“Sequels usually suck”: Director Said Paying $5.5 Million to Dwayne Johnson in $435M Movie Was a Bad Idea

"Sequels usually suck": Director Said Paying $5.5 Million to Dwayne Johnson in $435M Movie Was a Bad Idea
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Dwayne Johnson made the seamless transition from the wrestling ring to the Hollywood big screens with his debut film The Mummy Returns. The cult classic also starring Brendan Fraser, was the sequel to the equally successful predecessor, The Mummy. The film went on to become one of the highest grosser of the year and kickstarted a successful career for Johnson as an action star.

Dwayne Johnson
Action star Dwayne Johnson

The Mummy Returns was a stepping stone to many prominent roles that Dwayne Johnson portrayed which included films like Jumanji 2, The Fast and the Furious 8, and his entry into the superhero universe with Black Adam. But there was a time when the adventure film almost did not make it to the big screen.

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The Mummy Returns Almost Did Not See The Light Of Day

Dwayne Johnson’s portrayal of the mighty Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns catapulted the action star into the big leagues in Hollywood. But the film which gave The Rock his first break almost did not get made. Director Stephen Sommers was reportedly not on board with continuing the franchise after the first film, saying that sequels of films usually did not work well. The film’s lead actor Brendan Fraser too expressed his skepticism over certain aspects of the first film, which also involved dangerous stunts.

“The original script was a bit reckless. The characters related to one another a bit awkwardly. And the dialogue needed to be pared down. But it really was okay in the end,”

The Mummy Returns
The Mummy Returns almost did not get made

Despite these alleged shortcomings, the stupendous success of The Mummy coupled with the novelty of casting a wrestling champion like Dwayne Johnson, was incentive enough for Sommers to go ahead with The Mummy Returns.

Also Read: “I cannot be f—king broke”: Dwayne Johnson Reveals His Driving Force That Amassed $800M Fortune Despite Fading Hollywood Career After Black Adam Failure


Dwayne Johnson Justified His Casting In The Mummy Returns

Casting a debutant with no experience in the entertainment business in a sequel to a successful film was a big risk. But in The Mummy Returns, Dwayne Johnson proved that with drive, hard work, and commitment, anything was possible. The production house was apparently so impressed with his abilities that they asked director Stephen Sommers to start working on a prequel, The Scorpion King before the film was even completed.

Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson in The Mummy Returns

The Scorpion King provided Johnson with his first leading role which became a stepping stone for the actor to sign on more significant characters in future films. With his performance in The Mummy Returns, Johnson also earned a huge number of fans apart from sports enthusiasts who followed his wrestling career. The actor also stated that it was extremely humbling to earn a paycheck of 5.5 million dollars for what was not even considered his primary profession.

Also Read: “It was fun”: Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg Took Gargantuan Pay Cuts To Help Michael Bay Movie Make $60M in Profits


Source: Cheatsheet


Written by Sharanya Sankar

Articles Published: 1194

Sharanya Sankar, Writer for Fandomwire
Having completed her Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Sharanya has a solid foundation in writing which is also one of her passions. She has worked previously with Book My show for a couple of years where she gained experience reviewing films and writing feature articles. Sharanya’s articles on film and pop culture have also been published on Film Companion, a popular film-based website. Apart from movies and pop culture, her interests include music and sports. She has contributed over 650 articles to Fandomwire so far.