Why We Miss Action-Adventure Movies Like ‘The Mummy’ (How To Write Yours)
The genre has recently been all about superheroes, but it used to be about common people and thieves.
The adventure film genre was one of the favorite places for original stories and high-profile epics. But over the past few decades, it seems like these movies are for superheroes only. What was once the place for writers to showcase their writing and directors to showcase their style has now been downsized. These films are difficult to make because they cost a lot of money, need stars and require some risk.
What if I told you it’s a good time to write them?
Executives are always looking for the next franchise, and they’re also looking for that stack script to break up the monotony of their days. Breaking away from an action-adventure movie might be the ticket for you, because people miss them so much.
One of the favorites I miss, the one I constantly hear mentioned lately by tons of people working in the industry, is The Mummywith Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and a CGI mummy trying to kill them.
Watch this video from Quality Culture, and let’s talk about it later.
Why We Miss Action Adventure Movies The Mummy (And how to write yours)
As I mentioned in the opening, adventure movies are a great way to showcase your set-writing skills, but they’re also ways to give us exciting characters, engaging dialogue and generally a really fun game.
These are not easy scripts to write – there are no easy scripts to write. But they can be a lot of fun. So much time is spent on world-building, plotting and plotting that when it’s done right, people really appreciate it. I wanted to take a look at three things The Mummy does well – so well, in fact, that it has had several sequels.
And as we examine what it does well, let’s see how you can emulate it.
The Mummy depicts a really specific story. A wrongfully imprisoned soldier knows the location of a secret city and is hired to take an archaeologist there. Competing with them is a group of Americans who have their own expert, the one who betrayed our soldier. When they get there, they accidentally release an ancient mummy who steals the rival team’s organs, working to use the plagues to regain their power and take over the world.
This story is so clean and has a lot of interesting twists.
When writing your story, try to focus on the simple ways. We want to understand the exact purpose of the people in this adventure. Is there a hidden land, artifact, or something more they’re chasing? What drives them to come to this? And is there a map or a person leading the way? There’s so much room to make this story big and wide, but still have those simple elements that allow people to jump on board.
As I mentioned before, the characters are what make action-adventure movies tick. The characters in The Mummy all fit into stereotypical archetypes, with little twists. We have a dashing hero, who is also kind of a goof. We also meet the expert librarian, who also functions as the love interest, and her cowardly brother, who is there for comic relief.
This mixture of comedy and undercutting serious versions of these people is fresh. People are sexy, but they’re still very funny and very smart.
Each person has the odds against them in many ways, but instead of escaping because of their brawn, they often get away with it because of their quick wits. Whether it’s closing a deal, swimming the right side of the river, or simply surviving the mummy’s attack thanks to not reading the book of the dead, their brains often complement them.
We also have strong bows. The coward becomes brave. The buff guy becomes vulnerable. And the shy librarian manages to save the world thanks to her discovery of the limelight. And the audience cheers with it, getting the happy ending it deserves.
Look, we need to focus on this! The adventure here is what sets this story apart and what briefly made this genre come back.
When writing an adventure film, remember that the story should have a fairly clean plot. This one also takes us to many places, hence the adventure of it all. We see a ton of places, even limited to Egypt. We are in lost cities, catacombs, prisons, river boats, the desert, in airplanes and inside ancient ruins. Your story should be broad and take us to interesting places. Even if you’re not a globetrotter, try to find those magical places that exist under our noses.
In addition, these places should cause problems. Whether it’s attacking insects, rival gangs, animals or curses, you can never make the adventure easy. It has to be spectacular for our group to survive. The Mummy allows every scene to appear with that pristine wonder that brings adventure movies to life.
So take these lessons and write your own specification!