One of the most talked-about films this awards season is Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale.” While there is a lot of discussion about how the film portrays someone who is overweight, with many critics thinking the filmmaker dropped the ball on such an important part of the story, there also have been quite a few critics who think actor Brendan Fraser deserves an Oscar nomination for his performance. But what if Fraser wasn’t the actor to play the lead role? And what if Aronofsky wasn’t the director?
Speaking to Deadline recently, actor-comedian-talk show host, James Corden, talked about how he originally was attached to star in a version of “The Whale.” No, this wasn’t the version that Darren Aronofsky was set to direct. Instead, Corden would have starred in the film when filmmaker Tom Ford was aboard to direct the film.
“I was going to play that part, and Tom Ford was going to direct,” he said.
Apparently, the project fell apart when Ford was asking for more creative control of the project. In addition, Corden doesn’t think, at the time, he was old enough to really inhabit the character. In the film, the lead role is of a 600-pound man who is attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter. Deadline also confirmed with Aronofsky that Corden was actually involved with an earlier version of the film. So, in an alternate reality, perhaps we could have seen what a younger James Corden could have done with the role.
Corden also mentioned that George Clooney was attached to direct the film. Or at least was interested in perhaps taking on the project. However, Clooney didn’t want to use a fatsuit and wanted to find a 600-pound unknown for the lead role.
Ultimately, we know that Aronofsky came aboard and wanted Fraser to take on the role. Now, as mentioned above, it would appear that Fraser is in line to contend with the Best Actor Oscar. We’ll have to see what other trophies he takes home when more of the awards organizations hand out their prizes in the weeks to come.
Corden can now be seen in the new Prime Video series, “Mammals.”