Actor Brendan Fraser, 52, is to star in the next movie project from the acclaimed, Oscar-nominated director, Darren Aronofsky.
The Whale is adapted from a play of the same name by Samuel D. Hunter. It made its debut off-Broadway in 2012 and won a clutch of prizes, including a Drama Desk Award for ‘Significant Contribution to Theatre’ and a GLAAD Media Award.
According to Variety, The Whale focuses on a 600-pound middle-aged man named Charlie, living on the outskirts of Mormon Country in Idaho, and his attempts to reconnect with his 17-year-old daughter.
The two became estranged after Charlie, an online writing instructor, abandoned his family for his gay lover, who later died. The man’s death triggers Charlie to turn to compulsive eating to cope with his grief.
The movie will be a co-production between A24 and Aronofsky’s Protozoa Pictures.
Aronofsky is best known for Black Swan (the Natalie Portman-starring drama earned him an Oscar nomination in 2011), and 2017’s mother! (starring his former partner, Jennifer Lawrence). In 2008, Aronofsky made The Wrestler, which won plaudits for Mickey Rourke after many years in the Hollywood wilderness.
Fraser is fondly remembered for starring roles in turn-of-the-century movies such as George Of The Jungle (1997), and The Mummy films. His big-screen career appeared to disappear in the late 00s, although he’s been busy in recent years with some TV roles, including Trust (for FX in 2018).
Given Aronofsky’s pedigree as a filmmaker and the quality of the material upon which it’s based, some are already speculating The Whale could be an awards contender.
Hunter is adapting his play for the screen. He told Deadline, “Adapting my play into a screenplay has been a real labor of love for me. This story is deeply personal and I’m very thankful it will have the chance to reach a wider audience.
“I’ve been a fan of Darren’s ever since I saw Requiem for a Dream when I was a college freshman writing my first plays, and I’m so grateful that he’s bringing his singular talent and vision to this film.”