Brendan Fraser’s Best Role Was For James Corden

Brendan Fraser's role in The Whale was initially supposed to go to James Corden.

By Douglas Helm | Published

brendan fraser

Brendan Fraser is in the midst of a career comeback thanks to his award-worthy performance in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale. However, that movie could have been a lot different as apparently James Corden would have played Fraser’s role and Tom Ford would have directed (via Slash Film). Corden revealed this tidbit of information during a Q&A session for his Prime Video series Mammals.

Brendan Fraser gave a career-best performance for his work in The Whale, which almost no one could have lived up to. It’s probably for the best that James Corden didn’t land the role. According to Corden, the project fell through because Ford wanted complete creative control and the studios didn’t want to accommodate him. Also, apparently, George Clooney was briefly interested in making the film and wanted to cast an unknown actor who was actually 600 pounds in the role.

Obviously, none of this ever came to pass and Brendan Fraser got the role instead of James Corden. This is the second surprising casting reveal we heard about Corden recently, as he also mentioned that he went out for the role of Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s pretty safe to say that both The Whale and The Lord of the Rings movies were better with the cast they ended up choosing.

james corden

In The Whale, Fraser plays a 600-pound man who tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter, played by Sadie Sink. Fraser has already received award nominations and multi-minute standing ovations for his performance, and it seems very likely that he’ll be up for an Oscar nomination at the next Academy Awards. If Brendan Fraser manages to take home the trophy, it will be his first Academy Award.

Meanwhile, James Corden has been in the news lately for announcing the end of his tenure on The Late Late Show. Corden hosted the show since 2015 and will finish out the hosting gig in 2023. Corden is best known for his segments like Carpool Karaoke and Crosswalk Musical.

Brendan Fraser is set to continue his film hot streak with Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of the David Grann novel Killers of the Flower Moon. The film follows the real-life tale of the FBI investigating the murders of members of the Osage tribe in the 1920s. Killers of the Flower Moon also stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, John Lithgow, Tantoo Cardinal, Cara Jade Myers, and more.

Although it’s not quite as serious of a drama as Brendan Fraser’s The Whale, James Corden’s latest acting project is the Amazon series Mammals which follows a Michelin-starred chef whose life implodes. Mammals is currently available to watch on Amazon Prime and stars Melia Kreiling, Colin Morgan, Sally Hawkins, and more. Mammals has decent reviews so far with a 69% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

If you want to catch Fraser in The Whale, you can still see it in theaters. The film has a 65% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and 91% from audiences. Stay tuned for more news on Brendan Fraser and James Corden’s latest projects.