|“||Mr. Daniels, no disrespect meant but you have the social skills of a drill sergeant.||”|
–Dr. Allen Chamberlin on Daniels' nature., The Mummy (novelization)
David "Dave" Daniels was an American treasure hunter that accompanied four other men in the pursuit of the City of the Dead, Hamunaptra, and be murdered after.
Daniels was a treasure hunter that journeyed with three others American treasure seekers to Egypt in the pursuit of the fabled City of the Dead, Hamunaptra. Along with an Egyptologist named Allen Chamberlain as their consultant, the three men sought out Hamunaptra, knowing of the treasures and riches that were said to be kept there. Their journey beginning at Giza Port, the four men enlisted a former French Foreign Legionnaire named Beni Gabor as their guide. The guide had the initial plan of abandoning the explorers in the middle of the desert once they paid him his due commission, but the explorers had seen this as a potential trouble, paying Gabor only half of his payment once they were aboard the riverboat that would take them all to the next location, with the other half to follow once they all returned to Cairo.
At Giza Port
|“||With all the money we're paying you there better be something under that sand.||”|
–Daniels to Beni regarding their expedition., The Mummy
Daniels and his fellows had reached Giza Port believing that they would reach the lost City of the Dead, Hamunaptra and claim its treasures for their own. To reach this end, the three men booked passage aboard a riverboat that would take them in their journey along the Nile to reach the next point along the path. Trusting Dr. Chamberlin, their consultant, to ensure the order of equipment and workers, Daniels and his friends enjoyed a voyage by riverboat that night, believing that all would be well.
On board the riverboat, the three American treasure hunters travelled comfortably enough to start a poker match amongst themselves, which Burns seemed to be winning quickly. At this poker match, the three men met Rick O'Connell, another American and treasure hunter, seeking the same ruins. Jonathan Carnahan, who joined in the poker game, had informed the three Americans about O'Connell's goals, unknowing that it would cause some rifts between the two groups. Daniels made the wager to O'Connell of five hundred dollars that the group consisting of Daniels and his associates would reach the City of the Dead first. O'Connell accepted this bet, stating that he only gambled with his life and never his money. The bet made, Daniels and his friends continued the game.
That night, however, a small group of assailants crept aboard the riverboat with the intent to kill. The assassins were Medjai, a secret society thought long since lost that dedicated itself to guarding some unknown evil from re-entering the world. One Medjai, a man with a hook-shaped blade where his hand once was, threatened one of O'Connell's group, a young lady named Evelyn Carnahan, demanding that she give him the map to Hamanaptra and the key, referring to a small puzzle-like octagonal box in Evelyn's possession. O'Connell staved the man off, along with his fellows, unknowing that more of them boarded the riverboat, causing destruction to everything that they could. The Medjai warriors fought hard against O'Connell, who dispatched a number of them with his pistols. As the battle waged on, Daniels and his American friends joined in, blasting away more Medjai with their pistols. The damage done to the boat, however, forced all aboard to jump ship into the Nile. As they reached the banks swimming out, Daniels complained that Egypt was "a messed up country", and all the Americans could do was continue on to reach the City, not realising that they were on the wrong side of the river to reach the ruins.
Early one morning almost two days later, Daniels and his friends, accompanied by their guide, consultant, and a small number of native diggers, reached a point in the desert where they came across Rick O'Connell, accompanied by Evelyn and Jonathan Carnahan, as well as Gad Hassan. Daniels and his American friends were by this point all astride horses, and reminded O'Connell and his group that the wager over who could reach the city was still on, Daniels promising Beni that one hundred of those dollars were his if he helped them win the race. Daniels crossly demanded to know of Beni why they had stopped in the desert; Beni telling his employer to have patience for a moment, as the sun slowly rose, and illuminated the path. The race now engaged, all present rallied up their strides and raced off into the desert in the hopes of reaching the ruins first. The race went to Evelyn Carnahan, who won, and leaving behind her competitors in the dust, earned her group five hundred dollars.
The two groups reached Hamunaptra in time, each setting up camp in the ruins, as the expedition led by O'Connell was made to put up their own small pup tents, while Daniels and his companions had larger tents set up in great numbers, leaving the diggers to do the drudge work.
Daniels, along with Henderson, Burns, Dr. Chamberlain, Beni and a small group of native diggers, made their way to the base of a great statue depicting the god Anubis, where they expected to stake their claim and seek treasures. Around the statue base, however, was the other expedition, which also had the goal of staking the statue as their site. Both parties argued at gunpoint over who might lay claim, Daniels and his companions winning the debate, unaware that Evelyn Carnahan of the other expedition knew that there was another chamber below the statue of Anubis.
The three Americans and their associates, having obtained their dig site, planned to search through the site at all possible opportunities for treasure. Henderson was about to pry open a compartment with a crowbar, but was quickly stopped by Dr. Chamberlin, who remarked that Seti was no fool to make his treasures so easily accessed, and so suggested that the diggers be the ones to pry open the compartment. Three diggers reluctantly stepped forward and began to pry at the statue, Chamberlin ordering them to put more effort in, but once they had finally put forth enough strength, a torrent of salt acid blasted from the statue, burning the three men to death as all others present screamed in terror.
|“||That proves it! Ol' Seti's fortune has gotta be under this sand. For them to protect it like this you just know there's treasure down there.||”|
–Daniels to his fellows after the Medjai attack., The Mummy
That night, the camps were invaded by black-robed men on horseback: Medjai. The Medjai warriors sped into the campsite, killing off native diggers, crashing tents, rousing Chamberlain to run screaming (parasol still in hand) for Henderson to wake up, and Daniels along with Burns, to see to the melee. During the battle, many Medjai were killed as members of both expeditions fought them off. During the battle, Daniels was wounded in the left arm, and so hindered at times by the pain. But the battle ended in a draw: Ardeth Bay, the leader of the Medjai warriors, declared that they would kill no more, but the expeditionaries must all leave the city at once or die, being given one day to leave. With that said, Ardeth Bay rode off with his fellow warriors, leaving both groups shaken. Daniels, contorted with pain in his arm, stated that the attack was proof that Seti's treasure was hidden in the city somewhere, O'Connell replying that it made no sense for the Medjai to attack, as they were desert nomads that valued water more than gold. That night, as a form of security, both expeditions decided to combine forces at night, deciding that they could be rivals without being enemies.
Discovery of the Chest
On the morning after the Medjai attack, Daniels and his fellows returned to the statue base of Anubis, where the native diggers returned to the compartment that their deceased compatriots had been prying open earlier, under Chamberlin's orders, and within the statue base they discovered an elaborately carved wooden chest, complete with hieroglyphs and drawings. The diggers set the chest down as the Americans were about to open it; Chamberlin, however, stopped them for a moment, warning them that the chest had a curse place upon it. Daniels and the others scoffed at this, but Chamberlin insisted that the forces set forth in ancient times had as much presence as they did when they were first set down; reading the hieroglyphs upon the chest, Chamberlain revealed that death would come to any that opened the chest. A gust of wind blew into the chamber, so powerful that it frightened off the already uneasy native diggers as Chamberlin read on: one known in the hieroglyphs as "the undead" was bound by sacred law to consummate the curse, killing all who opened the chest, assimilating their organs and fluids, and regenerating in the process, being a plague upon the Earth. As the words were read aloud, Beni, fearing for his life at the end of the curse, ran off screaming. Neither the warning nor their guide running off meant anything to Daniels and the other Americans, who pried open the chest at once, releasing a large cloud of dust.
When the cloud of dust had risen, the contents of the chest were revealed: a large burlap package was placed in the chest, which was unwrapped by Chamberlin, who beheld the object in awe: the Book of the Dead. The three Americans derided the book, not caring for it, and asked where the treasure was, Chamberlain replying that the Book was a treasure. Henderson was about to remark that it was worthless, but was stopped when his foot tapped the chest on the side, revealing a hidden compartment that wielded four gold-filigreed canopic jars along with a fifth, broken jar. Each man present took a canopic jar for himself thereafter.
That night, around the campfire, O'Connell and Jonathan sat with Beni as they were joined by Burns, Daniels and Henderson, who all laughed at O'Connell's group finding a mummy, Daniels joking that if they dried the mummy out they might be able to sell it off as firewood. With that, Evelyn joined the campfire conversation, bringing with her dried exoskeletons of scarabs, shocking the others with her telling of the scarabs' nature: eating the flesh of a corpse.
Later that night, when everyone else had laid down for the night, Evelyn snuck into Dr. Chamberlin's tent and "borrowed" the Book of the Dead from him as he slept, taking it back to the campfire. O'Connell, having known that she took the Book, sat up and watched as she used the puzzle box as a key to open the Book. O'Connell felt that reading the Book was an unwise idea, not knowing what they might be meddling with, as Evelyn opened the Book and read aloud the words inside. Evelyn did not see it at the time, but below in the catacombs of the ruins below, the mummy that they had dug up came back to life, shrieking. Chamberlin awoke screaming that she must not read from the Book, but the damage was done, for at that moment a powerful noise sounded out from the horizon as great swarms of locusts came in hordes to the campsites, enveloping all in their path as O'Connell, accompanied by Evelyn, Jonathan, Burns, Daniels, Henderson, and a few native diggers rushed into the tunnels below. Others were not so fortunate, however, as several diggers did not reach the tunnels in time and were hit by swarms of locusts.
The expeditionaries all ran through the tunnels, trying to escape the locust swarm, O'Connell and the Carnahans separating from the three Americans and diggers by running off in another direction. Daniels was running from the locusts along with Burns, Henderson and some diggers, each man having no idea where the locust swarm had come from, Daniels among them, shouting that he was not waiting around to find out. As he and the others ran, however, Burns tripped and fell, losing his spectacles when Beni, who was trying to catch up with the others, unknowingly stepped on Burns' glasses, breaking them, and not staying to help Burns back up, along with Daniels and Henderson, each man too distracted with trying to escape the locust swarm.
Daniels and Henderson, along with one last digger, ran screaming to O'Connell and Jonathan, who were nearby, to run away, and all ran frantically from a new threat: the carnivorous scarab beetles, which came in droves, chasing the men down the corridors, and devouring the digger among them, who had tripped and fallen, being reduced to nothing but bones by the time the scarabs had eaten their fill. O'Connell tried to stop and help the man, but the digger was killed before he could do anything about it.
As the five expeditionaries ran from the scarabs, O'Connell separated himself, eyeing Evelyn and trying to get her to escape with him and the other men, but stopped at once upon seeing that Evelyn was staying still because she was petrified with fear at the sight of a re-animated mummy, and O'Connell froze in place with her. Jonathan, along with Daniels and Henderson, ran into the chamber and also were caught with fear at the corpse, which gathered up its strength and emitted an unearthly roar. O'Connell shouted back at the corpse and shot it in the leg, blasting the body into pieces, and ran away from the chamber along with Jonathan, Daniels and Henderson, Daniels hysterically shouting that it was walking.
As the group ran from the chamber with the mummy in it, they made their way into an ambush: the Medjai, having returned, had them all at gunpoint, outnumbering them. Ardeth Bay, their leader, spoke out: the expeditions were told to leave or die, and having refused, they had condemned all. Ardeth went on to say that they had unleashed an evil which they had feared for over three thousand years, O'Connell responding that the mummy had already been taken care of, but Ardeth did not accept this as a response, declaring that mortal weapons could not kill the creature. At that, two Medjai brought forth Burns, who was in serious pain, having been robbed of his eyes and tongue, as he groaned in agony. Henderson and Daniels angrily demanded to know of the Medjai what they did to him, stopping when Ardeth Bay made it clear that he and his fellow warriors had saved Burns before the mummy could do more harm. With this, all of the expeditionaries were told to leave before they were all killed.
Return to Cairo
|“||Tail set firmly between your legs, I see.
Yeah, well you can talk; you don't have some sacred corpse coming after you.
–Jonathan and Henderson at a bar in Cairo discussing the Americans' decision to leave., The Mummy
Upon reaching Cairo two days after they had left Hamanaptra, the remaining expeditionaries were all shaken but none worse for the wear. Daniels and Henderson met up with O'Connell and Jonathan some time later in a bar, explaining that they had decided to leave Cairo and head for Alexandria, taking their wounded companion Burns along, but that the boat did not leave until the next day. Jonathan quipped that the Americans were running off in cowardice, Henderson sourly reminding Jonathan that he did not have a corpse coming after him. Upon being asked by O'Connell about Burns' current state, Daniels crossly responded that he had his eyes and tongue ripped out, and asked how O'Connell would be had that happened to him.
Unbeknownst to Daniels, his friend Burns was having a meeting with the very force that so maimed him; Imhotep, disguised as an honoured royal offering a bid for Burns' canopic jar, had visited Burns' quarters in Cairo, and thanks to the duplicitous Beni, had finished the consummation of Burns, taking his life and remaining organs.
|“||Sweet Jesus! It tastes just like--
"And the rivers and waters of Egypt ran red, and were as blood"
–Jonathan, O'Connell, Henderson and Daniels seeing the effect of the curse., The Mummy
Before bidding one another farewell, O'Connell, Jonathan, Henderson and Daniels exchanged a toast at the bar, each downing his drink, and promptly spitting it out, along with every other patron in the bar. In place of their drinks was blood, which came from the fountains in the bar centre as well; Rick realized that the mummy was in Cairo.
At that moment, panic rang out in the streets of Cairo as great balls of fire and hail fell from the sky, and an inhuman roar sounded out. O'Connell, along with Evelyn, hurried back inside the building and into Burns' quarters. Burns was now a desiccated corpse in a bathrobe, and the mummy stood at the end of the room, his rotted flesh flourishing slowly as he regenerated. O'Connell shot at the corpse, the bullets having no effect but to anger the creature, who gave O'Connell a great shove, throwing him clear across the room and into Daniels, Henderson and Jonathan, who had also come into the room. The corpse did not pay attention to the men, however, walking up to Evelyn, calling her Anck-Su-Namun and telling her in ancient Egyptian that she had saved him from the Underworld. As he leaned in to kiss her, a plunking noise sounded: from one edge of the room, climbing onto a piano was Evelyn's cat Cleo, who had wandered from her quarters to Burns'. Terrified at the sight of the cat, the mummy shrieked out in horror and blasted himself from the room as a small sandstorm, going out the window.
Only one person in Cairo could provide some explanation as to what was going on: Evelyn's employer, Dr. Terence Bey. As she and the others ran into the Cairo Museum to speak with him, they beheld a shocking sight, Dr. Bey was in league with Ardeth Bay, the very Medjai warrior that had threatened them all back at Hamanaptra. Dr. Bey explained forthright that he and Ardeth were part of a secret society that was dedicated to the protection of mankind, guarding the ruins of Hamanaptra from any that might find its secrets, fearing that whoever did find the city might awaken the ancient evil that lay buried there: the High Priest Imhotep must not be reanimated from his mummified state, for he would certainly kill all that had some part in his revival.
Upon returning to their residential area, the remaining expeditionaries recapped the names of all the men that were present when the chest was opened: Burns, Chamberlin, Henderson and Daniels. Beni ran off before the chest was opened, but there were still three other men that the mummy would certainly prey upon: Henderson, Dr. Chamberlin, and Daniels, and the decision was made to find the Egyptologist and to bring him back to safety. O'Connell volunteered himself, Henderson, Daniels and Jonathan to go and find him, leaving Evelyn to stay behind, but all of the others recoiled at this idea, the other men not wanting to risk their lives, Evelyn being indignant at being left behind. O'Connell was prepared to take no chances with her, and so picked Evelyn up physically, took her to her quarters and locked her in, grabbing Daniels and telling him that Evelyn was not to leave the room, and that no one could come in. Daniels accepted this, as did Henderson, and so both men stayed behind while O'Connell and Jonathan went off to find the Egyptologist.
Imhotep had found and killed Chamberlin just as O'Connell and Jonathan reached the professor's office, rendering the mummy stronger than he was before. With his new strength, Imhotep went to go and find the next victim of the curse; back at the fort, both Daniels and Henderson grew bored of sitting around doing nothing, and Daniels went downstairs to get a drink, Henderson calling for bourbon. While Daniels was away, Henderson brandished his revolver at the canopic jar that he had, caught by surprise as the window burst open and Imhotep swooped in as a great dust cloud, draining Henderson of his organs and fluids. Organs replenished, Imhotep took the form of sand and made his way into Evelyn's bedchambers, kissing her as she slept, her touch corrupting his, reverting part of his face into a mummy-like jowl. O'Connell burst in, catching the mummy by surprise as he brandished Cleo, Evelyn's cat, at the corpse, frightening him off once again. Daniels re-entered the room at that moment, mortified that his friend Henderson was now dead.
The other three chest openers gone, Daniels was the only one left alive, and so was especially on his toes as he accompanied O'Connell, Evelyn and Jonathan to the Cairo Museum, where they would seek Dr. Bey's help once more. Dr. Bey, who was with Ardeth Bay at the time, took the group through the museum, where they found a large hieroglyphic slab on display, believing that if the Book of the Dead could bring the mummy to life, the Golden Book of Amun-Ra would take the mummy's life away. As Evelyn tried to decipher the hieroglyphs and figure out the location of the Book of Amun-Ra, chanting sounded from outside: Imhotep had used his power over the Ten Plagues to place some spell over the people of Cairo so that they would be his slaves, mindless, zombie-like drones. Evelyn read aloud the location of the Book as Jonathan headed outside to get his car started so that they could all make a clean getaway. The location finally being revealed as being back in Hamanaptra at the base of the statue of Horus, Evelyn ran out of the museum in the nick of time, for the enslaved townspeople had broken through the doors and began their pursuit.
As the group of O'Connell, Jonathan, Evelyn, Dr. Bey, Ardeth Bay and Daniels all escaped in Jonathan's car, Beni, who was now under the servitude of Imhotep, screamed out for his master. Imhotep saw the car and its passengers escape, and sent out his drones to catch them. The enslaved townspeople began to swarm on the car as the passengers pushed them off, Daniels reaching trouble when two drones grabbed hold of him and pulled him over the car and onto the streets. The townspeople drew closer and closer, prompting Daniels to draw out his pistols and blast away as many of the assailants as he could. Daniels soon ran out of bullets and was now surrounded by the mob, which parted as Imhotep, in an almost restored form, stepped out into Daniels' presence, smiling haughtily at his fear. Daniels, now fearing for his life, tried his very last option: taking out his canopic jar and handing it to Imhotep. He only emitted his roar, and destroyed Daniels, taking his organs and fluids as he did Daniels' companions, thus leaving all who opened the chest dead.
Personality and Traits
Daniels was a stoic man compared with his fellow Americans, being impatient, curt with words and manners at times, but was not without his sense of humour, cracking a joke every now and again. A brash man with a competitive edge, Daniels was also one for making wagers when the chance arose, but Daniels could also be as subject to fear as any other man, being frightened by the traps and ancient workings that were set forth by the ancient Egyptians whenever said workings threatened his being, as well as Imhotep when he sought to drain the life from him.
Daniels dressed in clothes similar to those of his fellow Americans, the main difference being that his garb was of a darker hue, consisting of a dark suit with plus-four trousers, black belt and suspenders, and a grey shirt and necktie, with a dark fedora sometimes being added to his outfit, notably when outside in the desert. After he was shot by the Medjai in a fight in Hamunaptra, Daniels began wearing his suit jacket with one arm out.
Behind the Scenes
Daniels was portrayed by Corey Johnson.
In the captions for The Mummy, it was revealed that Daniels' first name is "Dave".
Unlike Imhotep's other victims, Daniel's body was not seen after his death.