11 Jun The Mummy: A Rewrite
I watched The Mummy this weekend. It was stupid, at times fun, but overall it was disjointed and wonky. So I decided to play script doctor and fix it. My rule of thumb was I had to keep the main set pieces seen on screen and main characters more or less the same. So I couldn’t move the action to Cairo or get rid of the Templar knights, etc. This is the result.
Jenny is Nick’s sister
We open with a flashback showing a Templar knight being buried with a jewel, but we don’t have a flashback to the mummy. Forward to: NICK is in Iraq, hoping to steal antiquities. He accidentally finds a big Egyptian tomb. While he’s trying to explain to a superior officer how he stumbled into this finding (he pressured a local to tell him about it), his estranged little sister JENNY arrives. She’s been sent to this area to find that same tomb. They both descend into the tomb and bicker. Jenny says all Nick does is steal things, while Jenny tries to preserve them, he’s a thief. Nick replies that Jenny can be on a high horse now, but when he had to raise her she didn’t complain about where the money came from back then.
What this solves
There was zero chemistry or romantic interaction between our two heroes. Making Jenny Cruise’s sister provides him with a bond with someone. He loves Jenny, he just doesn’t say it much. This relationship helps us set up the ending.
NICK raises the mummy’s sarcophagus, therefore cursing himself and establishing a telepathic bond with the mummy. He sees, in a flashback, part of the mummy’s story, but only *a part,* basically her entombing.
During the movie, several flashbacks help piece the tale together. Ahmanet was heir to the throne, talented and beloved by her father. But then the king had a son, neglected the princess, and bypassed her in the line of succession. Ahmanet tried to make her father see that she was the perfect heir to the throne, but he got paranoid. Thinking that she was plotting against her younger brother, he vanished her to a prison in distant Iraq. Ahmanet was seriously pissed off. She made a pact with Set to give her special powers so she could escape her prison and she promised to find him a human body he could inhabit. She got a nifty dagger with three jewels which can convey immortality for this purpose. Ahmanet would reign supreme over the whole world, Set would have a body, and everyone would be happy. Ahmanet headed back to her father’s palace, killed him and her brother, but then she was caught and entombed.
What this solves
It maintains a bit of a mystery. Who exactly is this princess? It also allows Nick to sympathize a bit with the princess. Ahmanet got a raw patriarchal deal and had reasons to be super pissed off. It also gives her a purpose: she wants to rule the world. She actually ends up liking Nick quite a bit (more later), but she’s not like “and I will be your wife blah blah,” which is basically what happens in the movie. No. Ahmanet wants power for herself.
No American Werewolf in London
The plane crash sequence proceeds as seen in the film, with Nick giving Jenny the only parachute. He wakes up in the morgue where he *doesn’t talk to his dead friend.* Instead he has more flashbacks and conversations with Ahmanet during the movie.
Jenny finds Nick in the morgue and then speaks to her employer, Henry, who urges her to bring Nick to London. However, Nick feels compelled to go to the crash site near an old abbey. He takes off without his sister. There Ahmanet has been busy killing people. Ahmanet carries that nifty dagger of Set we saw in flashbacks and in the abbey she finds a jewel which fits onto the hilt. Wow, only two jewels missing! Surely something bad will happen if she gets all three.
Nick and Ahmanet talk, and hey, does this mummy have a crush on Nick? It seems so. She wants him to help her find the other two jewels in the dagger. But then Jenny and some of Henry’s other employees arrive. They begin to shoot that mummy. The mummy of course kills people and escapes, and Jenny basically drags her brother out and drives away in a dramatic chase.
What this solves
Those sequences of Nick talking to his dead friend were useless. This change also allows Jenny to have a more active part in the movie. Technically, Nick is the Damsel in Distress with a Loverlorn Mummy, but the new Mummy wants to have its cake and eat it too. In this sequence it is Jenny who spirits Nick away to safety. She’s an archeologist and she can also drive a car, thank you very much.
No Dr. Jekyll
In London, Jenny takes Nick to meet her billionaire employer, HENRY McSomething at his Super Gothic Mansion. He’s not doctor Jekyll and there’s no Dark Universe. Henry is a rich biopharmaceutical CEO who has some sort of incurable degenerative disease. Since science couldn’t provide a solution to his problem, he turned to the occult and has become fascinated with a legend of a three-jewelled dagger which can grant someone immortality. Henry has been searching for that dagger and guess what, he has *one of the jewels* in the hilt, which he acquired in X location. The mummy was buried with the dagger, but the jewels were split off. The mummy has the dagger and the jewel from the abbey. That means there’s one jewel left and Henry thinks it’s hidden in a Templar burial site. The mummy can sense where the jewels are, and since Nick has some sort of bond with the mummy, he can sense where the jewel is too. Henry tells them they must fetch the jewel and bring it back to his Super Gothic Mansion where Henry has prepared a chamber that will allow him to entomb the mummy once again, therefore getting rid of that problem. And then he’ll have the dagger with all the jewels.
Jenny and Nick converse again. Nick is like, why are you working for this billionaire who wants to be immortal and Jenny talks about funding. She is also didn’t *really* think there would be an ancient furious mummy in a tomb. They both agree no one should get their hands on that dagger or the jewels, but right now they need to keep it out of the mummy’s reach, so Henry’s high-tech mummy jail cell idea sounds good enough and they’ll figure how to dispose of the dagger later.
Jenny and Nick have a heart to heart at this point where they go over their fractured family relationship. Nick obviously cares about Jenny and Jenny cares about him.
What this solves
The Dark Universe is a bad idea. It saps the energy out of the movie and the only reason why the movies has Jekyll is so he can transform into Hyde with some CGI.
Templar water fight
Nick and Jenny arrive at the site where the Templar tombs are located. Problem is the mummy is also there to fetch her jewel. The mummy kills a bunch of people and we have a sequence where Jenny and Nick have to swim around waters infested with dead Templar knights. The mummy gets her hands on the jewel. She only needs one more jewel now. And well, she needs Nick’s body.
But where’s Nick? Henry’s men have just grabbed him and are dragging him back to the Super Gothic Mansion. Jenny goes with them.
What this solves
Jenny doesn’t die in a pointless sequence where the mummy just shows up to kill her because, what, she’s jealous? Pfff.
The final confrontation
Nick, Jenny and Henry are at the Super Gothic Mansion where Henry is like haha, yeah, let that mummy come I’ll trap her in my super prison and use Nick as bait. Seems Henry doesn’t care one bit about what happens to Nick. Jenny is horrified, but there’s not much to do because soon enough Ahmanet is at the mansion and she wants her jewel and she wants her man, and not just because he has a body that is perfect for a god. Seems the good old princess and Nick have actually formed a bit of a bond thanks to their telepathic convos and she digs him. They have so much in common! Including the fact they were both neglected by their parents, had an annoying younger sibling, etc.
Anyway. Fight time! Henry’s men face off against the mummy. But the mummy wins this fight. She kills Henry. Unfortunately, she also kills Jenny. Nick is distraught.
Ahmanet wants to stab Nick with her nifty dagger. She’ll take over the world, he can rule at her side. Ok, at times he may be possessed by the God Set and technically they may cause a lot of people to die, but those are but small quibbles. Nick is so utterly depressed that he’s like yeah, ok, and stabs himself.
So now Nick is super-powered Set-Nick and he has that weird thing going on with his eyes and he and Ahmanet are totally going to do a number on humanity. But then he sees Jenny’s corpse and Nick thinks about how his sister talked about how they have to try to be better and blah blah. He snaps out of his evil mode. He confronts Ahmanet and he’s like we are *not* going to obliterate London and the world and whatever. And she’s like yes we are (ok, so this mummy has a crush on Nick but she’s not going to give up her Evil Empire Plans). They fight, Nick kills her. He then brings Jenny back to life.
Nick then begs Jenny to put him in the prison Henry built, together with Ahmanet’s corpse, because he doesn’t want to turn Evil Again and kill everyone. So he and Ahmanet should be imprisoned away for all eternity. Jenny is like no, but then she agrees to do it.
And that is the end. Jenny lives. Nick is in this secret vault somewhere deep underground. But does evil truly die? Muahaha.
What this solves
That peppy ending was too peppy. This way, Nick and Ahmanet have a bit of a Bride of Frankenstein ending, you know, “We belong dead.” Several Mummy movies have had romantic elements. The latest Mummy wants to go there, but doesn’t. And while it teases us with some Nick/Ahmanet it never truly delivers, nor does it explain why Ahmanet is so interested in him. In my version yes, she wants him because his body would be useful, but also their physic bond has allowed them to know each other a bit. They like each other. Unfortunately, Ahmanet is a murderous monster bent on world domination.
So, there you have it, an alternate version of The Mummy. I tried to maintain all the set pieces used in the movie (the plane, the abbey, casting Russell Crowe) but ironed out some of its bigger issues.