Tom Cruise is among the A-listers of the Hollywood industry with more than a dozen superhit movies in his name. The action hero became a superstar with the success of his Mission Impossible franchise. Apart from his multiple action roles, the actor has also taken chances in other genres with movies like Rain Man, Born On The Fourth Of July, legal thrillers like The Firm, and more. As per reports, the actor was once offered the lead role in a $1.42 billion franchise, but he chose another movie over it.
Tom Cruise has his fair share of box office hits for being an action hero, but in 1999, he was offered a role in an adventure-thriller movie which could have majorly impacted his career trajectory. We are talking about the high-grossing franchise, The Mummy. As per reports, Cruise was initially approached for the role of Rick O’Connell. The Jack Reacher star was unable to do the film as his schedule was busy with the movie, Eyes Wide Shut. This movie began filming in November 1996 and wrapped in June 1998. The role of O’Connell was finally played by Brendan Fraser, which became one of the most iconic roles in Hollywood.
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A-List Actors Who Rejected The Mummy
When the film was initially in the making, the directors approached numerous stars of the time. Tom Cruise was the first to be approached but rejected the movie due to other priorities. Then it was offered to Brad Pitt, buts his focus was on Fight Club, hence, he also passed it. Next, the role was offered to Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, as both of them were basking on the success of Good Will Hunting. The duo was in huge demand at the time, and they were re-cast for Dogma. Matthew McConaughey was also briefly considered for the role in the movie. The role was taken by Brendan Fraser, who came to the limelight with the movie George Of The Jungle.
The movie had a record-breaking success which led to its two sequels and a spinoff saga, The Scorpion King. With the massive success of the movie, it’s hard to imagine if any other actor besides Brendan Fraser, could have done justice to the role of Rick.
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What if Tom Cruise Played the Lead?
To compare thoughts, Cruise would not have been interested in the project at that stage. He was working with ace filmmakers like Brian De Palma, Stanley Kubrick, and Paul Thomas Anderson at the time; and The Mummy would have been a misfit. Despite having a strong background in both action and comedy, the role didn’t suit Cruise. Also, if the actor had played the role of Rick O’Connell, the movie would have a serious tone to the horror and apocalyptic story. Furthermore, if Cruise had taken the role, then his popularity would have proceeded in the movie.
The Indian Jones-inspired character, Rick was best suited for Brendan Fraser for many reasons. The actor has perfect looks, a talent for verbal and physical comedy, and was convincing in dual-wielding revolvers as well as a sword fight. Most importantly, he understood the tone of the film and acted perfectly. The actor reprised the role for The Mummy Returns, Scorpion King, and Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor.
Fraser’s acting and oddly sweet romance with Weisz’s characters made the film what it is today. 2017 release The Mummy just proved that the producers made the right choice for the lead in 1999.
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Source- Screen Rant