Could Brendan Fraser be returning to the role that helped jump-start a career for him in Hollywood? In this day and age of streaming and a content arms race, no previous movie or series is off the table when it comes to getting a reboot or sequel. As long as it had some sort of popularity or name recognition at the time, there’s a chance we are going to see it in some other form even decades later. That could be the case here with Fraser with rumors now that a sequel to Encino Man could be in the works from Disney+. Could Fraser get back into a caveman way of life? It’s certainly looking like a possibility.
Pauley Shore was speaking with Inverse (via ComicBook.com) and got onto the topic of Encino Man, saying that the Mouse House was “talking about the possibility of doing a sequel…” He did go on to say there were some caveats with this, namely that the script would need to be workable and the other main players from the original movie would also need to agree to be in the film. That would be Brendan Fraser and Sean Astin, making up the trio who brought the laughs the first time around.
Encino Man came out in 1992 (30-year anniversary announcement anyone?) and told the ridiculously silly story of a couple of Los Angelino high school students who accidentally dig up a frozen caveman from their backyard swimming pool. It’s a fish-out-of-water stoner flick with Brendan Fraser playing Link, the titular caveman who works to understand how he got to “modern-day” LA while also trying to fit in with the high school crowd who think he’s an exchange student.
Oh, and he also has to try and turn off those caveman instincts like killing wooly mammoths and lighting fires in houses. Pauley Shore and Sean Astin play two friends, Stoney and Dave who use Link’s popularity to front-run their own move up the high school social chain. It’s a silly movie through and through, though perfect for the time period all things considered.
This was Brendan Fraser’s first big role in Hollywood and began to put him on the map. Encino Man ended up earning $41 million on its $7 million budget though it was predictably panned by critics who compared it, negatively, to another stoner buddy comedy from the time in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The movie is sitting at 15% on Rotten Tomatoes. But again, that kind of thing matters not these days as long as the main players are on board. And considering all three of the stars went on to bigger things, this could just work.
As for Brendan Fraser, The Mummy actor is having a later career resurgence here with starring roles in Doom Patrol and The Professionals. Plus, he has a number of different productions in the pipeline. He has a role in Martin Scorcese’s Killers of the Flower Moon which is due out in November and could be headed towards awards-season buzz. Plus, he’s going to make a villain turn in the DC Extended Universe when he plays Firefly in the Batgirl movie. We’ll see if he can also Encino Man 2 to the list.