Brendan Fraser has chosen his first major acting role since he won the Best Actor Academy Award in March. After taking his time deciding which character most appealed to him, the performer decided to star in Searchlight Pictures’ Rental Family, Deadline is reporting.
Japanese filmmaker Hikari will direct and produce the upcoming comedy-drama. The helmer also co-wrote the script for Rental Family with Stephen Blahut.
Hikari is best known for directing the pilot and two other episodes of the comedy-drama thriller series Beef, which was released on Netflix in April. The show is nominated for 13 Emmy Awards.
The filmmaker has also helmed several episodes of Toyko Vice, which stars Ansel Elgort, Ken Watanabe and Rinko Kikuch. Hikari also made her feature debut on 37 Seconds, which she penned, directed and produced. The drama was a festival favorite, winning the audience award and C.I.C.A.E. Award at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival. The filmmaker was also nominated for best first feature at the festival.
Rental Family follows a down and out actor living in Tokyo. He’s hired to portray a token American man, who will be played by Fraser, for a Japanese rental family company. The job leads him on an unexpected journey of self-discovery through the roles he plays in other people’s lives.
The filmmaker has been developing Rental Family since 2019. She will produce the movie with Shin Yamaguchi, who also produced 37 Seconds. Eddie Vaisman and Julia Lebedev of Sight Unseen Productions, which produced this year’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, A Thousand and One, are also producing Rental Family.
Blahut and Tomo Koizumi will executive produce the comedy-drama. SVP Production Taylor Friedman and Manager of Creative Affairs Daniel Yu are overseeing the film for Searchlight.
Production on Rental Family is scheduled to begin this spring in Japan. The filmmakers will announce a release plans for the feature at a later date.
Fraser has seen a career renaissance over the last year that began with his work in The Whale. His role in the drama, which was helmed and produced by Darren Aronofsky, won him a number of Best Actor accolades, including the Oscar and SAG Award.
The subsequent almost four-month SAG-AFTRA strike, which ended on November 9, caused a delay in Fraser’s choice. But he was also very patient in deciding what his next role would be before the beginning of the strike. When he finally received the script for Rental Family, he ultimately he committed to play the protagonist.
Fraser was most recently appeared in a supporting role in Killers of the Flower Moon. Martin Scorsese’s epic Western crime drama, which also stars fellow Academy Award winners Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, is already one of this year’s Best Picture contenders.
Fraser also recently starred in Steven Soderbergh’s 2021 crime thriller, No Sudden Move. The actor is also known for appearing in The Mummy and George of the Jungle franchises, as well as Encino Man, Crash and The Quiet American.