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Chris Hemsworth reveals he turned down Star Trek 4, almost landed X-Men's Gambit

By Jacob Oller
Chris Hemsworth Getty

Chris Hemsworth wore lots of different hats as an actor before becoming internationally known as Marvel’s God of Thunder. Thor is certainly his most iconic role, but the Avenger has played a part in quite a few iconic franchises — and could have been in even more. Some of these projects didn’t end up picking him, and some he didn’t end up picking. GI Joe and Gambit are in the former category, while Star Trek 4 falls into the latter.

The Star Trek film follow-up to Beyond ran into bumps after director S.J. Clarkson was announced. Negotiations went south with Captain Kirk himself, Chris Pine, and Hemsworth, who’d be reprising his role as Kirk’s father, George. Strange, considering George Kirk died in the prologue sequence of the first Star Trek film, but there’s a lot of ways to bring back the dead in these sci-fi adventures. However, it turns out there wasn’t a good way to bring back Hemsworth.

Speaking with Variety, Hemsworth opened up about why the film didn’t work out, and much more. Star Trek 4’s problem wasn’t necessarily a money thing, though Paramount was keen to cut costs. The problem, he says, was the script.

“I didn’t feel like we landed on a reason to revisit [George Kirk] yet,” Hemsworth revealed. “I didn’t want to be underwhelmed by what I was going to bring to the table.” Now the film has been shelved indefinitely. However, this was the rare instance where Hemsworth had secured the high-profile role. The same interview explained that the man whose image is now synonymous with Thor almost had the same association with a few different genre heroes.

“I got very close to G.I. Joe,” Hemsworth said of the G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’s Conrad S. Hauser, aka Duke, aka Channing Tatum.

But there was another Tatum-associated character he also almost got: “I got very close to Gambit in the Wolverine X-Men movies.” This was before the character’s troubled solo movie was in talks, so back when Taylor Kitsch played the role. Both opportunities were pre-Thor. “At the time I was upset,” Hemsworth said. “I was running out of money. But if I played either of those characters, I wouldn’t have been able to play Thor.”

There was also a famous role that he actually landed, but had second thoughts about moments before shooting: Ghostbusters’ Kevin Beckman.

“The night before I was shooting, I almost pulled out,” Hemsworth said of director Paul Feig’s 2016 revival of the franchise. “Three or four weeks prior, Paul said to me, ‘I’m going to write up the character. Don’t worry.’ And then I got the script and nothing had changed.” After a last-minute meeting where improvisation was promised to flesh out the role, Hemsworth agreed to stay — but not without trepidation. “I was really scared walking onto that set,” the actor said. “I had no real plan, so I was just feeding off of them, and I just felt ridiculous. So I used that.”

Now, what does the future hold for Hemsworth? The door is still open for more Thor, since he flew off with the newly dubbed Asgardians of the Galaxy. He’s joined the Men in Black. Chris Evans wants him to star in “one of those ’80s buddy comedies, where we could shed the characters we are known for,” according to the Captain America actor.

Some even consider him for James Bond — though Hemsworth himself has a pick that should please the internet. “My vote would be Idris [Elba],” Hemsworth said. “I think he’d give it a different sort of swagger, too, and each time someone new comes into the role, I think you’ve got to offer up something different.”

Where do you want to see Hemsworth turn up next?