Remember When ‘Thor’ Was Making a Hank Williams Movie?
Thor is a Norse god. Hank Williams is a country music god. That's about all the two larger-than-life figures have in common, or so it would seem.
In 2014, their worlds seemed ready to collide in a fascinating way that would involve a crooked doctor, Steve Earle and (much later) Johnny Cash. What happened?
The hot story for about a week in September of 2014 was that Thor actor Chris Hemsworth had optioned the film rights to I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive, a novel written by Earle in 2011. The Wrap shared at the time that the country outlaw's book is "a dark, fictitious tale that follows Toby 'Doc' Ebersole, who's haunted by the ghost of Hank Williams following his involvement in the country singer's mysterious death in 1953."
"I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive" was the final single released during Williams' short life. Coincidentally (or not), Horace "Toby" Marshall was his private doctor, and wrote prescriptions for the legend prior to his death. He was actually not a doctor at all, but a con artist who'd been released from prison just a few years earlier. In the book, the doctor supports a drug habit by performing illegal medical procedures in San Antonio.
A flurry of stories about this potential Hemsworth flick hit the internet, but nothing has been written about the film — or Hemsworth's involvement — since. There's not trace of it on IMDB, but several articles point out that he's the second Marvel character to be tied to a movie about Hank Williams.
Tom Hiddleston plays Loki, and 2015 he starred as Williams in I Saw the Light, a lightly-viewed bio-pic that the Williams family had mixed feelings about. Hank Williams III hated it, while Holly Williams seemed to appreciate Hiddleston's effort. Did a cool reception cool Hemsworth's heels, as well?
More likely — or at least as likely — the Australian has just been too busy. There are now four Thor movies, and Hemsworth's character has been part of all Avengers movies in the last decade. He's added additional roles as well, leaving him potentially squeezed for time to eek out an independent movie.
That's not to say he has not dipped a toe into country music circles — in 2019, Jimmy Fallon aired a clip of the actor as "Fat Thor," singing "Hurt" as performed by Cash. Skip to about 1:40 to see what we're talking about: