By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 11, 2011 at 12:35PM
It has been quite the journey for Chris Hemsworth from his days on the Aussie soap "Home And Away." He proved himself capable of carrying a comic movie with charm and charisma to spare with "Thor" and he's got a slate of projects on the way including "The Cabin In The Woods," "Red Dawn," "The Avengers" and "Snow White And The Huntsman." It's certainly a blockbuster loaded slate, but the actor has been making strides into more dramatic fare as well. He's attached to the black ops thriller "Shadow Runner" and he's now taking the pole position on a film that has been gaining a lot of steam.
Penned by Peter Morgan, "Rush" centers on Austrian Niki Lauda’s rivalry with English racer James Hunt. In 1976, Lauda nearly died when his Ferrari swerved off the track in only the second lap of the German Grand Prix and crashed, causing him to lapse into a coma and lose his right ear—Hunt won the race. Six weeks later, Lauda was back behind the wheel chasing Hunt at the Italian Grand Prix and followed him to the Canadian and U.S. Grand Prix as well. Hunt would finally earn enough points during 1976 to take the World Driver’s Championship title away from Lauda. You can smell the gasoline from here and no surprise the supercharged tale had Paul Greengrass circling at one point, but Ron Howard has since landed in the director's chair and Deadline reports that Hemsworth will get in the driver's seat as Hunt.
Alex Pettyfer must be pissed because he had his own James Hunt film developing at DreamWorks but we can only presume his low box office wattage, bad reputation and now, a competing project directed by Howard with one of Hollywood's brightest young talents in the lead, has put the brakes on that one for now.
While the deals are still be signed and confirmed, "Rush" is shaping up to shoot in early 2012 before the very busy Hemsworth suits up again for "Thor 2" which is already pegged for July 26, 2013 release date. Universal is expected to step up and distribute "Rush" considering it's being shepherded by both Imagine and Working Title. And as for "The Dark Tower"? Looks like no one is talking about that one too much anymore...