Hemsworth and director Sam Hargrave tease the high-stakes action of their Netflix sequel: ‘We sort of went for the moon’

Chris Hemsworth is no stranger to massive, action-packed blockbusters. But Extraction, his 2020 Netflix film, featured some of the most intense action scenes he's ever done — including car chases, fist fights, and one jaw-dropping, uninterrupted 12-minute sequence that involved relentless combat, a high-speed pursuit, and jumping between buildings.

Now, Hemsworth is returning for Extraction 2, an ambitious sequel that he hopes will up the action even more. The new film (coming to Netflix in June 2023) once again follows Hemsworth as lethal mercenary Tyler Rake, and the actor says the sequel's stunts are bigger than ever, calling it "the most detailed and exhausting fight training I've ever been a part of."

"We sort of went for the moon," Hemsworth, 39, tells EW with a laugh. "In a very crowded world of action, I think we did something that's very unique."

2023 Preview
Chris Hemsworth returns as Tyler Rake in this exclusive look at Netflix's 'Extraction 2'
| Credit: Jasin Boland/Netflix

The first Extraction was a massive hit for Netflix, reportedly setting records as the most-watched original film in the streamer's history. The same filmmaking team returns for the sequel, with Sam Hargrave directing and Hemsworth's Avengers directors Joe and Anthony Russo back to produce. (Joe Russo also wrote the screenplay.)

Extraction 2 picks up after the events of the first film, with Rake having survived that brutal fall off a bridge. Now, he's facing a somehow even wilder operation: breaking into an impenetrable prison to rescue the family of a merciless Georgian gangster. "It's an escape mission," Hargrave teases. "But it's bigger, badder, more deadly, and more dangerous than anything we've seen Rake go through."

Both Hargrave and Hemsworth wanted the sequel to take a deeper dive into Rake's backstory — exploring his moral compass and his complicated past. But they also wanted to combine that with high-stakes spectacle, adding even more stunts. "We've got fist fights, car chases, explosions, trains, helicopters," explains Hargrave, 37, who's worked as a stunt coordinator and performer on films like Captain America: Civil War, Atomic Blonde, and the Hunger Games series. "It's like an action fan's fantasy come to life. At least it was for us action designers."

Hemsworth says he especially relished getting to collaborate with the different departments and shoot as many practical stunts as possible. One particularly tricky scene is set in a snowy prison yard and features about 300 extras. "There's something so satisfying about that," he explains. "Not to take anything away from the special-effects-filled sort of Marvel film, but you have a lot of help in post-production there. Obviously, I can't fly, so they help through me that. Whereas in this film, the action is grounded in reality, and so much of it is in camera. So, it's a different energy, and the preparation is a lot more extensive."

Perhaps the most ambitious moment in Extraction 2 is an exhilarating stunt where a helicopter lands on a moving train, as Rake faces off against a whole squad of foes. The entire sequence took months of choreography and rehearsal — and lots of safety training. "Probably the most intense part was not so much the exhaustion levels," Hemsworth explains, "but just the sheer terror of all the things that could have gone wrong, but thankfully didn't."

Hargrave adds that even now, he can still remember the "adrenaline rush" of perching on the top of that train car — and he hopes it gets the audience's blood pumping, too.

"I will never forget standing underneath that helicopter," the director says. "I was our camera operator for that moment, so I was filming. I could reach out with my hand, and I could have high-fived our pilot. It was amazing."

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