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Wraps off ‘Mummy’

How do you top this one?, Fehr asks

The Mummy returned in style Sunday evening on the Universal lot, scene of a giant outdoor celebration of the sequel that will kick off the summer moviegoing season.

The event raised $185,000 for the USC School of Cinema-Television, alma mater of the pic’s writer-director, Stephen Sommers. Making the effects-laden pic, he said, “I got to play with every toy known to man,” but was careful not to let the computer graphics overwhelm the essential element: “When you’re making a mummy movie, you’ve got to have fun with it!”

Sommers was the key to getting star Brendan Fraser to return for the sequel: “Stephen wrote a great script,” thesp said, adding they had lots of fun the first time around, and most of the original team came back for the sequel.

Asked if he thought there would be a “Mummy 3,” co-star Oded Fehr laughed and said, “How do you top this one?” Fehr, attending with his wife, producer Rhonda Tollefson, said the exotic locations — Jordan, Egypt and Morocco, as well as London — were familiar to him: “I was born in Israel, we grow up with this culture.”

Another native of exotic locales was Patricia Velasquez, born in a village in Venezuela, where “The Mummy” was a big hit. She convinced U to do a premiere for “The Mummy Returns” there, along with conferences for local film and fashion students.New to the sequel was the Rock, whose Scorpion King character gets his own movie, which the wrestler described as “the prequel to the sequel’s prologue.”

Among the 3,000 guests were U’s Stacey Snider and Ron Meyer; cast members Arnold Vosloo, Shaun Parkes and Freddie Boath; producers Sean Daniel and James Jacks; ILM visual effects supervisor John Berton; and guests Rob Schneider, Corey Haim, Bridget Fonda and John Woo.