Brendan Fraser is set to take on a gay role in director Darren Aronofsky's upcoming film adaptation of The Whale.

According to Deadline, Fraser will play Charlie, a middle-aged gay man living in Idaho who left his family after he came out gay to be with his boyfriend. Overtaken by grief after his lover's death, Charlie, an online writing instructor, develops an eating disorder.

Stuck on his couch and weighing 600 pounds, the reclusive Charlie tries to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter.

MacArthur-winning playwright Samuel D. Hunter (Greater Clements) will adapt his 2012 play of the same name.

“Adapting my play into a screenplay has been a real labor of love for me,” said Hunter. “This story is deeply personal and I'm very thankful it will have the chance to reach a wider audience. I've been a fan of Darren's ever since I saw Requiem for a Dream when I was a college freshman writing my first plays, and I'm so grateful that he's bringing his singular talent and vision to this film.”

The Whale has received numerous awards, including a GLAAD Media Award.

In reviewing the play, The Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones said that it was, among other things, about “the price paid by gay couples born in the wrong state or just a few years too soon.”

Fraser has not starred in a high-profile film since headlining The Mummy franchise. His casting in a gay role comes as Hollywood debates whether straight actors should take on gay characters.