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Sunday June 16th 2024

The Mummy Returns | 2001

The Mummy Returns location: Mentmore Towers, Mentmore, Buckinghamshire
The Mummy Returns location: the O’Connells’ house: Mentmore Towers, Mentmore, Buckinghamshire

More mummies, more CGI. Mentmore Towers in the village of Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, which supplied the interior of the ‘Cairo’ museum in The Mummy, now returns as the exterior of the O’Connells’ house.

The interior is Littleton Park, the old mansion which forms the heart of Shepperton Studios in southwest London which, when the Connells aren’t living there, is the office of director Ridley Scott.

Likewise, the ‘British Museum’ is two separate locations. The pillared frontage is University College, Gower Street, which has already stood in for the same museum in a previous mummyfest, Mike Newell’s sluggish The Awakening, with Charlton Heston.

The Mummy Returns location: Dimco Building, Wood Lane, Shepherds Bush, London W12
The Mummy Returns location: Mr Hafez resurrects the mummy in the ‘British Museum’: Dimco Building, Wood Lane, Shepherds Bush, London W12

The interior, where Mr Hafez (Alun Armstrong) resurrects the Mummy, is the Dimco Building, Wood Lane, now alongside the Westfield Shopping Centre in  Shepherds Bush, London W12. Underneath the set dressing, you might recognise it as the ‘Acme warehouse’ from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

The subsequent bus chase is a dizzying mix of locations: the soldier mummies scuttle along the walls of the Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, London SE10; the double decker careers along Lambeth Palace Road, on the Thames Embankment by Lambeth Bridge; and past the Georgian houses of Endsleigh Place, Bloomsbury, before coming to a halt on Tower Bridge, the famous bascule bridge jumped by John Wayne's car in Brannigan.

The ‘Egyptian’ deserts were filmed at the spectacular Erg Chebbi Dunes at Merzouga, about 30 miles south of Erfoud in Morocco.

The train filmed on the Hejaz Railway on the outskirts of Amman in Jordan. The railway, built to transport pilgrims from Damascus, in Syria, to Medina in Saudi Arabia, was completed in 1908, but was severely and repeatedly damaged during the First World War by the real Lawrence of Arabia and the Arab Revolt. Parts of the railway have survived and some of the sections are still functioning today as the Hejaz Jordan Railway – in fact the filming encouraged the railway to repaint much of its coaching stock to dark red and cream

Also in Jordan is the canyon with the giant water head, which is at Petra, seen in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Back in the UK, the archaeological dig at ‘Hamunaptra, City of the Dead’ was built at Bryant’s Lane Quarry, Heath and Reach, near Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire; and the ‘jungle’ (with the pygmy mummies) is familiar old Black Park Country Park, alongside Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.