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Scene Stealer: How 'The Mummy' got its army

August 6, 2008 |  5:10 pm


The terra cotta warriors uncovered in China's Shaanxi province number in the thousands. The replica army created for "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" by production designer Nigel Phelps, head set decorator Anne Kuljian and sculptor Lucie Fournier was significantly smaller: 500 warriors divided into five types, 12 cavalry horses, 16 chariot horses and four emperor's horses. And while every warrior in China was carved with a unique face, the "Mummy" production settled for 20 different head styles. A crew of 20 spent 3 1/2  months building hard plaster warriors using cement re-creations from China. "They had to be light enough to move," Kuljian said. But even still, the warriors weighed around 70 pounds apiece and each had to be screwed into the ground when placed in formation. "If we didn't have them screwed in, it would be like the domino effect. . . . When we dressed the set, someone knocked one and four fell down. That's when we added the screws."

-- Patrick Kevin Day