An excerpt from my script review for The Mummy by Jon Spaihts which will be available 11/14/23:
2.) Plot Stability
Okay, here’s the major difference…
In the final film, the Mummy is of an Egyptian princess who went bad.
For Spaihts’ version it’s of an Assyrian king named Ashurbanipal, who conquered Egypt and then forced their priests to teach him everything about the afterlife, and more importantly how to come back from it as an immortal.
And Ashurbanipal was something Spaihts was passionate about. The king was apparently real person and real ruthless. There’s a good two pages of description on him at the end of the script where Spaihts employed the legend or built upon it. Either way this made the story more interesting because the author was excited about it.
That part I enjoyed.
Another major difference in this story is that the main character, named Tyler is a Special Forces soldier who stumbles onto the tomb as part of a mission thinking Iraq is developing nuclear weapons.
Lastly, the sarcophagus doesn’t crash land in London, but instead Rome, giving the entire story more of a Mission: Impossible meets Angels and Demons type vibe.
For the most part I enjoyed that, and am kind of surprised the other MI writers were brought onboard because the initial version felt very much like the original Mission: Impossible film.
There was a lot of cool/original stuff in this script that I’m not sure made it onto the big screen.
For starters, the opening…
Tyler and Crossbow Team infiltrate Iraq via an underwater oil pipeline. They dock and then cut into it, and swim “upstream” through the oil coming out on a military base.
I’ve never read something like that before to my knowledge.
Then once they’re in the tomb…it’s a very creepy scene…
The Undead coming to life…strange whispered chanting…evil faces in the smoke of lit braziers…
(Okay maybe “faces in smoke” was in the other Brendan Frasier Mummy films.)
After the mishap, and only Tyler living to see another day, we flash forward 2 years.
He’s received a court martial, and now drives a big rig across the US, presumably running away from his demons.
The problem is he can’t escape the nightmares, and here’s where the story of Tyler probably merges with that of Nick (the main character in the final product).
Some of the stuff still made it in, like the cargo plane scene with the flock of crows/ravens, “fun and games” stuff like that.
Two other things that really worked for me…
First, the idea of the “blood pipes” that kept Ashie-boy “alive” inside the sarcophagus. When he reanimates and is freed, he drinks blood from his victims through them, almost like a vampire.
It was a cool new take on having to consume to become whole.
Second, was that the story implies that various religions and rituals actually work. One character even remarks:
The stone gods you dig up may
not be your gods. But the mysteries
they stand for are real. Respect them.
That’s a cool theme, and we’re treated to scenes demonstrating it.
For instance, when the Mummy (Ashurbanipal) enters the Vatican, one of the priests familiar with exorcism tries his ritual, and even though they’re of different faiths, it begins to work…until the priest is overpowered because the Mummy is stronger.
Whether you’re religious or not, the idea of people believing in something and that belief giving it power is interesting in a story like this.
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