Brendan Fraser Transforms into 600-Pound Recluse in Trailer for The Whale: Watch

Ahead of its theatrical run in December, A24 has released the official trailer for Darren Aronofsky’s latest film The Whale featuring a standout performance from Brendan Fraser.

In the glimpse at Fraser’s dramatic transformation into a 600-pound reclusive teacher, his character Charlie offers a remarkably optimistic view of humanity. “Do you ever get the feeling people are incapable of not caring?” he says while breathing through an oxygen machine. “People are amazing.”

Watch the full teaser trailer for The Whale below.

Based on the award-winning play by Samuel D. Hunter, The Whale centers around Charlie’s desperate attempt to reconnect with his estranged 17-year-old daughter Ellie (Sadie Sink) after leaving his wife and family to live with another gay man, who later died. The ensuing grief drove Charlie to compulsive eating, and his health is rapidly deteriorating as a result. Charlie’s only visitors are his best friend and nurse, Liz (Hong Chau), his regular pizza delivery person Dan (Sathya Sridharan), and a door-to-door evangelist named Thomas (Ty Simpkins).

Fraser has earned Oscars buzz for his performance during the festival run for the Aronofsky-directed drama, which received a 6-minute standing ovation at Venice Film Festival. However, there has been criticism over the decision to have Fraser wear a fat suit rather than casting an obese actor, to which Aronofsky responded by saying it was difficult to find someone who could pull off the role from an emotional perspective.

Our review breaks down how putting Fraser in a fat suit and Aronofsky’s directing decisions negatively impacted the film: “Even Fraser’s excellent performance is diminished by the fat suit. Not because it limits his movement and expression, but because the fat suit and the way Charlie’s fatness is treated by the whole film undercuts every genuine moment he brings to the screen.”

The Whale is out in theaters on December 9th.