Guess who's stepping into the ring. Chris Hemsworth has been cast to play Hulk Hogan in an upcoming biopic, The Hollywood Reporter exclusively revealed on Wednesday, Feb. 20. With deals "in the midst of closing with Netflix," the movie is said to follow the mustachioed wrestling superstar's rise to fame in the 1970s and '80s and is further "described as an origin story of the Hulkster and Hulkamania," per THR's unnamed sources.
"One of the biggest names in wrestling of all time, Hogan was a fixture on TV sets in 1980s America as part of the World Wrestling Federation who subsequently parlayed his championships-winning leg drops and star power into forays into movies and television, endorsements and video games," the trade publication wrote of the WWF vet (real name Terry Bollea) and frequent good-guy sparring partner of villainous Andre the Giant. "By the end of the '80s, he was one of the Me Decade’s key personalities, gracing magazine covers, appearing on nightly talk shows and even headlining a Saturday morning cartoon."
That's the guy whose singlet Hemsworth will be stepping into for the film, THR reported — and Bollea himself will be on-hand as a consultant and executive producer as well. Suffice it to say the former wrestler was surely much more keen on keeping the focus on his leg-drop-finishing, shirt-ripping American hero glory days anyway. In recent years, Bollea was the subject of a sex tape scandal, which lead to a years-long legal battle, ultimately resulting in the athlete receiving a reported $31 million settlement. Per the news outlet, however, none of that will be part of the upcoming movie.
In addition to Hemsworth flexing his acting (and actual) muscles in front of the camera, he'll also be part of some major star power behind the scenes as well. The actor is reportedly co-producing the film alongside Bradley Cooper, Spotlight's Oscar-winning producer Michael Sugar, Eric Bischoff, and Todd Philips, who has also signed on to direct the feature. THR also noted that Scott Silver will co-write the biopic's script, marking a reunion of sorts for him and Philips, with both men having previously collaborated on the upcoming DC Comics' film, Joker, with Joaquin Phoenix stepping into the role of Gotham's most notorious villain.
That comic book connection will surely come in handy given that Hemsworth AKA the god Thor has spent almost a decade playing a superhero — though his character, of course, is a proud member of the competing Marvel Cinematic Universe. But, hey, at least fans already know what he'll look like with Hogan's signature long platinum locks. The iconic horseshoe mustache, on the other hand, will have to live only in their imaginations — for now anyway.
Not long before he picked up Thor's hammer for the first time in 2011, Hemsworth, who will again reprise the role in Avengers: Endgame later this year, almost quit acting altogether. Following eight months of unemployment, Hemsworth was discouraged but kept auditioning, motivated by his desire to pay off his parents' home, he revealed in a March 2019 Men's Health cover story.
The advice that carried him through? "Someone said to take a bat-and-ball approach to auditions," he explained to the magazine. "So there’s your audition, then boom, on to the next one. You can’t be thinking about that last one. That’s where the fear comes when you’re like, [raises pitch of voice] “Oh God, everything’s relying on this one single moment.” Which nothing is. No single moment ever defines your journey. There are so many complicated pieces of the puzzle. I’ve found it comforting letting go a bit."
If nothing else, Hemsworth has already proven he can play a larger-than-life character, so his portrayal of Hulk Hogan is sure to be yet another one of his powerhouse performances.