Chris Hemsworth, who already has years of experience working across from a Hulk, is becoming one himself: THR reports the Thor actor will portray Hulk Hogan for a biopic directed by The Hangover mastermind Todd Phillips. Michael Sugar (Spotlight) will produce along with Phillips and Bradley Cooper under the duo’s Joint Effort banner. The project is being developed for Netflix.
Depending on your age bracket, you’re probably familiar with one of two possible Hulk Hogans, whose outside-the-ring name is Terry Bollea. There’s the 1980s pro wrestling mega-star, a jacked-out-of-his-mind pusher of vitamins and prayers who almost singlehandedly brought the art form into the mainstream and revolutionized the World Wrestling Federation for owner Vince McMahon. Or, there’s current-day, more leathery Hogan, who became embroiled in a sex tape and racial slur scandal that, through a much-covered lawsuit, brought an end to the website Gawker.
The reports note that the biopic will decidedly not touch on that latter days story and instead is “described as an origin story of the Hulkster and Hulkamania.” And that is…kind of a shame, especially when you reach the part that explains Hogan himself will be a consultant and executive producer on the film. (So will Eric Bischoff, long-time Hogan pal and former president of World Championship Wrestling.) A warts-and-all look at Terry Bollea—by all accounts a terribly complicated man who played backstage politics with the best of them and often warped the line between his larger-than-life character and reality—would be fascinating. But this sounds a bit more like pro wrestling’s Bohemian Rhapsody, a Queen biopic executive-produced by the surviving members of Queen that seemed to suggest Freddie Mercury might’ve been better off if he had just listened to the very, very smart and accomplished surviving members of Queen.
Either way, what a wonderfully strange few years its been for Phillips, who is currently completing work on the small-budget Joker origin story starring Joaquin Phoenix. And, try as I might, I can’t help but be extremely curious to see what Hemsworth does with this role. At the very least, Thor with a bleached-blonde handlebar mustache and a bald cap is going to fuel the internet for years to come.
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