He is based on a historical figure with the same name and was originally written as the reboot film's main antagonist. However, he was later dropped when the script was rewritten, and Ahmanet was created to take his place.
In the early draft's synopsis, it was stated that before his demise, Ashurbanipal appropriated Egyptian mummification techniques and mysticism in a bid to live forever and conquer the world.
Thousands of years later, Ashurbanipal was awakened after Taylor Coalt (the achetype of Nick Morton), a Navy SEAL soldier stumbled into his tomb whilst on a mission in Iraq. After being revived, Arshurbanibal took over Taylor's mind and intended to unleash his army back onto the world in order to conquer it.
- If Ashurbanipal successfully became the main villain of the finished film, he will become the third main antagonist in The Mummy franchise who was fictionalized from a real-life historical figure, after Mathayus the Scorpion King and the Dragon Emperor.
- Beisdes Ashurbanipal, there were other earlier scripts and concepts for the reboot film. They were originally shown to have featured a male mummy as the antagonist, like all of the main villains from previous installments. However, the original design for the film's male mummy was looking far too similar to Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse. As a result, the crew decided to use a female mummy instead, thus creating Ahmanet.
- Even with his character being discarded, some elements of Ashurbanipal's role was transferred on Ahmanet, like being accidentally revived from their slumber, manipulating the protagonist through mind control, and intending to use the hero to fulfill their goals.