If there’s one good thing to have come out of Darren Aronofsky’s polarizing latest film The Whale, it’s the arguably overdue renaissance of leading man Brendan Fraser — but what if one of the most annoying men in showbiz had worn the fat suit instead? James Corden recently revealed that he nearly starred in the A24 movie, with fashion mogul-turned-filmmaker Tom Ford originally planning to direct.
Deadline’s Pete Hammond brought up The Whale while attending a recent Q&A surrounding Corden’s new Amazon series Mammals: “I was going to play that part, and Tom Ford was going to direct,” the Late Late Show host said, adding that he thought he might be too young to do the character justice. According to Corden, Ford ended up leaving the film because he wanted complete control over it.
Apparently, George Clooney was also attached to the project. Corden didn’t specify what his role on set would have been, but the new Kennedy Center Honoree only wanted to go through with it if an actual 600-pound actor was cast in the role that ultimately went to Fraser. But unsurprisingly, obese actors are few and far between in mainstream Hollywood, and finding an unknown one instead was, for some reason, too much to ask for.
As for Ford, The Whale would have been the designer’s third feature film, following 2009’s A Single Man and 2016’s Jake Gyllenhaal-starring Nocturnal Animals. He’s come under fire numerous times for his depiction of women, namely using nude women in ads — who knows how he would’ve handled a story about a fat man? Our guess: Not well.
At least Fraser seems to feel pretty good about how The Whale panned out; he broke down in happy tears as the film got a six-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. Up next, he’ll appear in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. Meanwhile, Corden is likely still looking for another hip New York City restaurant to haunt.