Over the past year Chris Hemsworth has been at odds to prove that he’s more than just a Nordic God who is BFFs with a hammer or an axe. But he’s obviously not been busy enough, because the Australian actor is in talks to play Allan Quatermain - which Sony hopes will lead to a new, viable franchise for all involved.
Even though there have been several movies that have featured Allan Quatermain as the main character, the most recent one was The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen - a film that was so disastrous it forced Sean Connery to retire after playing the famous explorer. Tracking Board’s sources also allege that the studio is now looking to package the project with a big-name actor, who they then believe will help to propel the film into the franchise.
This is where Chris Hemsworth's classically rugged looks come into play, but it also helps that up and coming writer Barnett Brettler has written a spec-script that caught the eye of Hollywood. Should this project pan out, it could lead to such lofty dreams of a new Sony franchise to become a reality. However there’s a number of issues that suggest that could be very much wishful thinking.
Sure, Allan Quatermain was one of the main inspirations behind Indiana Jones, while his stories, which saw the big game hunter and sensational marksman travel through jungles in search of treasure, are ripe for cinema. Previously, Richard Chamberlain and Patrick Swayze starred as Allan Quatermain in 1985 and 2004 adaptations of King Solomon’s Mines, respectively. In literature, the character first appeared in H. Rider Haggard’s 1885 book of the same name, with the character being featured in thirteen sequels. But, even though Hemsworth’s version would obviously be much younger, can Sony really rely on a character that debuted so long ago to connect with a modern audience?
The failure of Pan – which had at its heart a much more renowned and celebrated literary figure – earlier this year suggests that audiences just aren’t that interested in these kind of old-school, musket wielding characters anymore. We’ll see if the tide of antiquity is able to turn for the better with Victor Frankenstein and In The Heart Of The Sea, which are due out on November 25th and December 11th, respectively, since both of these films are set in the 1800s. While the first film angles for more of a modern flair in its proceedings, the latter film is definitely steeped in classic film-making. You'll be able to see that approach on display in the trailer below.
Chris Hemsworth himself takes the lead in In The Heart Of The Sea, which even though it looks rather grandiose and impressive, plus comes from the always entertaining eye of director Ron Howard, is destined to be slightly overshadowed by a certain force that is about to awaken. We'll see if it can make a dent at the box office, when it releases on December 11th.