Cohen's Mummy blog talks Rachel Weisz
Over on Rob Cohen's The Mummy blog he's been addressing the change from Rachel Weisz to Maria Bello, and he's written up really well and, I think, explained the move away.
However, it seems in the comments section that someone has revealed that they are removing comments that are overly negative, something which I agree with if they are offensive, but in the world of blogs and open feedback, removing comments en mass without addressing the issue isn't a good idea, especially when the blog is a marketing vehicle.
The comment goes like this:
"Oooopppssss...it seems that the " bashing" post which was " above", was erased meanwhile I was posting mine"
It seems that someone commented that they thought the film would fail because Rachel Weisz wasn't in it. So they are entitled to that opinion, the weight of the positives would almost always outweigh that comment, and even if it didn't then Rob Cohen should have addressed the comment head on as he did with the post.
Back to the matter in hand though, his write up make the decision of Weisz's very clear:
"Rachel decided to leave the franchise many years ago, after 'The Mummy 2' finished shooting. We all had hopes that she would change her mind but I never had the opportunity to meet her or talk to her."
When he talks about the gorgeous and hugely talented Maria Bello (I say that because I mean it, I'm not sucking up!), who I feel isn't always given the roles she deserves, he reveals that this really is a restart of the franchise, not just a one off film.
"I shot a day of screen tests with five major actresses and the one that blew us away was Maria Bello. She had such strong chemistry with Brendan (who generously did the screen tests with all five), that it wasn't much of a decision once I cut the film. She had beauty and precision, humor, and an inner fire that has always propelled her in films such as "THE COOLER" and "HISTORY OF VIOLENCE". She had already mastered the English accent and brought a freshness to the role. Also, she brought out several new shadings in Brendan. The newness really worked and fit in to my hopes that my film would be a "re-boot" to the franchise, not more of the same."
One would assume that both Bello and Brendan Fraser carry the usual sequel tie in clause in their contracts, just so that if there are a couple more films after The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emporer, that they say they will make themselves available for them. I can't see the studio signing them up for one single film when they think that the franchise is going to get restarted.