The beloved Brendan Fraser has said recently in an interview with Variety that he would be open to returning to ‘The Mummy’ franchise “if someone came up with the right conceit.” This comes as the actor is experiencing a resurgence in popularity after many years of low-budget movies and less popular TV shows.
Brendan Fraser made his name in nostalgic action and comedy movies from the late 90s and early 2000s such as the ‘The Mummy’ and ‘George of the Jungle’ franchises. The once A-list actor was then forced to take an almost 12 year break from Hollywood. This was down to challenges in his personal life as well as serious health problems stemming from many years of strenuous stunts in his action movie career. Following the ‘Me Too’ movement, there has also been a spotlight on the allegations that Brendan Fraser was a victim of sexual assault at the hands of the former head of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Phillip Berk. Berk was recently fired from the organisation after making racist remarks about the Black Lives Matter movement in an email.
This break has now come to an end with Brendan Fraser expected to win an Oscar for his role as Charlie in the new movie ‘The Whale’. In a shift from the comedic roles that embodied his early career, ‘The Whale’ showcases Fraser’s skill as a dramatic actor. It follows Charlie, a 600-pound gay man trying to repair his relationship with his daughter as his health deteriorates. Brendan Fraser received a 6 minute standing ovation for his performance at the Venice Film Festival making it clear that the world is ready for the return of this 2000s legend.
The ‘Brenaissance’ isn’t all that surprising considering the recent resurgence of early 2000s nostalgia in pop culture. The Y2K trend has seen everything from flip phones to Twilight become trends again on TikTok and Instagram. A legend from our childhoods coming back with an increased range and links to not only ‘Me Too’ but also the body positivity movement seems like a dream come true. During my research I even came across The Brendan Fraser Fan Club, a brand-new website only established this year dedicated to celebrating the actor. This kind of fan response has also been seen in relation to other early 2000s heartthrobs like Keanu Reaves who have come back into fashion in recent years.
‘The Mummy’ franchise already suffered a failed reboot in 2017 without input from Fraser. This reboot was headed by Tom Cruise but failed to capture the comedic tone which made the original franchise so popular. When asked about his possible return to the franchise, Fraser said that Cruise’s movie was “too much of a straight-ahead horror movie. ‘The Mummy’ should be a thrill ride, but not terrifying and scary”. Let’s hope that Fraser will be able to bring the essence of the originals back to the franchise for generations to come.