The Mummy: The Birth of the Mummy

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When Alphaville founders James Jacks and Sean Daniel first learned that Stephen Sommers was interested in writing and directing The Mummy, they immediately arranged an informational meeting and began discussing the project. They had never me Stephen before, but had seen his widely praised Rudyard Kipling's The jungle Book and were quite impressed.

"We thought Stephen had an interesting take on the subject-more of a hell-bent action-adventure movie with horror in it, but very much a swashbuckler film like the old Errol Flynn films (Captain Blood, Robin Hood and The Sea Hawk)," says Jacks.

Sommers says, "I really wanted to do a big roaring romantic adventure set in ancient Egypt, and The Mummy offered all that and more."

The producers agreed, as they wanted to keep The Mummy a period film - a huge action-adventure film with a hint of romance.

"I set the main story in the 1920s because, to me, it's the most romantic era," says Sommers. "The tone, the feel of the movie felt just like it belonged in that period."

Jacks adds, "Our version of The Mummy is very romantic. If we had a role model for the movie it was probably Raiders of the Lost Ark or Gunga Din."

While the producers knew it would be presumptuous to say the movie would be as good as those classic films, they certainly intended to aim for a similar tone.

According to Daniel, "We wanted it to be fun... an adventure film with a lot of humor, but not a comedy.

Our aim was to be scary, not gory... funny, not campy. We wanted to show that we have a great affection for the original movies."

The producers strove to create a movie that people of all ages would want to see, and knew that the concept of the movie they envisioned would require careful positioning, as the producers did not want the film to be an out-and-out horror film.

"I did see it as a horror movie but just a different kind," says Sommers. "I didn't want to make a gothic horror movie or a slasher movie. I wanted to make a film with characters I really cared about. Imhotep, the Mummy, is really a romantic. Even in the original, Boris Karloff was a hopeless romantic, too."

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