Whether you enjoyed the 3D adventure Journey to the Center of the Earth or not, the fact that it made over $240 million worldwide pretty much guarantees that a sequel is coming. We reported last week that the sequel is slated to hit theaters in Fall 2011, and we assumed star Brendan Fraser was returning.

However, according to Deadline, even though Journey to the Center of the Earth 2 is still on the way, it might not star Fraser.

The film will soon move straight into pre-production with a deal for director Brad Peyton (Cats & Dogs 2) already in place. There’s a chance Fraser could return, but apparently it’s not looking likely.

If that’s the case, Josh Hutcherson, who played Fraser’s nephew in the first film, will likely end up the lead in the sequel. I guess that’s as logical a way as any to continue the story if the star of the first film isn’t going to return…

The reason Fraser may not make another journey to the earth’s core is because he felt strongly about making the first one specifically with director Eric Brevig. However, the studio wants the film in theaters next September and Brevig is busy with the upcoming Yogi Bear movie (for the same studio, I might add).

Even if Fraser proved he can still bring in the cash when he returned for The Mummy 3, his last film, Furry Vengeance, bombed at the box office. Consequently will he take a paycheck cut to return for Journey to the Center of the Earth 2? It’s definitely possible.

The real question is whether or not Fraser’s presence made the first Journey successful. I’d be curious to see how much the sequel would make if Fraser didn’t return: the film is being shot in 3D again and will likely still feature all the action of the first movie and more. So people may go see it anyway, Fraser or no Fraser.

Would you be interested in a sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth if Fraser wasn’t in it? Were you a fan of the first one?

Stay tuned to Screen Rant to find out if Fraser will return for the sequel or not.

Journey to the Center of the Earth 2 currently has a release date of September 23rd, 2011.

Source: Deadline