Maria Bello to Replace Rachel Weisz in "Mummy 3"

A few weeks back I expressed some skepticism that Universal would re-cast Rachel Weisz's "Mummy" role with a new actress. Looks like I was wrong.

According to one very reliable source, it looks like Maria Bello will be stepping in to play the character made famous by Rachel Weisz: Evelyn O'Connell, wife to Rick O'Connell, as played by Brendan Fraser.

Universal and director Rob Cohen must be really in love with the screenplay by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. Usually in a case like this they'd hire a new actress for a new role and explain Evie's absence with some off-hand remark in the film's opening scenes.

Nothing against Ms. Bello, of course, who was awesome in "A History of Violence," but it always feels a little weird when a new actor steps into an established character. Ah well, guess we'll see how it all turns out. (You also know Ms. Bello from movies like "World Trade Center," "Assault on Precinct 13," and "Thank You for Smoking.")

Here's an updated plot synopsis, by the way: "The film brings the O'Connells and their full-grown son (Luke Ford) to the forbidden tombs of China and the Himalayas, where they battle a shape-shifting mummy, a former Chinese emperor (Jet Li) cursed by a wizard (Michelle Yeoh). This second sequel will arrive in theaters next summer.

Source: Variety

Comments

Vicens17

Pas the point Vicens

wow, its going to suck without her. She was the only Eve for me.

May 14 - 03:39 AM

nav123

Naven Naidoo

[b]Maria:)[/b]
I like Maria Bello, especially in "The Cooler" :)
There's some good casting names attached...might be good, almost seems like a reboot of the franchise!

May 14 - 03:47 AM

pressboy

Danny Logan

This is the worst casting decision since they picked Toper Grace to play Venom. Maria Bello is a good actress but she is no Rachel Weisz and casting her in this film is a huge blunder but judging by the bad decisions this production has taken, Mummy 3 is going to bomb regardless.

May 14 - 03:54 AM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

Your fanboy angst is not without warrent, but I wouldn't call out Topher's Brock as being one of Spiderman 3's misfires. As for Weisz being the heart and soul of the Mummy franchise, I'd have to say that that too is excessive.

May 14 - 10:56 AM

dracus

Cap Nord

Why didn't they simply write off Rachel Weitz's character the way they did Tom Hagen's character for Godfather III and simply have Bello play a new love interest? The big difference in this example is that Weitz didn't want to reprise her role where Robert Duvall did.

May 14 - 03:57 AM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

As easy as that would have been, it makes you wonder if, like the first sequel, her character has a part integral to the screenplay. I think it's likely.

May 14 - 04:46 AM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

As easy as that would have been, it makes you wonder if, like the first sequel, her character has a part integral to the screenplay. I think it's likely.

May 14 - 04:46 AM

jeremyd4

jeremy d

I think it would be far more fitting if her character was simply left out of this new film. It'd make the trilogy tie together quite nicely. Think of it like this:

Mummy 1: Brendan & Rachael meet, love affair ensues
Mummy 2: Brendan & Rachael have kid, family travel around together
Mummy 3: Kid has grown up, father and son travel to Asia leaving mom @ home

....since the kid has grown up, the 3rd film could easily have the same set up and feel seen in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" with Sean Connery and Harrison Ford. It would be more of a buddy movie and any love interest could be for Brendan's character's son (passing on the torch so to speak). All the 2nd-tier characters could make appearances or even tag along, but Rachael's character could easily be left at home, perhaps just a cameo at certain points if necessary.

May 14 - 05:38 AM

Gimy

Gimy Moo

spider man's over pressboy, and Topher was great as Venom...get over it and move on dude. Weisz is the entire Mummy franchise? good thinkin', cuz thats why people REALLY went to see the 2nd one...uh huh. if you love Weisz so much, tell her to get off her high horse. she scoffed and had to be BEGGED to return for the second one. 'nother actress who thinks she's worth more than she actually is. you'll still go see the 3rd one so quit gripin'. bello is a decent choice, but REPLACING characters in sequels is kind of annoying. just have her be a new chic. this movie will make 100+ mill easy, so it really doesn't matter who's cast. its an already successful franchise and if the completely idiotic cgi(the Rock as scorpion king ending) didn't scare viewers off...nothing short of casting a mummy with judge judy wearin' a thong bikini will hurt this franchise.

May 14 - 05:41 AM

pressboy

Danny Logan

If you thought Topher was a good Venom then God bless you, me and a good majority did not. As for Weisz, she was the best thing about the other mummy films and it was reported by several sites that she left because of the very bad script that this film has. as for the second film, she did not beg at all to be in it so it shows that you really don't know what the hell you are talking about at all.

Do all a favor and try to know what you are talking about before you make dumb statements.

Face it, Bello is a bad choice.

May 14 - 06:12 AM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

If you actually read his comment, you'll see he said she had to BE BEGGED to come back, as in the producers had to beg her, not the other way around. So I think maybe YOU should know what you're talking about before YOU make dumb statements.

As for who plays her part, who cares? They're all just meat puppets dancing in the service of badly done CGI.

May 14 - 07:26 AM

pressboy

Danny Logan

If you thought Topher was a good Venom then God bless you, me and a good majority did not. As for Weisz, she was the best thing about the other mummy films and it was reported by several sites that she left because of the very bad script that this film has. as for the second film, she did not beg at all to be in it so it shows that you really don't know what the hell you are talking about at all.

Do all a favor and try to know what you are talking about before you make dumb statements.

Face it, Bello is a bad choice.

May 14 - 06:12 AM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

If you actually read his comment, you'll see he said she had to BE BEGGED to come back, as in the producers had to beg her, not the other way around. So I think maybe YOU should know what you're talking about before YOU make dumb statements.

As for who plays her part, who cares? They're all just meat puppets dancing in the service of badly done CGI.

May 14 - 07:26 AM

Modano

T H

This must have been a pretty bad script. I mean, why would Weiz turn down this money-making machine? What great movie has she been in recently (besides Runaway Jury and Constant Gardner)? Didn't the Fountain flop? Bello's fine. Who cares. This is just a special-effects driven series.

May 14 - 06:25 AM

Shatter24

Jeremiah Rancourt

[b]Weisz unnecessary, though absence unfortunate[/b]
As for Spidey 3 stuff, I thought Topher Grace was great cast as Venom (it doesn't have to be exactly like the comics).

And as for Mummy 3, its sad Weisz, now that she's won an Oscar, feels she can't slum in the action films that made her famous. She has an obligation to re-team up with Fraser, both of which made the franchise more than a special-effects ride. The film can still be good without her, but it is jarring to have a new actress take over a character we all know. I wish she'd change her mind or was written out of the script; but I'll make do with a new actress.

By the way, the writers, who do Smallville on television, have probably made an awesome script, but its just different than prior installments. Not a bad thing, to mix it up before things get old.

May 14 - 06:52 AM

Merlin235

Merlin Ambrosius

Yeah, count me in thinking Toper was a fine cast for Venom. I didn't think so originally, but not EVERYTHING has to remain the same from the comics.

May 14 - 07:09 AM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

If you actually read his comment, you'll see he said she had to BE BEGGED to come back, as in the producers had to beg her, not the other way around. So I think maybe YOU should know what you're talking about before YOU make dumb statements.

As for who plays her part, who cares? They're all just meat puppets dancing in the service of badly done CGI.

May 14 - 07:26 AM

liono86

william ward

Actually, Weisz didn't make the movies, the cool special effects and action/adventure did...period. The Mummy trilogy is a trilogy that you either hate part of or just hate or just love. I'm the latter. Oh, and, I think Maria Bello can pull it off quite nicely. I just haven't seen any films where she uses an accent, so, let's just hope she can pull one off.

May 14 - 08:33 AM

cgcbooks

Robert Kimberlin

If Maria Bello has a sex scene in this film like she had in "The History of Violence", I'll be first in line.

May 14 - 08:34 AM

screwhead100

Ben Wellick

i hate when main charactors get recast but we'll see how it turns out....

May 14 - 09:04 AM

blank blank

bob jones

i flicked through both mummy movies yesterday on USA, and they are both terrible movies. adding an even crappier director isnt going to make the movie better.

as for bello, i hope she's getting paid big time, because her body of work is far superior to what other, less talented actresses get. not that im dissing weisz, she is great too.

i dont mind recasting all that much, but weisz looks nothing like bello. with the dark knight, you could see that holmes and gyllenhaal at least look SOMEWHAT similar, but the difference between weisz and bello is vast. not to mention that the character is supposed to be half english half egyptian. but im sure rob cohen isnt concerned with that thing, whats it called, oh yeah, PLOT.

May 14 - 09:20 AM

vitajex

Mike M

It's not like The Mummy franchise is anything approaching "sacred". Rachel Weisz is a talented actress, but Maria Bello is lightning incarnate! Who out there cares who plays whom in this movie except people who are fans of Rachel Weisz? Is there anybody out there who is actually upset over this? "The Mummy" movies, while fun, have always seemed exceedingly disposable to me. It's hard for me to imagine anyone feeling any emotional attachment to these characters or this story.

May 14 - 09:31 AM

Merlin235

Merlin Ambrosius

I haven't ever thought of the Mummy movies as sacred either. At least not to me. Are they recasting George from the Jungle's character to?

May 14 - 09:49 AM

Merlin235

Merlin Ambrosius

I haven't ever thought of the Mummy movies as sacred either. At least not to me. Are they recasting George from the Jungle's character to?

May 14 - 09:49 AM

South_park300

First Last

i've never liked rachel wiesz, so this is fine news for me. maybe i'll actually see the new Mummy movie now!....eh, probably not

May 14 - 09:57 AM

Gimy

Gimy Moo

um...pressboy, learn how to read GENIUS. THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE MUMMY RETURNS HAD TO BEG HER TO COME BACK!!! read what i said. she didn't want to because she THOUGHT she was bigger than she actually is. she only signed on because she had nothing in the works and they paid her. and i'm sorry, i didn't see a poll saying Topher sucks, vote here...Topher was great...vote here thing anywhere. oh right, you complain and your 2 internet comic book nerd buddies complain about him and he's automatically labeled bad. whatever dude, stop wackin' it to Stealing Beauty and come back to reality. Topher was coo as Venom and Weisz thinks she's way bigger than she thinks.

bottom line, the series will suffer NO setback because some prissy actress backed out. big deal, and again...GET OVER IT. i'm sure the Dark Knight will be horrible too because Holmes left...uh huh...suuuure...

May 14 - 10:35 AM

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