Remembering Robin Williams: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM Trilogy
Following the tragic passing of Academy Award winning actor Robin Williams earlier this week, we here at Agents of Geek have taken a look back at a few of his iconic roles. This installment focuses on his work in the hit family-friendly comedy franchise Night at the Museum, in which he played United States President Theodore Roosevelt.
Based on author Milan Trenc’s novel of the same name, Night at the Museum was released in December 2006, just in time for the Christmas season. The movie was a big hit at the box office, grossing over $574M worldwide on a $110M budget. Sure enough, a sequel, subtitled Battle of the Smithsonian, was put into development for a Summer 2009 release. It grossed less than the first film, making $413M at the worldwide box office. A third film, subtitled Secret of the Tomb, is set to hit theaters Christmas 2014. All three movies are directed by Shawn Levy.
In all three films, Robin Williams played Theodore Roosevelt, a prop in New York City’s American Museum of Natural History that represents the 26th President of the United States. In the first movie, Roosevelt plays a key role in teaching new night guard Larry Daly (Ben Stiller) how this museum works. He showed him the tablet of Pharaoh Akhmenrah that gave life to all of the props in the museum at night, and he helped Larry once to restore peace and order in his first night. He encouraged Larry to embrace his position as night guard and keep the multiple exhibits from getting out of hand. In the end, despite plenty of initial reluctance, Larry accomplished just that.
Williams reprises the role in the sequel Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Teddy Roosevelt has much less screentime in this installment, as he is one of the few props that remained in the American Museum of Natural History while the rest, along with Larry Daly, headed to the Smithsonian. However, again, Roosevelt played a key role in Larry’s character development, reminding him that the “key to happiness” is to pursue doing what you love to do.
Finally, Williams played the US President one more time in the third installment of Night at the Museum, Secret of the Tomb. The movie’s plot is more global-based this time around, as the tablet that gives the museum’s exhibits the ability to come to life is dying out. As of this writing, it is unknown how big of a role Roosevelt plays into this movie. However, Secret of the Tomb is one of four unreleased movies that Williams filmed (and completed) before his passing.
In conclusion, Theodore Roosevelt was one of the many memorable characters played by Robin Williams in his lengthy, iconic career, and he is one of the few that the actor played more than once. Witty and heartwarming, this version of the United States President plays a pivotal role in the successful Night at the Museum franchise, encouraging the protagonist to pursue his ultimate goals. Once again, we at Agents of Geek offer our condolences to Williams’ family as they experience this sudden tragedy.
What is your favorite Robin Williams memory?