'Mummy' Sequel Unwraps New Star


Although Brendan Fraser will return for "The Mummy 3," a new young actor has been cast to potentially carry the franchise into the future.

According to Variety, 26-year-old Aussie actor Luke Ford has been cast as the son of the 38-year-old Fraser's Rick O'Connell.

In the sequel, Rick and his son Alex are wandering around Asia when they find a new mummy (Jet Li) -- a former Chinese emperor cursed by a wizard (Michelle Yeoh).

"We may spin off into a complete father-son direction with Brendan, but by getting an actor who is in his 20s and not a teenager, we can also put the future on his shoulders," new "Mummy" director Rob Cohen ("Stealth") tells Variety.

That is to say that if Fraser decides that he's done after three movies, Ford might be ready to move to the lead. Oscar winner Rachel Weisz, a central part of the first two "Mummy" movies, elected not to return for the third and the trade paper reports that Cohen and Universal are in the process of testing actresses to replace her.

Production on "The Mummy 3" will begin at the end of July in Montreal before moving to location shoots in China. Universal has set a July 2008 release date.

Ford, who isn't to be confused with the notorious Judaism/pornography blogger of the same name, has appeared in "Kokoda" and "Junction Boys." He's just completed work opposite Toni Collette in "The Black Balloon."

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