"He has noble intentions, but there are some darker things lurking underneath the surface with him."
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Want to fall in love — or improve your vocabulary! — in an instant? Chris Hemsworth has the answer.

In Netflix's new sci-fi film Spiderhead, the Thor star plays Steve Abnesti, a scientist who tests drugs on convicts at a remote, state-of-the-art penitentiary. The twist: The drugs dramatically, and immediately, alter the moods and abilities of the inmates. The problem: Not all of the emotions enhanced by Abnesti's experiments are positive ones.

"He is the genius visionary behind the whole Spiderhead program," says director Joseph Kosinski of Hemsworth's character. "He has noble intentions, but there are some darker things lurking underneath the surface with him."

SPIDERHEAD - Chris Hemsworth as Abnesti, Miles Teller as Jeff and Mark Paguio as Verlaine in Spiderhead
Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, and Mark Paguio in 'Spiderhead'
| Credit: Courtesy Of Netflix

The prisoners at the titular prison include Jeff, played by Miles Teller.

"He's a guy that's grappling with a mistake he made in his past and trying to figure out how to move beyond it," says Kosinski, who also teamed with Teller on 2017's Only the Brave and the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick.

"Jeff works closely with, and sort of forms a friendship with, Abnesti," says Teller, who also stars in the upcoming Paramount+ series The Offer, about the making of The Godfather. "I wanted to portray that sense of trust in the beginning to help show that there's a real earnestness and sincerity on Abnesti's part toward helping everybody. He has a soft spot for Jeff, and I think their dynamic is really entertaining to watch."

Luckily, playing Abnesti's incarcerated guinea pig hasn't left a bad taste in Teller's mouth when it comes to the Australian actor.

"He had a big workload with this film," says Teller. "His schedule only allowed him to film for a few weeks and Abnesti has a lot of dialogue. So I was really impressed with his ability to know the line, show up on time, all the rules of proper engagement."

Former Lovecraft Country star Jurnee Smollett plays another inmate, Lizzy.

"She has a more mysterious past," says the director. "She is drawn to Jeff, and they have a very close relationship, but where he kind of wears his heart on his sleeve she hides her pain with a cheerful persona."

Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (whose credits include Zombieland and Deadpool), Spiderhead is based on George Saunders' 2010 New Yorker short story "Escape From Spiderhead." The film features a soundtrack with some of Abnesti's favorite vintage pop hits, including Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science" and Hall & Oates' "You Make My Dreams," with the upbeat songs acting as a counterpoint to the sinister happenings on screen.

"The idea of the soundtrack came while I was sitting in a dentist chair," says Kosinski. "I was listening to something like Christopher Cross while getting a tooth drilled. It felt interesting for Abnesti to create this air of relaxation and good times in a facility that's doing something much more nefarious."

The cast of Spiderhead also includes Mark Paguio, Tess Haubrich, Angie Milliken, and Stephen Tongun. The film will premiere globally June 17 on Netflix.

See our exclusive first-look images above and below.

SPIDERHEADSPIDERHEAD. Chris Hemsworth as Abnesti in Spiderhead
Chris Hemsworth as Abnesti and Miles Teller as Jeff in 'Spiderhead'
| Credit: Courtesy Of Netflix
SPIDERHEAD. (L to R) Jurnee Smollett as Lizzy and Miles Teller as Jeff in SPIDERHEAD
Jurnee Smollett as Lizzy and Miles Teller as Jeff in 'Spiderhead'
| Credit: Courtesy Of Netflix

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