The Whale: Release date, cast, plot, reviews & more

Cameron Frew
Brendan Fraser in The WhaleA24

Brendan Fraser will soon make his big-screen comeback in The Whale, the latest film from Darren Aronofsky – so here’s everything we know, from its release date and trailer, to cast, plot, reviews and more.

Fraser is one of the most beloved stars in the world. He took a break from acting for a few years after he was allegedly sexually assaulted by a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, believing he’d been blacklisted from the industry.

Following a GQ profile in 2018, detailing his allegations and personal aftermath, he began mounting a comeback. He became a fan favorite in Doom Patrol, and starred alongside a stacked Soderbergh caper cast in No Sudden Move.

Later this year, he’ll star in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, with a performance that has him tipped to win the Oscar – so, here’s everything we know about the film, including its release date, trailer, cast, and plot.

The Whale release date: When is it coming out?

The Whale is due for release in the US on December 9 this year. It’ll be available to watch in cinemas.

The film’s UK release date has yet to be confirmed at the time of writing, but it’s likely it’ll fall around the same time, as it’s distributed via A24.

The Whale trailer: Is there a trailer?

Sadly, there’s no trailer for The Whale at the time of writing. We’ll update this space upon its release online.

So far, all we’ve seen from the film are two images: a first-look image of Fraser’s character; and an image of Sadie Sink’s character peering around a door.

As the film is due for release in the coming months and also enjoying a wave of hype after the Venice Film Festival, one can expect a teaser trailer imminently.

The Whale cast: Who’s in it?

The Whale is led by Brendan Fraser, who stars as Charlie, while Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink plays his daughter Ellie.

Including Fraser and Sink, this is the known cast of The Whale:

  • Brendan Fraser as Charlie
  • Sadie Sink as Charlie’s daughter Ellie
  • Hong Chau as Charlie’s nurse Liz
  • Samantha Morton as Charlie’s ex-wife Mary
  • Ty Simpkins as Thomas

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Fraser said Aronofsky “wanted an actor to reintroduce… and I wanted to be reintroduced.”

“If there’s no risk, then why bother? I want to learn from the people I’m working with at this point in my career,” he continued.

“I’ve had such variety, a lot of high highs and low lows, so what I’m keen for, in the second half of my time doing this, is to feel like I’m contributing to the craft and I’m learning from it.

“This is a prime opportunity. I wanted to disappear into it. My hope was that I would become unrecognizable. I wanted to know what I was capable of.”

As for Sink, now one of the industry’s most in-demand stars following Stranger Things Season 4, both Fraser and Aronofsky had no shortage of praise. “To be around someone that young and that in control of their craft and that prepared and professional – I was always blown away, as, I think, was Brendan,” the director said.

Fraser added: “I had a front-row seat to watch this kid win the game ball every single day she worked.”

The Whale plot: What is it about?

As per A24, this is the official synopsis: “From Darren Aronofsky comes The Whale, the story of a reclusive English teacher living with severe obesity who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption. Starring Brendan Fraser and based on the acclaimed play by Samuel D. Hunter.”

Aronofsky is best known for directing Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, Black Swan and Mother.

The Whale reviews: What are the critics saying?

Following the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival, The Whale landed at 83% on Rotten Tomatoes from 18 reviews.

The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin gave it five stars, describing it as a “sensational film of rare compassion.”

IndieWire’s Leila Latif wrote: “For Fraser, The Whale is a confident leap forward into the movie-star status that he rightfully deserves.”

On the negative side, The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw branded the film “a hectoring invitation to blubber” while The Wrap’s Ben Croll wrote: “Most of the fatalism comes from a heavy-handed style that sees this closed world as a closed circuit, a place for figurative characters to come and express what they represent.”

We’ll update this article upon further announcements.

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