Brendan Fraser has explained why he wasn't part of the 'George of the Jungle' sequel.

'The Mummy' star scored his first big box office hit playing the titular role in the 1997 comedy - about a primitive man who was raised by animals in the jungle - but he was noticeably absent from 2003 follow-up 'George of the Jungle 2' as the main role was recast with Christopher Showerman playing George.

Brendan has now opened up about why he didn't star in the film - insisting a joke that studio bosses were "too cheap" to hire him was actually true, telling Entertainment Weekly: "I think George got a remake, and they built a joke into it that the studio was too cheap to hire me, which wasn't inaccurate.

"I was approached. I can't remember what I was doing at the time, but I felt like I wanted to go do 'The Quiet American' instead with Michael Caine, and shoot the first Western film in Vietnam ever, directed by Phillip Noyce, to tell an infinitely American story."

He went on to add of his film career: "I'm always making diverse choices, and, hopefully, that keeps me and an audience interested. With a bit of distance, I think they've all cumulatively led up to the place I'm in now."

Brendan previously opened up about the difficulties playing George in Variety's 'Actors on Actors' series, admitting he endured a gruelling diet to get in shape and it left him struggling to function.

He said: "I was waxed. Starved of carbohydrates. I would drive home after work and stop to get something to eat. I needed some cash one day, and I went to the ATM, and I couldn't remember my PIN number because my brain was misfiring. Banging on the thing. I didn't eat that night."