Dwayne Johnson Champions Brendan Fraser’s Comeback and Venice Raves, 21 Years After ‘The Mummy Returns’: ‘Rooting For Your Success’

·2 min read

When it comes to buzz emerging out of the 2022 Venice Film Festival, few actors dominated headlines as positively as Brendan Fraser. The actor is earning Oscar buzz and the best reviews of his career for his leading turn in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale.”

The Venice audience at the film’s world premiere gave the movie a huge six-minute standing ovation. Fraser broke down in tears during the reception, a video of which shared by Variety co-editor in chief Ramin Setoodeh on Twitter has earned over 15.5 million views and counting. Dwayne Johnson, who co-starred with Fraser in 2001’s “The Mummy Returns,” celebrated “The Whale’s” standing ovation on social media and championed Fraser’s acting comeback.

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“Man this makes me so happy to see this beautiful ovation for Brendan,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “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.”

“The Mummy Returns,” the sequel to Fraser’s 1999 blockbuster “The Mummy” (which grossed over $400 million worldwide), marked Johnson’s feature acting debut in Hollywood. The wrestler starred as Mathayus of Akkad/The Scorpion King in the adventure tentpole, which earned $435 million worldwide and led to spinoff movie “The Scorpion King” in 2002. “The Scorpion King” was the first Hollywood movie to be headlined by Johnson, who has since become a billion-dollar grossing box office star.

Johnson and Fraser also share a Hollywood connection thanks to Warner Bros.’ “Journey to the Center of the Earth” franchise. Fraser headlined the 2008 original, while Johnson took over as the star of the 2012 sequel “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.”

“The Whale” stars Fraser as a man living with severe obesity who struggles to reconnect with his 17-year-old daughter, played by “Stranger Things” breakout Sadie Sink. The supporting cast also includes Hong Chau, Samantha Morton and Ty Simpkins.

A24 will release “The Whale” in theaters on Dec. 9.

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