James Corden Reveals He Was Almost Cast In ‘The Whale’ Before Brendan Fraser
— Updated on 27 February 2023

James Corden Reveals He Was Almost Cast In ‘The Whale’ Before Brendan Fraser

— Updated on 27 February 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Darren Aronofsky’s critically-lauded The Whale was almost a slightly different film – one that would’ve been led by divisive comedian and public persona James Corden.

“I was going to play that part and Tom Ford was going to direct,” James Corden told Deadline, before adding this iteration of the project ultimately didn’t happen due to billionaire fashion designer-cum-filmmaker’s desire for “complete control.”

The outgoing host of The Late Late Show also believed he may have been “too young” to do the role eventually brought to Academy Nominated-life by Brendan Fraser any justice.

Interestingly enough, at one stage, George Clooney was interested in directing, but on the condition an actual 600-pound unknown could be found to play the lead role. As you can imagine, the complications surrounding that particular demand were a major non-starter for everyone else involved. Which is how it eventually landed with Darren Aronofsky.

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Adapted from the MacArthur-winning stage play written by Samuel D. Hunter, The Whale involves the story of a reclusive English teacher named Charlie (Brendan Fraser) – an incredibly overweight individual who developed a compulsive eating disorder after his gay lover, who he abandoned his own family for, commits suicide.

Now struggling with congestive heart failure, Charlie attempts to reconnect with his estranged 17-year-old daughter Ellie (Sadie Sink) before it’s too late. And as you will have probably heard, Fraser knocks it out of the park.

In addition to receiving an Oscar nod for Best Actor and an emotional six-minute standing ovation at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, here’s what the critics had to say…

The Whale wouldn’t be as effective if it wasn’t for the incredible lead performance given by Brendan Fraser… and I don’t think anyone could have played Charlie the way Fraser did.”

“You’ll gaze dumbfounded at the screen for 1 hour 57 minutes. Pulled into an emotional black hole that offers no easy exit. That’s an incredible, mind-numbing feat.”

“At times, it feels like you’re watching a stage play, but Fraser’s performance is one for the ages.”

“Fraser, so good, takes what could be a joke, a flat tragedy, or even a lecture about weight and imbues it with gorgeous humanity.”

“The Brenaissance is here.”

Not that we’re implying James Corden is anywhere near Brendan Fraser’s level when it comes to the dramatic arts – not even in the same universe, if we’re being honest – but perhaps starring in The Whale would’ve made the Brit slightly more likable. God knows he could use the positive PR.

James Corden Was Almost Cast In Tom Ford Version Of The Whale

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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