Brendan Fraser Turned Down The Sequel To A Huge Hit Because Of Money

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

brendan fraser

There is no doubt that Brendan Fraser’s career has been a bit of a roller coaster. After starring in major blockbuster hits like Bedazzled (2000) and Airheads (1994), the Mummy actor seemed to slip away from the spotlight for many years before making a major comeback in his recent film, The Whale (2022). Despite being in many well-loved movies, it seems the Hollywood star turned down a sequel to one of his fan favorites, George of the Jungle, according to an interview the actor did with Entertainment Weekly. According to Fraser, “I think George got a remake, and they built a joke into it that the studio was too cheap to hire me, which wasn’t inaccurate.”

George of the Jungle was one of Brendan Fraser’s biggest hits and debuted as the second most popular film at the time of its release, falling behind only Men In Black. Per usual, when a Hollywood film meets major success the way that George of the Jungle did, the studio wants to cash in with a sequel. Apparently, Fraser was approached to reprise his role for George of the Jungle 2, but the studio didn’t have the budget to pay the actor what he wanted.

During the interview, Brendan Fraser recalls turning down the offer to play George again. He mentions how, in the sequel, the movie jokes about recasting Fraser for budgetary reasons, and Fraser confirmed that the joke was not incorrect. 

brendan fraser

Though Brendan Fraser had become a big Hollywood star at this point, and the sequel to a family comedy probably didn’t have the budget to cover an actor of Fraser’s caliber, Fraser admitted that money wasn’t the only reason he turned down the role. The Whale actor couldn’t quite remember what he was doing at the time, but he believed the main reason he turned down the project was so that he could focus on more diversified movies like The Quiet American (2002), in which Fraser starred alongside Michael Caine.

Brendan Fraser has certainly taken on a variety of roles throughout his career. From playing outlandish comedic characters like the defrosted caveman in Encino Man (1992) to very serious and heart-wrenching performances like that of his most recent role as Charlie, an English professor with a compulsive eating disorder who tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter before he dies, in The Whale. Fraser is an actor who has always been able to keep his audience on their toes, so they never know what to expect. He attributes this to only ever accepting projects that interest him on a personal level.

After the actor’s resurgence following his performance in The Whale, which won the Denver International Film Festival Rare Pearl Award, fans on the internet have been claiming that Brendan Fraser is going through a “Brennaisance.” The actor says he is aware that people think he is making a comeback, though he doesn’t see it in the same way. He says that he considers his career to have always been on an upward path and that everything happened in the way it was meant to in order for him to play Charlie in the honest, authentic, and moving way that he did.