LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Having tapped into its “American Pie” franchise for three successful direct-to-video sequels, Universal Studios is now casting its eye toward “The Mummy.”
“The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian,” a prequel to the “Mummy” spinoff “The Scorpion King,” will be released next year under Universal’s DVD Originals banner. Principal photography began this month in Cape Town, with Russell Mulcahy (“Resident Evil: Extinction”) directing.
“Akkadian” follows the events before “Scorpion,” the 2002 summer hit that starred Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Mathayus, the fearsome warrior king of an ancient desert empire. The new production tells the story of young Mathayus’ rise to become the Scorpion King. Michael Copon (the N’s “Beyond the Break”) stars as the young Mathayus. The film also features Simon Quarterman, Karen David, Ralf Moeller and Ultimate Fighting Championship king Randy Couture.
Universal’s DVD Originals brand was launched in September 2005 with the release of “Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power,” a belated sequel to the 1993 theatrical hit “Carlito’s Way,” that has sold 1.5 million units. Next came “American Pie Presents: Band Camp,” which sold more than 1 million units in the first week following its December 26, 2005, release. The title has since sold more than 2 million units and is the top-selling live-action, nonfamily direct-to-video title of all time.
Also in the top five, from Universal: “American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile” (No. 2), “Bring It On: All or Nothing” (No. 4) and “Bring It On Again” (No. 5).