Darren Aronofsky is teaming up with A24 for his next movie The Whale, an adaptation of the Samuel D. Hunter play of the same name, with Brendan Fraser attached to star. As a director, Aronofsky’s last big screen venture was in 2019 with the release of mother!, one of the most bizarre movies to be released in recent years. His new movie with A24 will be produced through American Empirical Pictures with Jeremy Dawson overseeing the project.
“Adapting my play into a screenplay has been a real labor of love for me,” said Hunter. “This story is deeply personal and I’m very thankful it will have the chance to reach a wider audience. I’ve been a fan of Darren’s ever since I saw Requiem for a Dream when I was a college freshman writing my first plays, and I’m so grateful that he’s bringing his singular talent and vision to this film.”
In The Whale, the story follows “a 600-hundred-pound recluse, hiding away from the world and slowly eating himself to death, [who] is given one last chance at redemption.” We can presume Brendan Fraser will be playing this character. With a concept that’s just as disturbing as it is compelling, The Whale is perfectly in line with the type of stories we’ve come to expect from Aronofsky at this point. The original play was also critically acclaimed, winning the 2013 Drama Desk Award and the 2013 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play.
After working as a director for the 90s iteration of Supermarket Sweep, Aronofsky helmed his first feature movie Pi in 1998. He achieved greater success with his next movie, Requiem for a Dream, which starred Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Ellen Burstyn, and Marlon Wayans. The movie explored a handful of characters and the different ways drug addiction has affected their physical and emotional state. Burstyn was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her performance.
In 2008, Darren Aronofsky was back in the Oscars conversation with his drama The Wrestler releasing to great critical acclaim. Starring Mickey Rourke in the lead role, the movie follows an aging pro wrestler who continues to compete in the ring despite his failing health and personal problems. Rourke would be nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role with his co-star Marisa Tomei up for Best Supporting Actress.
Aronofsky’s other movies include 2010’s Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis; the biblical drama Noah with an ensemble cast including Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, and Anthony Hopkins; the romantic sci-fi drama The Fountain starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz; and the controversial 2017 movie mother!, which starred Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer.
A24 has also been in contention for prestigious Oscar wins. In 2016, Brie Larson won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in the studio’s movie Room. The following year, the company nabbed the Best Picture win when Moonlight got the Oscar. In 2019, the A24 movie The Lighthouse was also released to great critical acclaim and was up for Best Cinematography at the Academy Awards. Last year’s Minari is also expected to get some attention at the Oscars this year.
The reported plan for The Whale is for the movie to begin filming in April with the potential to release in 2022. In the meantime, Aronofsky ishas been working as a producer, which includes executive producing the National Geographic series Limitless for Disney+. Hosted by Chris Hemsworth, the series explores mortality by discussing the different ways humans can live better for longer. This news comes to us from Deadline.