'Vacation' and 'Ghostbusters' are just the beginning
What’s a superhero to do, when they’re not a superhero? It’s a question that bedevils half the actors in Hollywood. (And even a couple actresses. Thanks, patriarchy!) Do you try for an Oscar? Build another franchise from scratch? Make an indie movie and grow a Sundance beard? Chris Hemsworth has tried a little bit of everything. He’s been Thor four times in four years. He was muddy Thor in Snow White and the Huntsman, which earned him his own Huntsman spinoff. He was great in Ron Howard’s Rush, an unjustly ignored sports biopic. He tried to star in that rarest of unicorns, an R-rated real-world thriller—an admirable decision, even if the result was Blackhat.
He’s comfortably ensconced as Ron Howard’s new Russell Crowe—reteaming with the director for this December’s In the Heart of the Sea—and he’s got no shortage of Marvel movies in his near-future. And now he has revealed a savvy new strategy: Self-deprecation, by way of ’80s remakes with inverted gender roles. When the buzzy trailer for the new Vacation movie hit the internet, Hemsworth was the main talking point (heehee, point.) Wednesday, new developments: Paul Feig cast Hemsworth as the new Annie Potts in his gender-flipped Ghostbusters. It’s a funny joke that barely needs a movie. Didn’t like the gender roles in Age of Ultron? Then you’ll love Ghostbusters, starring Thor as Maria Hill!
This is a smart move on Chris Hemsworth’s part. Self-aware tomfoolery is how the Action Star extends his or her career for another five years, or 10 years; sometimes, it’s how the Action Star ensures that they never have to stop working. Because Hemsworth is a giant from Australia’s fabled Green Place, it’s almost hard to take him seriously as a normal person. (Blackhat had to pretend that prison is an ab workout.) So now is the right time to go Full Himbo. But what other ’80s remakes could he undertake to further the Deprecation Protocol? Some possibilities:
Weird Science: A couple tech-hipster high-school gals build themselves the perfect man: Chris Hemsworth as Neo-LeBrock, personal bodyguard and arm candy. Hemsworth-bot immediately Stella Got Her Groove Backs a whole suburb of desperate housewives.
Caddyshack: Cindy Morgan’s Lacey Underall gets rebooted as Hemsworth’s Boomer Hungalot, hedonist nephew to the country club’s founder. Seriously, Hemsworth’s pecs in a tight golf shirt may actually be more NSFW than Morgan’s.
Overboard: All the exciting problematic gender politics go out the window when Hemsworth steps in for Goldie Hawn as a poor little rich boy with amnesia, forced into a sex-idiot fake marriage with irrepressible everygal Amy Schumer.
Tootsie: Desperate for complex three-dimensional roles, Jennifer Lawrence goes undercover as a man and secures a lead role in the daring new HBO drama. Hemsworth plays the Jessica Lange part, a divorced ex-child star and barely reformed party boy with a heart of gold.
Trading Places: He’s Jamie Lee Curtis. Tell me you don’t hear the sound of money when you hear the words “Chris Hemsworth, Gigolo With A Heart of Gold.”
Risky Business: All the exciting problematic gender politics come right to the forefront when Hemsworth takes the Rebecca De Mornay part as a world-weary male prostitute partnering up with a high-school business partner/love interest to operate a suburban bordello. In deference to contemporary sensibilities, the gender-flipped Tom Cruise high-schooler is now in college, and instead of sex, they’re selling good old-fashioned family-friendly marijuana.
Back to the Future: Typical 2015 teenager Marla McFly travels back to the wild big-hair days of 1985, where she has to Parent Trap her mom and dad into falling in love. Problem: Chris Hemsworth is the popular-kid Lea Thompson analogue, a doofus on the diving team, who has no interest whatsoever in proto-goth Carey Mulligan.