The Aussie made a warp-speed impression with his fleeting role in ” Star Trek,” but now come the big roles with “Red Dawn” and “Thor.”
In the pages of Marvel Comics there are plenty of magical weapons but the most famous is an ancient stone hammer with this inscription: “Whosoever holds this hammer, should he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”
Considering the fact (and the fiction) that Thor is the Norse god of thunder, that’s a lot of pressure on anyone who dares to reach for the mystical mallet. No one knows that better than Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, the just-announced title star of the upcoming “Thor,” which will be the fourth movie from upstart Marvel Studios. Hemsworth will be just the third leading man for Marvel, following Robert Downey Jr. ( “Iron Man” and its sequel next summer) and Edward Norton ( “The Incredible Hulk”).
“It is a rare thing to find someone who is not only immensely watchable and engaging but can also represent a timeless and key character from the Marvel universe in such a compelling way,” said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios.
Hemsworth reached a huge audience this summer with his role in “Star Trek,” even though he didn’t have much time to do it; the 25-year-old portrayed George Kirk, the doomed father of James T. Kirk, in a brief but powerful opening sequence in the J.J. Abrams space adventure.
In February, Hemsworth will have far more screen time with “The Cabin in the Woods,” a horror flick written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, with the latter directing. Hemsworth will channel a different sort of rural jeopardy in MGM/United Artists remake of “Red Dawn” that adds post- 9/11 shadings to the Reagan-era resistance-fighter fantasy. Hemsworth has the role of Jed, played by Patrick Swayze in the original, released 25 years ago. Then it’s hammer time with “Thor” in 2011, with Kenneth Branagh directing.