Hemsworth’s mega homegrown Netflix deal revealed
Hollywood heart-throb Chris Hemsworth has signed a four-movie deal with Netflix that could see hundreds of millions of dollars injected into the struggling Australian entertainment industry.
At least one of the films will be shot in Australia, with cameras rolling as early as November. Hemsworth is believed to be agitating for the other three to also be made Down Under. If he gets his way, it will be a massive boost for jobs in a sector that has been savaged by the pandemic.
Netflix representatives refused to comment on the deal with the Thor star but it is understood two of the movies will be sequels to this year's blockbuster Extraction, which is the streaming service's most successful original movie to date, with more than 99 million views in the first four weeks alone.
After a hectic decade that has seen him shooting films across the globe, the father of three is keen to keep his feet planted on Australian soil. Talking to The Sunday Telegraph on the set of the first Extraction movie, the 37-year-old said he was glad to be out of the Hollywood bubble.
"That was the reason for leaving Hollywood and coming to Australia. There's not a single person there that I interact with, or close friends of mine, that are really in the industry and so that's hugely refreshing, it's great for my kids and my wife," he said.
The first movie in the deal is sci-fi thriller Spiderhead, with Hemsworth set to star alongside Miles Teller and Jurnee Smollett, with Top Gun: Maverick's Joseph Kosinski on board to direct.
The film is based on George Saunders' short story Escape From Spiderhead, which was published in The New Yorker in 2010 and follows convicts in the near future who can volunteer as medical subjects in the hope of shortening their prison sentences.
It is understood Hemsworth, 37, will play Abnesti, the brilliant visionary who runs the facility and experiments on inmates, including Teller's character Jeff.
It was written for the screen by Zombieland and Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, while producers Eric Newman (Narcos) and Tommy Harper (Star Wars The Force Awakens, Top Gun: Maverick) are also on board.
Casting calls for the additional roles in the film were held last week, with international and interstate actors told they would need to be available to quarantine in Queensland, pending that government's restrictions, from early November and remain in the state for the duration of the shoot.
Spiderhead will mark Hemsworth's first time working in Queensland since he filmed the hugely successful Thor: Ragnarok in 2016, which he helped bring to the state in order to be closer to his Byron Bay home.
Hemsworth follows fellow Australian movie superstar Nicole Kidman in bringing a major production to Australian soil.
Kidman is currently filming Liane Moriarty's Nine Perfect Strangers with Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans and Asher Keddie among its stars.
The Hulu series, created by David E. Kelley, is being filmed in and around Byron Bay and is believed to be worth $100 million to the local industry.