only his second villainous role), John Hannah, Michelle Yeoh, Anthony Wong (!!!), and new-comers Luke Ford and Isabella Leong.
Wow, I didn’t know Anthony Wong had been cast in the movie — and as a villain to boot!
In any case, with this many villainous Chinese characters in the film, I’m going to take a wild guess and say that the Chinese Government is going to ban it from Chinese theaters. Call me nuts, but I have a feeling…