Brendan Fraser is one of those names that is almost always followed by a question, like “Why doesn’t Hollywood cast him anymore?” The American-Canadian graduated from a character actor to a bona fide movie star when he appeared as the swashbuckling Rick O’Connell in The Mummy, the first film in a trilogy that has come to define him. That franchise came to an unspectacular end in 2008, though Fraser struck gold when another of his films released that year became an unexpected hit.
The 3-D fantasy adventure Journey to the Center of the Earth returned a worldwide box office total of $242 million from a budget of $60 million, reaffirming Fraser’s position as a genuine leading man and presenting him with a chance to establish the character’s longevity in further films. This is the point at which Fraser took a wrong turn that would eventually derail his career completely, a decision that he likely regrets to this day. In a monumental error of judgment, Fraser turned down the chance to reprise his role in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
Content with the work he had done in Extraordinary Measures and Furry Vengeance, Fraser felt comfortable letting the role go to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, though when those two films became two of the biggest box office bombs of 2010, it became clear that he had made a huge mistake. Journey 2 went on to surpass the original, raking in an eye-watering $335 million from a budget of $79 million.