Brendan Fraser Reads For 'Inkheart,' Admires Legacy Of 'Encino Man'

While attention has been focused on the casting of Maria Bello in Brendan Fraser's blockbuster "Mummy" franchise, it's Fraser's next project that might prove most interesting. The "Crash" collaborator will be starring in the 2008 big-budget adaptation of Cornelia Funke's bestselling fantasy children's novel, "Inkheart." The actor will play a bookseller who harbors the special ability to bring elements of fiction to life when he reads a book aloud...a power that sparks a magical adventure for his young daughter, played by Eliza Bennett.

"It's kind of a blessing and a curse at the same time," Fraser told MTV News about his character's gift. "His wife has disappeared and some baddies have come out of the world of the book. [My daughter] goes on a quest to a medieval world to retrieve her mom."

While the film has its share of casting notables -- including Helen Mirren, Paul Bettany and Sienna Guillory -- it's one co-star in particular that made Fraser's day: the man who brought Gollum to life in "The Lord of the Rings." "Andy Sirkis is fantastic," Fraser enthused. "He's got chops. It was great to work with [him]."

Like Hollywood's adaptation of Tolkien's trilogy, audiences can expect a full array of computer-generated wizardry: "There are some fantastic creatures in it," Fraser revealed. But it's on the subject of special effects that the actor reflects back to an earlier role...that of caveman Link in the classic 1992 film, "Encino Man."

"It really was the end of a period in the genre of niche teen films," said Fraser of the non-CGI pic, which co-starred Sean Astin and Pauly Shore. "It was just actors, [the] camera, [and] me with a squirrel screwed to my head. It was just having fun, really. And then after that it ushered in the whole period of CGI. That's interesting...it's the truth."

Are you looking forward to "Inkheart"? Is "Encino Man" really as historic as Fraser and I think? Chime in below.