Darren Aronofsky has signed on to make his next film. His last movie was the controversial mother!, and while this new project probably may not encourage as many thinkpieces as that one, it does sound intriguing.
The film is The Whale, an adaptation of Samuel D. Hunter‘s 2012 play of the same name, which revolves around a six-hundred-pound recluse who is hiding away from the world and slowly eating himself to death. But he’s soon given one last chance at redemption. Hunter will write the screenplay himself.
Brendan Fraser, once a solid movie star in the late 90s and early 2000s but whose bizarre career has kind of become a meme at this point, will star in the film, and prestigious studio A24 will develop the project.
So there’s a lot going on here. Aronofsky is obviously not resting on his laurels and happy to make easily consumable popcorn entertainment. No, he’s making a film about a 600 pound recluse and casting a past-his-prime former star of many children’s films in the lead. Whatever your opinion on Aronofsky is, he’s certainly not an uninteresting filmmaker.
To be fair to Fraser, he’s always been a charismatic actor, and has recently been on the comeback trail with the FX series Trust, where he portrays John Paul Getty Jr. And Aronofksy previously directed The Wrestler, which precipitated Mickey Rourke‘s comeback, garnering the actor an Oscar nomination and big roles in films like Iron Man 2 and The Expendables.
So the director has history of taking ostensibly washed up careers and thoroughly reviving them. Perhaps Fraser has a similar future to look forward to. Either way, this should be a fascinating project.
Aronofsky’s longtime cinematographer Matthew Libatique previously hinted at a reunion between the two on a “smaller” project, so maybe this won’t have the scope/budget of something like The Fountain or Noah. It will likely be a stripped down, emotional drama.
Don’t expect Fraser to actually gain all that weight though. Even Daniel Day-Lewis would baulk at that method acting request. It will be interesting to see how the film uses effects to develop the protagonist’s look.
There’s no word yet on when production might begin, but this is certainly a project worth keeping an eye on.