Night at the Museum @MuseumMovies
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The Night at the Museum stars will come to life one more time.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (due out Dec. 19) is the third and final bow of the successful comedic franchise centered around nocturnally animated museum exhibits and regular-guy night watchman Larry Daley (Ben Stiller).
This time the museum wonders travel to London’s British Museum, and out to the streets.
"We have brought museums to life, but we have never really explored the idea of taking the magic into the world. This movie really goes beyond the museum walls," says director Shawn Levy. “We are out in London, on a double-decker bus, inTrafalgar Square. It’s a juicy idea we haven’t explored.”
It starts at the original home, New York City’s American Museum of Natural History, where the vibrant exhibits were discovered after closing time in 2006’sNight at the Museum (2009’sNight at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian took place inWashington, D.C.).
But the source of the life-giving magic — the Egyptian Golden Tablet of Pharaoh Ahkmenrah — begins to corrode, forcing international action.
Larry and museum exhibits including Pharaoh Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek), Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher), Sacajawea (Mizuo Peck), Roman centurion Octavius (Steve Coogan) and Jedediah (Owen Wilson) wind up at the British Museum’s famed Egyptian wing to solve the deadly mystery.
"We go to the British Museum in the second half of the movie because that is where the answers lie," says Levy. "It’s not because it felt like time to get on an airplane."
The London setting allows for a new cast of characters. A powerful pharaoh, Ahkmenrah’s father and the tablet’s creator, is played by Ben Kingsley. Rebel Wilson portrays the shocked security guard who comes across surprising after-hours activity.
Dan Stevens continues to break away from his Downton Abbey persona by playing a comical Sir Lancelot underneath 50 pounds of armor, a role that Levy calls “a comedic revelation.”
Stevens enjoyed finding the “silly, larger-than-life” side to the famed Knight of the Round Table, even if it meant literally riding a horse through Trafalgar Square during a night shoot. “That was a bit bizarre.”
He also describes the surreal scene of having late-night conversations next to the Rosetta Stone with Robin Williams during night shoot breaks in the museum. Stiller, too, was wowed by having “access to this incredible place that you would just never have a chance to walk around by yourself.”
The film also features the final appearance of Mickey Rooney who shot scenes with fellow night security guards Dick Van Dyke and Bill Cobbs.
"I didn’t know it was to be his last film, but it was a truly memorable shoot," says Levy of Rooney, who died April 6 at age 93. "He came to work."
This installment will be Levy and Stiller’s last museum trek, after the first two films made nearly $1 billion worldwide at the box office.
"These remain the most successful movies that Ben and I have ever done," says Levy. "Ultimately, in some ways, this is about saying goodbye to a franchise which has been career defining for both of us."
'Surprising' Dan Stevens emerges in film after 'Abbey'
Dan Stevens' Downton Abbey heartthrob character Matthew Crawley died in a car crash at the end of 2013’s season 3.
Now the British actor is shedding his Abbey past — and a lot more — in a number of image-bending film roles.
In The Guest (due out Sept. 17) he plays a mysterious soldier with an American accent in a role that earned plaudits at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in January. In June, a trailer dropped for the thriller, which showed Stevens wielding a handgun, smoking and looking smoking hot in a post-shower scene.
"The eyebrows were definitely raised by people used to seeing me in Downton Abbey form,” says Stevens, 31. “I’m enjoying surprising people in all sorts of ways.”
Stevens will continue the menace with A Walk Among the Tombstones with Liam Neeson (Sept. 19), where he plays a drug trafficker. He’s just wrapped Criminal Activities with Michael Pitt, due out next summer. He also started production on The Ticket, where he stars as a blind man who regains his sight, but turns entirely superficial.
For a change of pace, Stevens shows a very silly side as Sir Lancelot in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (Dec. 19),a part he worked hard to grab.
"Everything about it made me think, ‘I’m going to have a go at this.’ I have this mad character that I used to break out for friends that represented a lot of things I found very funny," he says. "I thought I’d give it a try with Lancelot."
He showed it to director Shawn Levy who signed him up. Levy says Stevens’ goofy portrayal “damn near steals the movie.”
Stevens says he’s enjoying the new ride, even when he was saddled with riding a horse in full armor through the rain in famous Trafalgar Square. Londoners were able to see the new, surprisingly comedic Stevens firsthand.
"It was very strange to sit on the horse and watch double-decker buses go by," says Stevens. "The rest of London was going about its business while some idiot was on his horse in a full suit of armor."