Liam Hemsworth Could Be ‘The Raven’ In Universal’s New Sci-Fi Thriller

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 12th, 2013 at 7:37 am,

liam hemsworth the raven Liam Hemsworth Could Be The Raven In Universals New Sci Fi Thriller

You may remember that a couple of years ago, a sci-fi action short called The Raven began grabbing a lot of attention in Hollywood. The film was made for just $5,000 and shot within 48 hours (though there’s no way you’d be able to tell by looking at it) and it garnered 50,000 hits within two days of being made available online.

Eight months later, director Ricardo de Montreuil negotiated a deal with Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson to produce a feature-length version of the film for Universal Pictures. Montreuil will return to direct from a script by Michael Gilio as well as Justin Marks, and production is set to start in June.

Casting seems to be moving ahead for the film, as Deadline reports that Liam Hemsworth is close to being locked for the lead role of Chris Black AKA “The Raven” – a man with psychokinetic powers living as an outlaw on the run in a futuristic, police-state version of Los Angeles. The role was originally played by stunt performer Victor Lopez, who previously appeared in action sequences for The Hunger Games, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The Bourne Legacy, and he incorporated some slick-looking parkour into The Raven‘s chase scenes.

Hemsworth is no stranger to the action genre either. Best known for his role as Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games, the actor also starred as Billy “The Kid” in The Expendables 2. Whether he can pull off the same moves as Lopez, or whether he’ll need a stunt double of his own, remains to be seen, but otherwise he seems like a pretty solid choice for the role.

The original short is definitely worth watching, and you can do so right here:

Quite a lot of people got a Minority Report vibe from it, probably because it opens with police-controlled robotic insects, similar to the spiders that hunt down John Anderton as he hides in the tenement building. Despite The Raven‘s incredibly powerful abilities, there’s nonetheless a feeling of hopelessness that builds up as he is hounded through the streets, tracked by the watchful eyes above. The dialogue is sparse, but there are some good lines in there (“Move, you big trashcan! Get outta my alley!”). It’s also amusing how polite and soft-spoken the first gun-wielding robot sounds.

The premise doesn’t seem particularly high-concept. We’ve all seen people with super-powers before, and we’ve all seen people on the run from Orwellian governments before (in films, anyway), but provided it’s executed well the feature version of The Raven could turn out to be something special. If anything, it mostly brings to mind James Cameron’s sci-fi TV show Dark Angel, which starred Jessica Alba as a genetically-engineered super-soldier who escapes from the facility where she was born and leads an undercover life in a post-economic crash version of Seattle. Let’s hope that Montreuil can bring a similarly strong blend of interesting characters and engaging plot in The Raven.

It looks like Hemsworth just can’t get away from dystopian futures. Let us know what you think about this project – and the latest casting news – in the comments.


We’ll provide more information on The Raven as it becomes available.

Source: Deadline

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Raven
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  1. Actually, the short was not too bad for a little independent job on a shoe-string budget. Yes, I would give a full-length feature a watch.

  2. That was a pretty good short film. Why don’t they give Victor Lopez a shot at the lead. I think he has better screen presence than another Hemsworth who isn’t the good looking one.

    • Lopez earned it. But casting, more and more, is being based on “fanbase”.

      • Which equates to money, which is what a business is out to make. Was there ever a time that casting WASNT based on fanbase?

        While I would never question Mr. Lopez in his ability to perform a stunt I have yet to really see him ‘act’.

        Now if the whole movie is one big stunt then have at it. However I believe the movie is a little more then that.

        As for the PWB comment below I would have to ask at what point does the movie require the lead to be a minority? Not to mention your list of minorities that could play the part are devoid of women, Italians, aliens, and a few other minorities that are minorities also.

        Or do you just base your minorities on the color of their skin?

        • Casting centered upon fanbase is an economic move, which I entirely understand and appreciate given that we have an uncertain marketplace and fickle box office; this fanbase thing was pointed out merely from the standpoint that it allows no fresh oxygen in the room with better choices for certain roles going undiscovered. (re: more and more of the same faces)

          Lopez may be incapable of acting, or carrying a movie, but this hasn’t stopped producers from casting marginal white “acting” talent in a host of motion pictures. (I won’t name the many because it’s opinionated and sounds snarky.) On the other hand, we just don’t really know about Lopez, do we? This is one that we’ll just have to leave up in the air for now…but, undoubtedly, producers (and studios) in general will error on the side of “fanbase”.

          This brings us to Liam. No question (and no matter what his detractors have to say) this guy won me over in EXPENDABLES 2; sorry his character got killed off. But now I do look forward to seeing him as one of the survivors among his generation of actors as he matures in his career. My gripe is when producers reach for a “known” actor with a fanbase, the popular choice is inevitably “a white male” as a clear axiom, reaching past every minority –male, female, black-skinned, brown-skinned, alien (foreign, extraterrestrial)– with a “white female” being the default second choice.

          If this sounds like a “racial thing”, let the facts speak for themselves. Again, this will be explained away as “a strategic marketing decision”…with certain exceptions noted. But how did the brown-skinned minority (male) actors that I mentioned become exceptions? Goes back to that “choice” thing with minority female actors, in this instance, being the default second choice.

          For further comment from me on the overall historic “race issue” as it relates tangentially to “entertainment”, visit my blog post, ‘A DOG-WHISTLE SHOUTOUT’ at

          And that is all I have to say on this matter.

          • Oh before I even commented I visited your site. However my comment was based on your minority comment below.

            I understand what you are saying. Even here on SR Ive commented on the lack of talented minorities (regardless of race/sex) taking certain roles.

            It is not a ‘racial’ thing. If I am in business and I know X brings in more money then Y I would be stupid to back Y more. Especially if Y is untested.

            The issue you seem to have is why they reach for a well known or better gamble. It is just about money that is the reason.

            With your certain exceptions noted (not to mention others) they were made popular and showed their ability to handle certain roles that they were almost type casted into (which IMHO is even worse) or had another fan base to leverage off of.

            Does that mean there are not other talented minority actors/actresses out there? Heck no. However when you are investing millions of dollars into a project that needs to recoup and surpass that investment you need to go to a well known source.

            I would WELCOME more minorities in film (non type cast) especially when it was usually regulated to a pretty white boy (or girl). However only if they can handle it.

            My biggest dream is to see Aisha Tyler as WW in the JL movie. Which would be her stepping stone.

            Speaking to The Raven If you have a dream of becoming a writer/director etc leveraging on Hollywood do you stand by your guns saying I want a minority in this part or you will never see my work? Or do you attempt to work the system hoping to later be able to have that leverage?

  3. So this is the precursor to Sentinels. All I see is a mutie being hunted down by the law for not registering.

    I don’t see a minority report vibe as much as I see an Xmen vibe.

  4. I’m terrible at casting but I think this is wrong principally because stories like this, see ‘Chronicle,”X-Men’ and some others cast actors that have less physical presence as psycho and telekinetic. Sure that might be a little myopic but I thought the actor in the short was a way better fit plus I’m starting to get tired of minorities not getting a fair shake in this genre…

  5. I’ve seen this short before and I still don’t see what about it caught anyone’s eye. As the article above mentions: we’ve seen all this before.

    The short is devoid of character, much plot, or any moral or psychological insight whatsoever. It’s basically a tech demo…..I can see some effects house hiring this guy but not anyone borrowing his “story” idea. Bizarre.

  6. The action is formulaic and the production is quite clean. For its running time, as a short film, THE RAVEN delivers–by simply being no more than what it is.

    As a feature film, however, a dramatic plot will have to be developed and, of course, cast with “a pretty white boy” who has a perceived fanbase. I’m sure that’s because Dwayne Johnson and Will Smith are busy, and Tyler Perry and Denzel Washington would be unbelievable; and since there are no other minorities left, well….

  7. yes, I would like to see the young man who played the original Raven be incorporated in the full-length version: perhaps a FEW “Raven-esque” type of people??? I am definitely interested -as in I would go to the theatre to see it.

  8. The robot looks like a more modern version of the ED-209 from RoboCop!