Chris Hemsworth has conquered social media with his delightfully fun videos and, with the help of Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, given Thor the comedic makeover the character desperately needed. But the Funniest and Hunkiest Chris has struggled a bit to build a commercially or critically successful career outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I don’t say this to be mean or judgmental; I say this because I deeply care about what Hemsworth does, and I genuinely want to help.
You see, as long as Hemsworth had the MCU to return to every couple of years, it didn’t really matter too much what he did the rest of the time. He could take small supporting roles in movies like Ghostbusters or reunite with Drew Goddard for (the vastly underrated) Bad Times at the El Royale. But we have to face the facts: At some point, Hemsworth will stop playing the Asgardian of our dreams, if he hasn’t already — though given the way Avengers: Endgame concluded, no one should be surprised if/when he appears in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 — and when he sets Stormbreaker aside, he won’t be able to rely on the steady stream of MCU blockbusters anymore.
Of course, some of Hemsworth’s career struggles have been out of his hands. Take his most recent outing, Men in Black: International. The attempt to relaunch the popular film franchise tanked at the box office, earning just $30 million in its opening weekend (its production budget was an estimated $110 million). Production was said to be hampered by an absentee studio and a director and producer clashing behind the scenes as scripts were being rewritten on the fly. None of these things are Hemsworth’s fault, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help him make some different, and hopefully better, choices. So, since we’re very much in the We Want More Chris business, we’ve come up with a few suggestions for what Hemsworth should do next.
1. Work more with Taika Waititi
By teaming up with director Waititi, perhaps best known for his collaborations with Jemaine Clement (What We Do in the Shadows) and films like Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Hemsworth created one of the best entries in the MCU, 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. The commercially and critically successful film rebooted Thor and allowed Hemsworth to show off his excellent comedic and improvisational skills, breathing new life into a dying character and franchise. If Hemsworth were to work more with Waititi — I’m envisioning a Scorsese/DiCaprio sort of relationship here — he might not always make the big bucks, but he just might achieve more critical acclaim, and have a lot of fun doing it.
2. Make that buddy movie with Chris Evans
Chris Evans recently revealed in a story published in Variety that he wants to star opposite Hemsworth in a ’80s-style buddy comedy in which both men shed the roles they’re known for. Now, Evans hasn’t had the best track record outside of the MCU either — according to a recent article in The Hollywood Reporter, his box office pull is much less than that of his superhero co-stars — but he’s also made fewer films, especially those opening nationwide, during that same time frame. And that feels intentional on his part. We know he has other interests — in addition to appearing on Broadway last year, he’s also clearly invested in politics — but regardless of what has happened in the past for both men, I think there is an audience who would show up to see the two best Chrises star in a buddy movie that reminds us they’re not just Cap and Thor.
Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth in Men in Black: International
3. Star in a television show
If you’ve noticed an influx of Hot Movie Stars™ on television over the last few years, it’s because some of the best stories being told and some of the most compelling roles for actors are actually on television right now. Although it might mean being away from his family and native Australia for an extended period of time (if the show doesn’t film there, I mean), Hemsworth should seriously consider making the jump to the small screen for his next project.
4. Don’t make that Hulk Hogan movie
Honestly, Chris. It’s not worth it. You’re better than this.
5. Stop trying to be the Franchise Chris
The impulse to jump into another potential franchise after the MCU is understandably strong, especially when that franchise is a reboot of Men in Black, but Chris Pratt already has the role of Franchise Chris locked down following his successful turn in Jurassic World. Hemsworth should focus his energy elsewhere.
6. Reteam with Tessa Thompson for something completely new
If the goal of Men in Black: International was to give the world Hemsworth & Thompson 2.0, maybe the actors should be searching for a new project they can star in together rather than trying to fit themselves into previously existing IP that clearly isn’t gonna work. The world definitely wants more of this dynamic duo — and the stars clearly want to work together again (as Thompson explains in the interview below) — so let’s work on making it happen.