Darren Aronofsky's The Whale Wants To Introduce You To The New Brendan Fraser

In a time where the Internet has not been able to agree on anything, one thing has seemingly united everyone: Brendan Fraser. At the end of the 20th Century, Fraser was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, where he was able to match his matinee idol looks with a light-hearted, goofy persona that endeared him to millions most notably in "The Mummy" films. Once the 2000s rolled around, Fraser was on quite a losing streak. You had Harold Ramis' remake of "Bedazzled," the reviled Best Picture winner "Crash," the underrated but underperforming "Looney Tunes: Back in Action," and the grisly one-two punch of "Extraordinary Measures" and "Furry Vengeance" in 2010 basically cementing his time as a Hollywood leading man as over.

With "The Mummy" over 20 years in the rearview, those who grew up with those movies are now the loudest voices online and have been clamoring for a Fraser renaissance, and that has started to happen thanks to the proliferation of television. "The Affair," "Trust," and "Doom Patrol" saw him getting juicy supporting parts, and last year, Steven Soderbergh cast him in his terrific crime thriller "No Sudden Move."

Now in 2022, Brendan Fraser's comeback is reaching a fever pitch with Darren Aronofsky's "The Whale," for which Fraser has already been awarded one of the two Tribute Awards for Performance at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. This award has been given out since 2019, and one of the two winners has gone on to win an Academy Award every year, exciting Fraser fans.

"The Whale" signals a new chapter in Brendan Fraser's professional life, and that is exactly what he and Darren Aronofsky wanted, as Fraser told Vanity Fair:

"He said he wanted an actor to reintroduce ... And I wanted to be reintroduced."

'I wanted to know what I was capable of'

"The Whale" sees Brendan Fraser playing a 600-pound man attempting to reconnect with his teenage daughter after the death of his partner. As dicey of a premise as that can be in the hands of someone as naturally provocative as Darren Aronofsky, it is the kind of role Fraser has never really been able to play over the course of his career, as his wheelhouse has been mostly light comedy.

As most great actors will tell you, whenever they sign on for a new project, they are looking for a challenge. The same goes for Brendan Fraser, who saw "The Whale" and working with a director like Aronofksy to be a rare opportunity to stretch his abilities and work in a new way this late in his career, saying to Vanity Fair:

"If there's no risk, then why bother? I want to learn from the people I'm working with at this point in my career. I've had such variety, a lot of high highs and low lows, so what I'm keen for, in the second half of my time doing this, is to feel like I'm contributing to the craft and I'm learning from it. This is a prime opportunity."

"The Whale" is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival and will be released on December 9, 2022. The Discourse around the movie will be wild and hyperbolic, but I must root for Brendan Fraser at age 53, with a similar round shape as myself, to hit it big once again. He says he "wanted to know what [he] was capable of" with this performance, and I'm eager to see what he is capable of too.

I hope we get to see his "Batgirl" performance at some point, too.

"The Whale" opens December 9, 2022.