Brendan Fraser to Star in Searchlight Comedy ‘Rental Family’ as First Role Since Oscar Win

Brendan Fraser, a newly minted Academy Award winner, is set to star in the Searchlight Pictures comedic drama “Rental Family.”

Japanese filmmaker Mitsuyo Miyazaki, who goes by Hikari and worked on Netflix’s “Beef,” is directing and producing the film. She’s also co-writing the script with Stephen Blahut, whom she collaborated with on the docudrama “37 Seconds.” Principal photography will begin this spring in Japan, with release plans to be announced at a later date.

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“Rental Family” follows a down-and-out actor living in Tokyo who is hired as a token American guy for a Japanese rental family company providing professional stand-in services. Fraser is the only person cast in the movie so far.

This project marks Fraser’s first major role since he took home the lead actor Oscar for Darren Aronofsky’s downbeat drama “The Whale.” The arthouse movie doubled as a career resurgence for Fraser, who spent the ’90s as a leading man of “The Mummy,” “Encino Man” and “George of the Jungle” but avoided the limelight in the following decades.

“I started in this business 30 years ago,” Fraser said from the podium on Oscar night. “Things didn’t come easy to me, but there was a facility that I didn’t appreciate at the time until it stopped.”

Eddie Vaisman and Julia Lebedev of Sight Unseen are producing “Rental Family” along with Hikari and Shin Yamaguchi. Executive producers are Blahut and Tomo Koizumi.

Searchlight’s senior VP of production Taylor Friedman and Manager of Creative Affairs Daniel Yu are overseeing “Rental Family” for the studio. They are reporting to heads of production and development Katie Goodson-Thomas and DanTram Nguyen.

Fraser’s additional recent film credits include Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” and Steven Soderbergh’s “No Sudden Move.” He was supposed to play the villain Firefly in the DC superhero film “Batgirl,” but Warner Bros. ended up scrapping the film for a tax break. On the small screen, Fraser has appeared in “Doom Patrol,” “Trust,” “Condor” and “The Affair.”

He is repped by CAA, Linden Entertainment, Felker Toczek Suddleson. Deadline first reported the news of Fraser’s casting.

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