Leading man Chris Hemsworth has possibly found his next franchise, as numerous sources report that the Thor and The Huntsmen star is circling hot spec ALLAN QUATERMAIN. The new take on the classic literary adventurer was scripted by emerging scribe Barnett Brettler. Our sources also report that CAA is working to package the buzzy franchise-starter with an A-lister, with Hemsworth being the prime candidate. With a star like Hemsworth attached, the white hot script, which is already into Sony, would only become that much more enticing.
Plot details are being kept tightly under wraps, though the character of Allan Quatermain is a familiar one, having appeared in several films and series already, played by the likes of Richard Chamberlain and Patrick Swayze. The literary icon debuted in H. Rider Haggard’s 1885 novel King Solomon’s Mines and has appeared in over thirteen sequels, the perfect groundwork for a potential franchise.
Quatermain is a big game hunter and impeccable shot who knows South Africa well, often being recruited for perilous journeys through jungle terrains in search of treasures. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the character served as one of the inspirations for Indiana Jones.
There have been multiple attempts to craft a contemporary version of the character, with the latest version set at DreamWorks with Sam Worthington to star, though that project has been inactive for years. Quatermain notably appeared in Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series, as one of the members of a team of literary icons. In the loosely adapted 2003 film of the same name, the character was portrayed by Sean Connery. For the new iteration, it seems the character will be much younger, with Hemsworth as the prototype.
In recent years, Hemsworth has quickly proven his ability to lead hit franchises with starring roles in the Thor, Avengers, and Snow White and The Huntsman series, the latter of which was even shaped to revolve around Hemsworth’s character. The Snow White sequel, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, features Hemsworth’s titular warrior as the lead. Universal Pictures’ fantasy epic will hit theaters in April of 2016, a few months before Hemsworth appears in Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot.
Hemsworth will next lead Ron Howard’s action/drama In The Heart of the Sea, a true-story period adventure which served as the inspiration for Moby Dick. Out of his entire filmography, In The Heart of the Sea most closely resembles Allan Quatermain, as it showcases the star’s ability to anchor a period adventure.
We reached out to CAA for comment, but have yet to hear back.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor