After being out of the limelight for over a decade, Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale was the movie that brought Brendan Fraser’s career back to its previous heights. But it appears that before The Mummy actor got the opportunity to shape his career in the correct direction, James Cordon was the frontrunner for the role of the reclusive obese teacher.
James Corden revealed that he was initially part of The Whale before Brendan Fraser was attached to the project. The comedian also shared that it wasn’t his first time losing a career-defining opportunity, as he had the same experience with Sean Astin back in the 2000s.
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James Corden was initially considered for The Whale before Brendan Fraser
Since the release of Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, Brendan Fraser has garnered immense praise from both fans and critics and the film as a whole has surrounded itself with Oscar Buzz. But it appears that The Mummy actor and the Requiem for a Dream director weren’t on the initial list for bringing Samuel D. Hunter’s novel into the big screen.
The Late Late Show host James Corden revealed that through The Whale’s long run in development, he was initially considered to play the lead character of the movie ahead of Fraser. The comedian stated to Deadline that before Darren Aronofsky, Tom Ford was attached to the project as the director but eventually left after not getting enough freedom to fulfill his vision. Corden stated,
“I was going to play that part, and Tom Ford was going to direct,”
James Corden shared that the reason he didn’t make it to the final version of the movie was because of his age, as he thought he was too young to play the role of Charlie. But it appears that it wasn’t the first time that the actor lost a career-defining role.
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James Corden lost the role of Samwise Gamgee to Sean Astin
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is widely considered one of the greatest trilogies ever made and has generated some of the most beloved fictional characters of all time. And one of the characters was the loyal friend of Frodo, Samwise Gamgee, played by Sean Astin. But it seems that before The Goonies actor got the shot at the iconic role, James Corden was initially considered for the role.
Corden recalled that among all the actors who auditioned for The Lord of the Rings at the time, he was one of the few that was called back twice for the role of Frodo’s loyal sidekick despite not having a great audition. But eventually, things didn’t go his way and Sean Astin was hired for the role instead. Corden stated,
“Every single person in London auditioned for ‘Lord of The Rings.’ Everybody. And I auditioned for Samwise,”
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However, in the end, the axing of James Corden from The Whale and The Lord of the Rings turned out as a blessing in disguise. Both the actors, including Brendan Fraser and Sean Astin went on to deliver their career-defining performances, which cemented their legacy in the movie industry.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is available to stream on HBO Max.