No one has to tell Brendan Fraser about the abysmal visual effects used to bring Dwayne Johnson’s Scorpion King to life in “The Mummy Returns.” During a career retrospective interview with GQ magazine, Fraser wasted no time bringing up the maligned CGI when he had to discuss the 2001 sequel. The actor said that even the film’s VFX artists knew the Scorpion King CGI was awful, and they warned Fraser about it on “The Mummy Returns” world premiere red carpet.
“I never met Dwayne until after the premiere because he was a piece of tape on a stick that we referred to,” Fraser said. “Of course they put him in CGI later. I know, I know. Be kind! The guys who did the CGI of the Scorpion King, [I saw them] at the premiere and they were like, ‘Hey, how are you? We did the Scorpion King CGI. Yeah we needed a little more time. It was very last minute.'”
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“Some of the charm of it now is…it could get remastered I guess, but it wouldn’t be as fun if you didn’t see this janky video game character of Dwayne,” Fraser added. “It’s somehow just perfect how it works.”
Fraser told GQ that returning to “The Mummy” franchise for the sequel after the success of the 1999 original was like “coming back to another semester of college. Like, ‘Hey guys! How did your summer go?’ It was good to see everyone and to go back to Morocco… it was like, that’s my favorite camel guy!”
“It was more of the same,” Fraser said about “The Mummy Returns.” “People wanted more, so we gave them more of the same. We gave them more is more. Lucky for us, they responded!”
Although Fraser and Dwayne Johnson never met until after “The Mummy Returns” premiere, their fondness for each other has continued through the decades. Johnson was one of the first celebrities to react to the viral video out of the Venice Film Festival depicting Fraser overcome with emotion at the reception to his new film, “The Whale.”
“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 [director] Darren Aronofsky.”
Johnson and Fraser share another 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.”
A24 will release Fraser’s “The Whale” in theaters on Dec. 9. Watch his GQ career retrospective in the video below.
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