Most of us remember The Mummy for its rampaging evil terracotta armies and mummified priests out to get Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. But what most of us don’t recall is that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was given his first Hollywood role in the 2001 film, The Mummy Returns as Mathayus aka The Scorpion King.
With Brendan Fraser becoming a recluse at about the same time The Rock started making his name in the industry, the two haven’t had the opportunity to talk about each other. But now, with Fraser making his comeback with The Whale, The Rock has finally offered him long-awaited gratitude.
Brendan Fraser and Dwayne Johnson’s Hollywood History
The Mummy was the one franchise that made Brendan Fraser globally renowned. And it wasn’t merely him who benefitted from the Steven Sommers franchise. Fraser’s Rick O’Connell, a daring adventurer was made lovably rugged against Rachel Weisz‘s Evy Carnahan, the endearing Egyptologist. The original film was soon to be followed up by two more movies which saw the addition of Dwayne Johnson in a leading antagonist role as The Scorpion King.
Also read: Scorpion King Reboot is Still in the Works
Although Dwayne Johnson had already made a name for himself in the world of WWE, the professional wrestler had also dipped his toe into the acting pool. The Mummy Returns became The Rock’s first Hollywood commercial success and solidified his place within the industry as the “macho leading man” figure. Even a badly computer-animated scorpion tail attached to The Rock’s torso couldn’t diminish the wonder that Fraser’s franchise had managed to bring to the crowd of the early 2000s.
The Rock Posts a Heartfelt Tweet Praising Brendan Fraser
In a solemn callback to the days gone by, Dwayne Johnson added in a reminder of The Mummy Returns era which had initiated him into the world of Hollywood. The actor praised Brendan Fraser’s comeback by referring to the 6 minutes and 30 seconds standing ovation at the Venice International Film Festival this year.
Man this makes me so happy to see this beautiful ovation for Brendan. He supported me coming into his Mummy Returns franchise for my first ever role, which kicked off my Hollywood career. Rooting for all your success brother and congrats to my bud Darren Aronofsky. #TheWhale 👏🏾 https://t.co/SNBLPHHmEZ
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 4, 2022
The Whale marks a major milestone for Brendan Fraser as his first official comeback film after almost two decades of visible absence. The film, directed by Darren Aronofsky, explores the life of a 600-pound gay man confined in a wheelchair trying to mend the relationship with his estranged daughter. Brendan Fraser’s performance in The Whale has been called hauntingly beautiful by early critics and there are already resounding calls for a much-deserving Oscar.
The Whale will launch theatrically on December 9, 2022. The Mummy Returns is available for streaming on Peacock.