Brad Peyton is close to making a deal to direct New Line and Walden Media’s Journey to the Center of the Earth 2, and Brendan Fraser will reportedly not be starring in the sequel. Deadline reports the studio is moving ahead with the film, with Josh Hutcherson as the star. Hutcherson played the nephew of Fraser’s character in the original. The original film made $242 million worldwide, and without Fraser, New Line would have to back the film with a much lesser-known actor. Fraser left the film due to scheduling conflicts that made original director Eric Brevig unavailable and forced New Line to replace him with Brad Peyton, the director of Warner Bros.’ upcoming Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. Brevig’s next film will be Yogi Bear. New Line is planning on a Fall 2011 release for the Journey to the Center of the Earth sequel.
Of course with the project still being put together and Fraser’s recent movie Furry Vengeance not exactly lighting up the box office, there is still a chance he could return for the sequel. More as we hear it.