First trailer for Brendan Fraser's awards contender The Whale

brendan fraser, the whale
First trailer for Brendan Fraser's The WhaleA24

Brendan Fraser's movie The Whale has released its first trailer.

The film has been getting a lot of awards buzz since its recent premiere at the Venice International Film Festival, particularly for Fraser's performance.

The Whale follows the story of a 600lb queer man called Charlie who tries to reconnect with his teenage daughter Ellie (Sadie Sink) as a last shot at redemption.

In the brief first look, we see shots of Charlie's apartment and the characters, as we hear him say: "Do you ever get the feeling that people are incapable of not caring? People are amazing."

While it has received Oscar buzz, the movie hasn't been without controversy, particularly over Fraser's use of a fat suit to play the role, with Mean Girls star Daniel Franzese among those questioning why an obese queer actor wasn't cast instead.

However, director Darren Aronofsky has defended the casting, recently telling Variety: "There was a chapter in the making of this film where we tried to research actors with obesity. Outside of not being able to find an actor who could pull off the emotions of the role, it just becomes a crazy chase. Like, if you can't find a 600-pound actor, is a 300-pound actor or 400-pound actor enough?

sadie sink, the whale
brendan fraser, the whale

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"From a health perspective, it's prohibitive," he continued. "It's an impossible role to fill with a real person dealing with those issues."

Writer Samuel D Hunter has also addressed the film's title, which could be interpreted as an attack on overweight people, with it being a reference to the fact Moby Dick features heavily in the plot.

"The title deliberately pokes at some people's prejudices," he said. "I wasn't surprised by the blowback, because of the history of the way that obesity is treated on film. And we live in cynical and reactionary times. To be clear, this is not a story about everybody who grapples with obesity. It's how it presented in me."

The Whale is set for release on December 9 in US cinemas and February 3 in UK cinemas.

Beat ( is a charity which raises awareness and understanding of eating disorders, and supports those affected by them. Beat now has a one-to-one secure messaging service. Its phone helpline for those aged 18 and over is 0808 801 0677, and there's also a dedicated Youthline for those under 18 – 0808 801 0711

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