Brendan Fraser has taken a swipe at Tom Cruise’s critically-panned The Mummy reboot in a candid new interview.
The actor, 53, who starred as adventurer Rick O’Connell in three of the hit franchise’s films, said the 2017 box office flop ‘lacked the fun’ seen in 1999’s The Mummy, 2001’s The Mummy Returns and 2008’s The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
Brendan, who is hotly-tipped for awards season success with his role in The Whale, told Variety: ‘It is hard to make that movie. The ingredient that we had going for our mummy, which I didn’t see in the new one, was fun.
Face of the franchise: Brendan Fraser has taken a swipe at Tom Cruise’s critically panned The Mummy reboot in a candid new interview (pictured in 1999’s The Mummy with Rachel Weisz)
‘That was what was lacking in that incarnation. It was too much of a straight-ahead horror movie. The Mummy should be a thrill ride, but not terrifying and scary.’
The star said he would be open to reprising his role as the fearless Rick, saying: ‘I don’t know how it would work. But I’d be open to it, if someone came up with the right concept.’
Oscar-nominee Cruise had hoped to breathe new life into The Mummy franchise, but it was lambasted by critics and ended up losing Universal Studios between $60-100million.
In contrast, 1999’s The Mummy made $416.4million against an $80million budget.
Flop: The actor, 53, who starred as adventurer Rick O’Connell in three of the hit franchise’s films, said the 2017 box office flop (pictured) ‘lacked the fun’ seen in the original films
Comeback? The star said he would be open to reprising his role as the fearless Rick (pictured in 2008’s The Mummy – Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor)
Acclaimed: Brendan was interviewed with The Whale director Darren Aronofsky
IndieWire’s David Ehrlich wrote at the time: ‘All of this is to say that not only is The Mummy the worst movie that Tom Cruise has ever made, it’s also obviously the worst movie that Tom Cruise has ever made — it stands out like a flat note on a grand piano.’
Elsewhere in the interview, Brendan discussed the decision to shelve the $100million Batgirl film, in which he starred as Ted Carson/Firefly.
Warner Bros scrapped the origin film – which starred Leslie Grace in the titular role – after it received poor test reviews. It had been slated to be released on HBO Max later this year.
Brendan said: ‘It’s tragic. It doesn’t narrow trust among filmmakers and the studio. Leslie Grace was fantastic. She’s a dynamo — just a spot-on performer.
‘Everything we shot was real and exciting and just the antithesis of doing a straightforward digital, all-green-screen thing.
‘They ran firetrucks around downtown Glasgow at 3 in the morning, and they had flamethrowers. It was a big-budget movie, but one that was just stripped down to the essentials.’
Shock axe: Elsewhere in the interview, Brendan discussed the decision to shelve the $100million Batgirl film, in which he starred as Ted Carson/Firefly (pictured Leslie Grace in the film)
This comes after Brendan broke down in tears as he received a five-minute standing ovation at the London screening of his new movie The Whale on Monday.
The emotional display comes amid a lengthy press tour for his new project, which marks his triumphant return to Hollywood after a lengthy battle with depression.
Brendan has said this was sparked after he was ‘sexually assaulted’ by the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Philip Berk, in 2003.
In a video shared by a guest at the premiere, an emotional Brendan is seen bowing to rapturous applause from the audience before embracing director Darren Aronofsky and screenwriter Samuel D. Hunter who joined him on stage.
‘Am I at Venice [Film Festival]? Five min standing ovation for Brendan Fraser’s masterpiece performance in #TheWhale. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand the entire movie. My heart is in my throat,’ the audience member wrote alongside the video.
Brendan was proudly supported by his glamorous partner Jeanne Moore as he graced the red carpet for the UK premiere on the seventh day of the BFI London Film Festival.
The Whale, which will be released in cinemas in December, received its first premiere at the Venice Film Festival last month, and is quickly earning rave reviews as well as Oscars buzz for its lead star.
In footage shared on social media following the film’s Venice screening last month, Brendan fought back tears as he received another lengthy standing ovation.
Well-received: The Whale is a psychological drama for which Brendan (seen left at the premiere and right in the movie) underwent a physical transformation and wore prosthetics to play a man ‘living with obesity’
Fraser shot to stardom when he was cast in children’s favorite film franchises George of the Jungle and The Mummy.
His chiselled physique earns him a position as a Hollywood heartthrob as he thrashed around the sets performing stunts in high-action roles. But Fraser revealed in a later interview the great stunts had taken on his body.
Alongside his physical injuries, Brendan also revealed in a 2018 GQ interview that he believed he had been blacklisted from Hollywood after he claimed he had been sexually assaulted by the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Philip Berk, in 2003.
After Fraser reported the claim to the HFPA he said he believed he may have been ‘blacklisted’ and was rarely invited back to the Golden Globe awards.
Fraser said the incident had caused him to ‘retreat’ as he spiraled into depression. He described feeling ‘not worthy’ as the decade wore on, leading him to take roles he was less proud of.
Meanwhile, his marriage was also falling apart. He divorced Afton in 2007 after nine years of marriage and three sons together, Griffin, Leland and Holden. As part of the settlement, he was ordered to pay $50,000 a month in spousal support.
However in 2013 he sought an amendment to the agreement asking to pay less, claiming he wasn’t earning the same enormous checks he had received in the 1990s during his heyday and couldn’t afford the payments.
The Whale marks Brendan’s first Hollywood project in almost ten years and Brendan’s first lead role in a movie since straight-to-DVD thriller Breakout in 2013, leading many fans to believe this is his comeback.
The Whale is a psychological drama which saw Brendan undergo a physical transformation, as he plays a 600-pound gay man confined to a wheelchair, a role for which he also had to wear prosthetics.
Brendan’s comeback: How George of the Jungle star who fell out of the spotlight is tipped for Oscars glory
Brendan rose to fame in the 1990s after starring in George of the Jungle as a hunky Tarzan-like figure with a chiseled physique
After making his film debut as a sailor in 1991 film Dogfight alongside River Phoenix, Fraser’s big break came the following year in Encino Man.
He played the character of Link, a caveman who had been frozen for centuries and is thawed by two high school students who teach him about modern life.
Following the success of the film, he was cast in children’s favorite film franchises George of the Jungle and The Mummy.
His unbelievably chiseled physique earns him a position as a Hollywood heartthrob as he thrashed around the sets performing stunts in high-action roles. But Fraser revealed in a later interview the great stunts had taken on his body.
He told GQ in 2018 that when he filmed the third installation in The Mummy franchise, he was being taped up and was icing injuries in between takes.
He said the physical toll of his roles made him feel like a workhorse from the Orwell novel Animal Farm.
After rising to fame through the action-packed films, Fraser described his buff physique as resembling ‘a walking steak’.
However, in the same interview the actor revealed he believed he had been blacklisted from Hollywood after he claimed he had been sexually assaulted by the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Philip Berk, in 2003.
He then told his wife, Afton Smith, about the incident but never made it public. Instead, his reps asked Berk for a written apology, which he provided, but did not admit any wrongdoing.
Speaking to GQ about the claims, Berk acknowledged he had written a letter of apology to Fraser but insisted he had not done anything wrong and dismissed Fraser’s account as ‘a total fabrication’.
In 1999 Fraser starred alongside Rachel Weisz in blockbuster The Mummy, which became a trilogy spanning almost a decade
After Fraser reported the claim to the HFPA he said he believed he may have been ‘blacklisted’ and was rarely invited back to the Golden Globe awards. Fraser said the incident had caused him to ‘retreat’ as he spiraled into depression.
He described feeling ‘not worthy’ as the decade wore on, leading him to take roles he was less proud of. Meanwhile, his marriage was also falling apart.
In 2016, his career picked up when he was cast in Showtime drama The Affair, starring Dominic West and Ruth Wilson.
While promoting the role in 2016, Fraser sat down for an interview with AOL – but his demeanour during the chat raised alarm with his fans.
As he stumbled over his words and appeared somewhat spaced out, people began to worry he was ‘depressed’. However Fraser later revealed his mother had passed away from cancer just four days before he filmed the interview.
He said he hadn’t done any press for a role in a long time and added he was ‘in mourning’ when the interview took place.
By 2018 Fraser’s career appeared to be back on track as he starred in FX series Trust alongside Hollywood heavyweights Donald Sutherland and Hilary Swank.
He plays James Fletcher Chase, a former CIA agent who was hired by billionaire J. Paul Getty in 1973 to find Getty’s kidnapped grandson.
After the series debuted, Vox reported it could be the beginning of the ‘Brendan Fraser renaissance’ – and as rumors swirl Fraser may be in line for several awards following his performance in The Whale, that prophecy may have come true.