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The Mummy is a 1999 American adventure film written and directed by Stephen Sommers and starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah and Kevin J. O'Connor, with Arnold Vosloo in the title role as the reanimated mummy. The film features substantial dialogue in ancient Egyptian language, spoken with the assistance of a professional Egyptologist. It is a loose remake of the 1932 film of the same name which starred Boris Karloff in the title role. Originally intended to be part of a low-budget horror series, the movie was eventually turned into a blockbuster adventure film.
Filming began in Marrakech, Morocco, on May 4, 1998, and lasted seventeen weeks; the crew had to endure dehydration, sandstorms, and snakes while filming in the Sahara. The visual effects were provided by Industrial Light & Magic, who blended film and computer-generated imagery to create the titular Mummy. Jerry Goldsmith provided the orchestral score.
The Mummy opened on May 7, 1999, and grossed $43 million in 3,210 theaters; the movie went on to gross $416 million worldwide. Reception to the film was mixed, with reviewers alternatively praising or complaining about the special effect, the slapstick nature of the story and characters, and the stereotyped villains. The box-office success led to a 2001 sequel, The Mummy Returns, as well as The Mummy: The Animated Series, and the prequel film The Scorpion King. Another sequel, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, opened on August 1, 2008. Universal Studios also opened a roller coaster, Revenge of the Mummy, in 2004. The movie and its sequel's novelization were written by Max Allan Collins.
In Egypt, circa 1290 BC, high priest Imhotep engages an affair with Anck-su-Namun, the mistress of Pharaoh Seti I—other men are forbidden to touch her. When the Pharaoh discovers their tryst, Imhotep and Anck-su-Namun murder the monarch. Anck-su-Namun then kills herself, intending for Imhotep to resurrect her. After Anck-su-Namun's burial, Imhotep breaks into her crypt and steals her corpse. He and his priests flee across the desert to Hamunaptra, the city of the dead, where they begin the resurrection ceremony. However, they are caught by Seti's guards before the ritual could be completed, and Anck-su-Namun's soul is sent back to the Underworld. For their sacrilege, Imhotep's priests are mummified alive, and Imhotep himself is forced to endure the curse of Hom Dai: his tongue is cut out and he is buried alive with a swarm of flesh-eating scarabs. The ritual grants eternal life, forcing Imhotep to endure the agony of his wounds for all time. He is buried under high security, sealed away in a sarcophagus below a statue of the Egyptian god Anubis, and kept under strict surveillance by the Medjai, descendants of Seti's palace guards. If Imhotep were ever to be released, the powers that made him immortal would allow him to unleash a wave of destruction and death upon the Earth.
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