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Brendan Fraser Saved His Career By Refusing To Star in Sequel to $174M Movie That Was a Critical and Financial Disaster, Earning Just 17% Rotten Tomatoes Rating

Brendan Fraser Saved His Career By Refusing To Star in Sequel to $174M Movie That Was a Critical and Financial Disaster, Earning Just 17% Rotten Tomatoes Rating

With his 2022 psychological drama, Brendan Fraser has proved that he still got what it takes to be a Hollywood star. The actor, who once was known for his action film, made an incredible comeback with Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale. The 54-year-old actor has become a hot sensation with his Oscar-winning performance in the 2022 film. Although The Mummy star did go through a streak of bad luck, it was always not that way for him. He had a promising Hollywood career and was highly acclaimed for his performances.

Brendan Fraser
Brendan Fraser

And one of his successful films included the 1997 American comedy, George of the Jungle. The film did pretty well, and given the response, the studio decided to go ahead with a sequel. However, Fraser refused to star in the movie, and the sequel went on to recast the lead star with Christopher Showerman.

Read More: After Losing Oscars Race to Brendan Fraser, Elvis’ Star Austin Butler Gets Mocked For His Elvis’ Accent at the Oscars 2023

Why Did Brendan Fraser Reject George of the Jungle 2?

American comedy George of the Jungle did pretty well both financially and critically upon its release in 1997. The film starring Brendan Fraser and Leslie Mann was based on the 1967 American animated television series of the same name. It went on to gross $174 Million at the box office and received an average rating and critics praised the film for not tempering with its source material.

George of the Jungle (1997)
Brendan Fraser in George of the Jungle

Given that the film did pretty well at the box office and critically, the studio decided on a sequel for the film and wanted the Inkheart star to reprise his role. However, they were unable to bring back their original cast and had to recast some of the major characters, including the lead, George and Ursula Stanhope.

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fraser opened up about the reason he rejected the offer to star in the sequel of the 1997 film. He shared, “I think George got a remake, and they built a joke into it that the studio was too cheap to hire me, which wasn’t inaccurate.”

Brendan Fraser and Michael Cain in The Quiet American
Brendan Fraser and Michael Caine in The Quiet American

That was not the only reason Fraser did not consider starring in the sequel. He further shared that he did not want to be typecast by constantly portraying similar characters. The Quiet American actor said that playing diverse roles keeps him, his fans, and the audience interested, as he would be representing something new onscreen.

Read More: “My brain was misfiring”: Oscars Winner Brendan Fraser Rejected Sequel Offer to $174 Million Movie After a Painful Experience While Shooting ‘The George of the Jungle’

George of the Jungle 2 Ends Up Being a Disaster

Although the original film, directed by Sam Weisman, did quite well, David Grossman’s sequel starring Christopher Showerman and Julie Benz, did not follow the same path as the original film. It went on to face several issues before and after its release.

George of the Jungle 2 (2003)
George of the Jungle 2 (2003)

Just weeks before its release, an American construction equipment manufacturer, Caterpillar Inc., sued the studio and asked for a temporary restraining order to block the release of George of the Jungle 2. However, their appeal was unsuccessful, and the sequel was finally released on October 21, 2003.

But critics did not like the sequel, as it went on to receive only a 17% critic score. Not just critics, George of the Jungle 2 was also unable to win over its audience as it only got a 20% audience score. While some critics simply deemed the film Rotten, others described it as a “Heavy-handed sequel big on slapstick, poop jokes.”

Brendan Fraser chose to star in The Quiet American over the sequel to the 1997 film. And the film turned out to be a good decision for him as it was highly acclaimed by critics. Michael Caine was also nominated for Best Actor at the 2003 Academy Awards for his performance in the political drama.

Read More: Oscar Winner Brendan Fraser Reveals Hollywood Mothballed His Talent for 30 Years in ‘Best Actor’ Speech: “Things didn’t come easily to me”

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Written by Laxmi Rajput

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.