While Brendan Fraser has consistently worked for the last few years, it’s been years since the actor has led a major motion picture. His last huge roles probably came in 2008, with the dual releases of Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. But Fraser has just been cast as the lead in the new film from Black Swan and mother! Director Darren Aronofsky.
Brendan Fraser and Darren Aronofsky are teaming up for The Whale, based on the play of the same name. The screenplay will be written by The Whale’s writer, Samuel D. Hunter. The Whale centers around a six-hundred-pound recluse who is eating himself to death, yet this recluse gets one last shot at redemption when he reaches out to his estranged daughter. The Whale was critically acclaimed and received several awards and nominations, including earning Hunter a MacArthur “Genius Grant” in 2014.
The Whale will be produced by A24, who in a posting about the project said it was “coming soon.” This is Darren Aronofsky’s first film since 2017’s controversial mother!, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. But 2021 seems like it will be the massive return of Brendan Fraser. Not only does Fraser have The Whale coming up, but this year he will also star in Behind the Curtain of Night with Marcia Cross, and Steven Soderbergh’s latest ensemble crime film, No Sudden Move, which also stars Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Jon Hamm, Ray Liotta, and Kieran Culkin.
Yet even though Brendan Fraser hasn’t had much of a film career over the last few years, he has had an impressive television resume. Fraser had a recurring role on the Showtime series The Affair in 2016 and 2017. He then was a cast member on the FX series Trust, and the series Condor. Fraser has also done voices for Titans and Doom Patrol. Most recently, Fraser has filmed the new series Professionals, with Smallville’s Tom Welling.
But Brendan Fraser’s fading away was far from intentional. In 2018, Fraser said that he was sexually assaulted by Philip Berk, the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association back in 2003. Fraser says that he believes the Hollywood Foreign Press Association might have blacklisted him for calling out Berk, with the HFPA stating, “His career declined through no fault of ours.” This incident, combined with his divorce and the death of his mother, put Fraser into a depression.
In addition to all of this, in 2018, Brendan Fraser said he spent the last seven years getting surgeries to fix injuries caused by his various action roles. This included a partial knee replacement, vocal cord surgery, back surgery, and a laminectomy. Fraser’s stunt-heavy films and his dedication to the roles left a toll, with Fraser feeling like he was “building an exoskeleton for myself daily” with ice packs and pads to keep himself going.
Brendan Fraser has had a rough few years, but with a strong lineup of television roles, and an exciting lineup of upcoming films, it seems like Brendan Fraser is back on his way to the top. If Darren Aronofsky’s past films are any indication, The Whale will certainly be unusual and a can’t-miss film.