LONDON - At the end of the latest Night At The Museum movie, these words appear on screen:
In loving memory of Mickey Rooney
And for Robin Williams
Magic never ends
The cast members and director expressed their full admiration, both on-screen and off-screen, for the late Robin Williams who passed away in August 2014.
Williams played the wax figure of the 26th United States President Theodore Roosevelt in all three Night At The Museum movies since 2006.
In the third and seemingly final instalment of the trilogy "NATM3: Secret Of The Tomb", the story and lines invoke more emotions as Robin Williams is sorely missed. "It was very sad at the end of the movie, and now it's extra sad (after he died)", says director Shawn Levy.
"Robin loved the poignance of the film, I didn't want to avoid it and let the emotions be where it is. The movie very lovingly says goodbye to him," Levy added.
Star of the trilogy Ben Stiller also offered his tribute to the well-loved actor: "I never took it for granted, working with Robin, because I was always a huge fan of his. Growing up, for me, he was one of my comedic idols. Every time we got to work together in these movies, I was always excited. He was very generous and kind and would make everybody feel as if they were an equal. It was fun to be around him and have him treat you that way but really, in reality, I was always really just a fan. I feel really lucky to have had that opportunity to spend that time with him and to be in the movies with him. It's great that the movies exist. For me, it's the experience I'll take away."
New cast member Sir Ben Kingsley recalls his times with Williams too. "I've met him a few times, I watched Robin on stage many years ago when he was in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, and we played the same role - I played it in London, he played it in New York, we were able to quote from the play and enjoyed talking about it. I was very fond of Robin."
Apart from Robin Williams, acting legend Mickey Rooney is also missed. Rooney plays Ben Stiller's nemesis Gus in the movies. Shortly after completing what became his final film appearance, Rooney passed away at age 93. Levy recalls, "Working with Mickey was a reminder to us all that to make a living doing something creative that you love is a life-defining gift. While it's deeply sad to know this was Mickey's last role, we take pride in that Mickey and his character Gus are a key part of the film. It was an honour to work with Mickey and he will be missed."
Never say never to a fourth NATM
Though Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb appears to be the final instalment to the franchise, Levy did not completely dismiss the possibility of a fourth movie.
"I think right now, in our minds, this third movie brings closure to the franchise and to the characters," Levy explained.
"But I suppose we can't predict the future, and if the world embraces us the way they have in the past two, we will see," he added.
In line with this, Rebel Wilson said she's keeping her character's guard hat just in case, while Ben Stiller was also given the magic tablet prop as momento.
This article was first published on December 24, 2015 on omy.sg, SPH's bilingual-friendly infotainment website. Go to omy.sg for more stories.