Then and now: whatever happened to Brendan Fraser?

Brendan Fraser in 1991 (left) as his career was taking off, and in 2016 (right).

Brendan Fraser in 1991 (left) as his career was taking off, and in 2016 (right). Photo: Getty

As the 2017 remake of The Mummy hits cinemas, fans of the 1999 version are feeling nostalgia for the original movie’s star Brendan Fraser.

Fraser, who disappeared from movie screens four years ago, was subbed out for a more marketable leading man – Tom Cruise.

But the reaction to the new film, which hit cinemas on Thursday, suggests this may have been a mistake.

The Mummy 2.0 has received scathing reviews from critics, while social media users have called for a boycott of the film in support of Fraser’s flagging career.

“No weapon formed against Brendan Fraser shall prosper,” one fan tweeted in response to a review calling the reboot “the worst movie ever”.

“If you watch The Mummy from 2017 you can’t be my friend,” another tweeted. “Brendan Fraser is the only mummy killer in my book.”

But where is the now 48-year-old Fraser in all of this? The low-key actor’s career has taken a substantial nosedive in recent years thanks to a few bad movie choices and some personal issues.

“I think Tom’s going to be great,” Fraser diplomatically said in a December 2016 interview.

“I will be a happy first-day ticket buyer to see what they will do with it and then say, ‘I could have done it better’.”

Given the general consensus is, “yes, he could have”, a comeback looks to be on the cards for the man who first stole hearts with his breakout role in 1992’s Encino Man.

From there, Fraser starred in a series of critical and box office successes like Bedazzled, The Quiet American, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Monkeybone, Crash and George of the Jungle.

Then he made some poor choices, including the widely panned third Mummy movie, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, in 2008. He was also overlooked for the Journey to the Centre of the Earth sequel and the lead role went to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

In 2007 he announced his divorce from his wife of nine years, Afton Smith, with whom he has three children.

The divorce took a huge financial toll and in 2013 Fraser was forced to petition the courts to reduce his spousal support sum because he couldn’t meet the annual payment.

Financial strife, coupled with a back injury he sustained during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the general wear and tear of ageing has left Fraser less-than-hot property.

But public interest in him is still high – as proven by a 2016 petition to “bring Brendan back”, which received more than 46,000 signatures.

See Brendan Fraser’s most recent public appearance:

His last public appearance was in December 2016, when he appeared on an AOL web series to talk about his small role in TV series The Affair.

Many were concerned by his glum appearance, during which he appeared tired and subdued, with many labelling him “sad Brendan”.

“I’ve relented a bit in recent years, I have three sons and I needed to ensure their comfort and safety and [that of] their mother also, my lovely and talented former wife,” Fraser admitted.

“I think I just asked myself, ‘Why am I running so far and so fast, all at once?’.”

Thankfully, fans won’t have to wait much longer to see Fraser on screen again. He has signed on to star in director Danny Boyle’s upcoming anthology series Trust alongside Hillary Swank and Donald Sutherland, out in 2018.

Let the Brenaissance begin.

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