Brendan Fraser liked Inkheart so much, he would have volunteered to stay out of it if it would have helped get the movie made. Luckily, the author of the novel, Cornelia Funke, wanted him all along.
Brendan Fraser on Inkheart
"It's a good story and it deserves to be made," Fraser said. "Those come along rarely and under weird circumstances in Hollywood. It's not like you get a novel written and they hand it to you and go, 'Let’s see if we can make a movie out of it.' Let alone get the wheels rolling in cash and all that to get the thing off the ground. It's like a rocket launcher every time you make one of these things."
When Funke sought him out, Fraser thought it was a joke. "So I get this book. It shows up in the mail. 'Dear Brendan,' it’s inscribed. 'Thank you for inspiring this character.' I can feel my leg getting pulled already. Where’s Ashton Kutcher? 'I hope that you get a chance to read this aloud to your kids one day. Best wishes, Cornelia Funke.' I had no idea from a bar of soap who she was, so I Googled her. Wow, so much work, she’s prolific. So you've got a novel now. How are you going to get it on the screen? Will you be able to? It doesn't happen every day. I read the book and thought, 'Wow, great idea, original for sure.'"
One of Fraser's favorite things about <B>Inkheart</b> was that it glorified reading without cramming it down kids' throats. "Let’s just say it didn't have an overt message that said, 'Hey kids, put down your video consoles, step away from the TV and read a book' in a sort of ‘eat your vegetables’ kind of way. Each chapter is introduced with a quote from prose or a lyric or something from literature that predates the world of the book that we’re following the story of. Let's just put it this way. Cornelia has a vast knowledge of literature and is the living embodiment of an author. She has been able to make this story compelling and keep it down to the essentials which is about a family being reunited. That's what I got from it. All of the fantastic elements aside, that’s the thrust of it and I think that's what gives it its heart, its Inkheart."
It seems like a natural fit for Fraser with his filmography of youth-aimed fantasy. "I think it's kind of a magnetic thing where they follow me around like those little metal shavings toys we used to be allowed to play with, magnets. It's an area that I'm comfortable in because I never grew up and there’s still a little kid in me who likes to play with big toys and nowadays in films, as we all well know, if you can imagine it, you can put it on screen."