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Darren Aronofsky, A24, Brendan Fraser and a 600-lb. Man

With a billing this good it can’t be bad.

Brendan Fraser The Whale
Brendan Fraser The Whale

News broke on Monday that acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky has tapped Brendan Fraser to star in his next project. The film, titled “The Whale,” is based on the MacArthur-winning playwright Samuel D. Hunter’s 2012 play of the same name and will be distributed by A24.

The storyline involves a 600-pound recluse hiding away from the world and slowly eating himself to death, who is then given one last chance at redemption.

If that sounds as weird and incomprehensible and oddly intriguing to you as it does to me, we’re on the same page. It also leaves an incredible amount of odds and ends to unpack here.

Aronofsky is one of the most original, brilliant minds in filmmaking. When you have films such as “Requiem for a Dream,” “The Fountain,” and “Black Swan” under your belt, the sky is the limit. Would I trust a movie about a 600-lb. man to a random filmmaker? No. Is Aronofsky one of just a few directors who could certainly make something incredible out of it? Hell yes.

What’s more, the internet has been screaming for Hollywood to provide Brendan Fraser with a comeback vehicle for years now. He’s beloved for his early 90s hits such as “Encino Man” and “Airheads,” and exalted for his lead role in “The Mummy” franchise. His movie career cooled considerably by the mid twenty-teens, but for those paying attention, he’s been quite active on television.

Then there’s A24, the production and distribution house that can do no wrong. “Midsommar,” “Minari,” “The Lighthouse,” “Hereditary,” “Waves,” and so on. With A24 behind this production, there’s already a sense that it will be better than merely good.

Put Aronofsky, Fraser, and A24 all together, and the project has the potential to be truly great.

“Adapting my play into a screenplay has been a real labor of love for me,” said playwright turned screenwriter Hunter. “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.”

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