See An Unrecognizable Brendan Fraser In The Whale First Look

We've never seen him like this.

By Michileen Martin | Published

brendan fraser

We’ve been talking about Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming drama The Whale for the better part of a year, and now we’re finally getting a glimpse of what to expect. Back in October, Brendan Fraser described the prosthetics and costume involved as “extensive, seamless, cumbersome,” and now we have the barest idea of what he was talking about. The first image of Fraser as The Whale‘s main character Charlie has been released by A24.

As reported by Variety, the image comes courtesy of A24’s official Twitter account. The company posted the shot of Brendan Fraser along with photos of Tilda Swinton in the ghost story The Eternal Daughter and Mia Goth in the slasher prequel Pearl. The tweet announces the premieres of all three films at the 79th Venice Film Festival, taking place from August 31 to September 10. You can see the tweet below, followed by a larger version of the shot of Fraser.

brendan fraser

Brendan Fraser was speaking to Unilad in October about last year’s crime thriller No Sudden Move when the subject of The Whale came up. “It’s gonna be like something you haven’t seen before,” Fraser said. “That’s really all I can tell you.” Considering it’s being helmed by Darren Aronofsky, that isn’t a surprise. The director of such films as Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream, and The Wrestler is known for his skill at crafting surreal and disturbing imagery.

Though Brendan Fraser was tight-lipped while talking to Unilad last year, plot-wise there likely isn’t a whole lot of mystery. The Whale is based on the 2012 stage play of the same name written by Samuel D. Hunter, who wrote the screenplay of Aronofsky’s film. Fraser’s character is a 600 pound recluse named Charlie who is desperate to patch things up with his daughter Ellie. Years earlier, Charlie abandoned Ellie and her mother for his lover Alan. He medicates his grief with compulsive overeating, eventually ballooning up to 600 pounds. Charlie supports himself as an online writing tutor, and one day he is surprised to find inspiration in a student essay about the Herman Melville classic Moby Dick.

Playing Charlie’s daughter Ellie is Sadie Sink of Stranger Things fame. In June, Sink talked about her work on The Whale, saying it involved more “character work” than any other part she’d had up to that point. Along with praising Aronofsky, Sink described Brendan Fraser as “so incredible in it, and also just probably my favorite human on the planet. It was so amazing having that experience with him.”

Starring alongside Brendan Fraser in The Whale are Samantha Morton (Minority Report) as his ex-wife Mary, Hong Chau (Watchmen) as Charlie’s friend Liz, and Ty Simpkins (Jurassic World) as Thomas, a religious man who wants to convert Charlie. Sathya Sridharan (Minor Premise) has also been cast in an undisclosed role — possibly as Charlie’s lover Alan. While The Whale will premiere at the Venice Film Festival, there’s no word yet on the date for a wide theatrical release.