Post-production begins on 'MUMMY 3'

Tomb of the Dragon Emperor director Rob Cohen blogged fans about the beginning of his favorite part of the moviemaking process: editing.
"800 visual effects, music, sound design, and dubbing all lie ahead..."

After 91 days of shooting and 2,021 shots, director Rob Cohen shouted "shogung!" in Chinese, and officially wrapped principal photography for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor on 8 December '07. The event was punctuated with applause, tears, and a non-stop, eight-minute fireworks display, courtesy of SFX head Bruce Steinheimer.

But that, as they so often say, was only the beginning. On Monday (7 January), Cohen announced on his blog that he is "back in rainy L.A. warm and dry in [his] editing room" with editors Joel Negron & Kelly Matsumoto, "cutting the million feet of film" he shot for his 30th feature. He's confident that he'll soon "have a good first pass through the entire movie," which will have its world premiere in Beijing on July 24.

Cohen lovingly described the editing process as being "like music, dependent on rhythm, and storytelling melody."

"...each cut represents a thousand considerations: go to Brendan [Fraser] who is speaking the line or to Maria [Bello] who is reacting to it? Actors are the main driving force of the edit and performance is the highest value. A film might move along so fast that the humanity is lost; it might be wallowing in humanity and the narrative excitement is lost. It depends on the nature of film and the inner voice of the film and how well a director and his/her editors respond to the urgings that actually come from inside the movie itself."

Cohen has been effusive in praising his cast, which includes Fraser ("a true talent on many levels"), Bello (who "blasted out a new Evy with charm and fire"), Jet Li (who "epitomizes graciousness"), Michelle Yeoh ("What an elegant woman!") and John Hannah ("an inventive actor...with more to do and say" in the new flick).

Additionally, the director expressed his relief that hardly any time was lost due to weather, and that not one actor or stuntperson was injured--despite the staging of over 500 stunts.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor follows two Stephen Sommers-directed installments, the spinoff The Scorpion King, an animated incarnation, a seven-year breathing spell, and the surprise defection of the original Evy, Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz (Bello colored her hair and adopted a Brit accent in deference to Weisz, but there's no way she'll be able to approximate those curves).

Despite those apparent demerits, MTV's LARRY CARROLL placed Mummy 3 as #9 on his list of the 10 MOST ANTICIPATED SEQUELS OF '08, feeling that there's enough in the movie's favor to withhold summary judgment--not the least of which is Fraser's third outing as Rick O'Connell, "the most beloved treasure hunter not named Indiana Jones or Ben Gates."

(Added incentive for Smallville fans: the film was scripted by creators Miles Millar & Alfred Gough.)

"Aside from the swirling sand and The Rock's face on a CGI scorpion [in The Mummy Returns], the most memorable thing about the old movies was people constantly underestimating their box-office clout," wrote Carroll. "We won't make the same mistake this time."

Be sure you follow suit, when The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor takes U.S. cinemas by storm on August 1st.

[Thanks to for the link.]
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Rob Cohen: The Mummy