Thor actor's character crosses a lot of lines in new sci-fi film from Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski.

We're used to seeing Chris Hemsworth play the heroic Thor, but in the trailer for science fiction-thriller Spiderhead, it looks as if the Australian's character has a touch of Thanos about him.

"He has noble intentions, but there are some darker things lurking underneath the surface with him," says director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick).

In the Netflix film, Hemsworth plays scientist Steve Abnesti, 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.

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

The prisoners at the titular prison include Jeff, portrayed by The Offer and Top Gun: Maverick actor Miles Teller.

"Jeff works closely with, and sort of forms a friendship with, Abnesti," says Teller. "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."

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.

Watch the trailer for Spiderhead above.

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