Brendan Fraser is back, baby. A24 just released a first look at Darren Aronofsky’s new drama, The Whale, in which Fraser stars as an English teacher living with obesity who is trying to reconnect with his estranged 17-year-old daughter. The film premiered for the first time at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, which began on Aug. 31.
While the rest of the world waits to view the movie, attendees of the film festival already love what they’ve seen. As the credits rolled, Fraser was met with a standing ovation that ran six minutes long.
If he was doubting his return to the industry after a decade of being out of the limelight, the special moment put all those fears to rest. Overcome with emotion, he tried to leave the theater but was kept at bay by the never-ending applause.
While we’re used to seeing Fraser in films like The Mummy franchise, George of the Jungle, and in the period drama, Gods and Monsters, The Whale is his first in almost a decade. It was his exit at the height of his career that left Fraser fans (of which there are millions) wanting more.
His disappearance from public life came after he’d felt blacklisted from Hollywood after he alleged he was the victim of sexual assault by a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. He battled depression thereafter, searching for answers as to what happened and what he should do next.
“I was blaming myself and I was miserable—because I was saying, ‘This is nothing; this guy reached around and he copped a feel,'” he told GQ in 2018. “That summer wore on—and I can’t remember what I went on to work on next.”
Premiering at the 79th Venice Film Festival 🇮🇹— A24 (@A24) July 26, 2022
• Darren Aronofsky's THE WHALE starring Brendan Fraser and Sadie Sink
• Joanna Hogg's THE ETERNAL DAUGHTER starring Tilda Swinton
• Ti West's PEARL starring Mia Goth pic.twitter.com/AxlAbhWDRo
Now, Fraser is back and better than ever. Joining him in The Whale, which is based on the play by Samuel D. Hunter, are Sadie Sink (Stranger Things), Hong Chau, Samantha Morton, and Ty Simpkins.
“It’s gonna be like something you haven’t seen before,” Fraser told Unilad last year about the film. “That’s really all I can tell you…The wardrobe and costume was extensive, seamless, cumbersome. This is certainly far removed from anything I’ve ever done but not to be coy…I do know it’s going to make a lasting impression.”
Fraser did have a supporting role in Steven Soderbergh’s No Sudden Move last year, but The Whale marks a major comeback as his first leading role since 2013. But he’s not stopping there. Fraser is also set to star in Martin Scorsese’s western Killers of the Flower Moon and was set to play the villainous Garfield Lynns/Firefly DC’s Batgirl for HBO Max, but that film has since bee shelved.
A24 has not yet announced a release date for The Whale, but we already know Fraser is going to kill it.