Stephen Sommers (born March 20, 1962) is an American screenwriter and film director, best known for The Mummy and its sequel, The Mummy Returns.
Stephen Sommers was born in Dayton, Ohio and grew up in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He is a 1980 graduate of St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and the University of Seville in Spain. Afterwards, he spent four years performing as an actor in theater groups and managing rock bands throughout Europe. He eventually returned to the United States and moved out to Los Angeles, where he attended the USC School of Cinematic Arts for three years. There he graduated with a Master's Degree, as well as wrote and directed an award-winning short film called Perfect Alibi. (It was also there that he met Bob Ducsay, who has gone on to edit all of his movies.) Perfect Alibi helped Sommers acquire independent funding to write and direct his first feature film, the teen racing movie Catch Me If You Can, which was filmed on location in his hometown of St. Cloud for $300,000. The film was released theatrically overseas but debuted on video in the US, ultimately grossing about $6,000,000.
Almost four years later, broke and in danger of having his house repossessed, he wrote and directed an adaptation of Mark Twain's classic The Adventures of Huck Finn for Walt Disney Pictures, as well as Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. In between films, he married his wife, Jana, on July 24, 1993. He later wrote the screenplays for Gunmen and The Adventures of Tom and Huck, which he also executive produced for Disney, and worked as a staff writer at Hollywood Pictures. He and his wife had their first child, a daughter named Samantha June, in 1996. While at Hollywood Pictures, he worked on a script called Tentacle, which he later directed as the retitled Deep Rising in 1998.