Bizarre as it may sound, Thor co-stars Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are both now attached to projects involving country music legend Hank Williams. The latter, who plays the villainous Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is actually playing the singer-songwriter in an upcoming biopic called I Saw The Light, and now news has come that the former, the God of Thunder himself, will be seeing hallucinations of the great cowboy crooner in his newest project.
News is coming from The Wrap that Chris Hemsworth has optioned the film rights to the Steve Earle novel I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive, and has plans to both produce a movie adaptation and star in the lead role. An indie-budgeted project that will be written and directed by first-time filmmaker Benjamin Grayson, the book tells the story of Toby “Doc” Ebersole, a morphine-addicted physician who was involved in the death of Hank Williams in 1953. The tale picks up 10 years after this incident and sees Ebersole living in San Antonio, Texas where he supports his habit by performing illegal abortions. This is all while suffering from visions of Hank Williams – who serves as his “demented Jiminy Cricket.”
I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive – which is named for the last single co-written Williams released before his death – will be Chris Hemsworth’s first foray into producing, which is happening just five years after he was briefly introduced to American audiences in the beginning of J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot. His connection to Benjamin Brayson is an interesting one, as one of the filmmaker’s credits is as an assistant to director Kenneth Branagh on the set of the first Thor. The Wrap’s report doesn’t mention anything about it, but it isn’t too hard to believe that Grayson and Hemsworth met on that set. Laura Bickford, who worked as a producer with Steven Soderbergh on movies like Traffic and Che Parts One and Two, is also behind the new Steve Earle adaptation.
Hemsworth just recently completed production on Joss Whedon’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron – set to come out next summer on May 1st – but he has a full slate even beyond his Marvel contract (which also involves an eventual Thor 3). He will be starting 2015 with a quick one-two punch of Michael Mann and Ron Howard movies, as Blackhat is set to be released in January and Heart of the Sea is coming out in March. But while his work on those two movies is done (outside of the eventual publicity tour) he still has a lot of work to do, as he is part of the upcoming Vacation semi-sequel and will also soon start working on The Huntsman – the spin-off from the 2012 blockbuster Snow White and the Huntsman.