Chris Hemsworth claims that he considered pulling out of the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot movie right before filming was scheduled to begin, before ultimately deciding to go ahead with it. As one of the most successful and iconic movie franchises of the 1980s, talk of a third Ghostbusters movie has been almost constant throughout much of the past two decades but the announcement of a female-fronted reboot took fans by surprise. Unfortunately, the project was immediately set upon by online trolls who took exception to the gender-swapped cast and were posting negative reviews even before the movie had been released in theaters.
When the Ghostbusters reboot was finally released, critical reaction wasn't as bad as some had predicted but, perhaps inevitably, the film failed to live up to quality and reputation of its famous parent. One element that was positively received in most quarters, however, was the cast, including Chris Hemsworth who took on the role of the Ghostbusters' secretary Kevin, continuing the mirroring of genders in the movie. Ghostbusters marked a rare comedic turn for Hemsworth who, up to that point, had been largely taking on action and archetypal leading man roles.
Hemsworth now claims in an interview with Variety that he almost quit the role the night before filming because Ghostbusters director Paul Feig hadn't delivered on his promised to write up Hemsworth's character in the script, instead relying on the actor's ability to improvise on set. Hemsworth states:
"The night before I was shooting, I almost pulled out. Three or four weeks prior, Paul [Feig] said to me, ‘I’m going to write up the character. Don’t worry.’ And then I got the script and nothing had changed... I was really scared walking onto that set. I had no real plan, so I was just feeding off of them, and I just felt ridiculous. So I used that."
The Thor actor was widely praised for taking a back seat in Ghostbusters, despite being arguably its biggest star, and allowing the central quartet to come to the fore. However, it's understandable that as an actor who has no real financial or career-based need to accept supporting roles, Hemsworth would want to ensure that his appearance in Ghostbusters would offer something interesting from an acting standpoint. It's also easy to see why Hemsworth might be somewhat apprehensive about improvising with a group of actors far more well-versed in the comedy genre. Accepting such a markedly different role was already a bold move on Hemsworth's part, but the prospect undoubtedly became even more daunting when it emerged that there was hardly any scripted material to rely on and it's clear why the actor would be having second thoughts the night before filming.
Ultimately, Hemsworth lists his turn in Ghostbusters as one of his favorite roles and the actor's comedy chops have been far more noticeable since, particularly in the MCU. However, that unfortunately wasn't enough to prevent the announcement of Ghostbusters 3, taking the franchise back to its original world and potentially unbooting the reboot. Nevertheless, both cast and crew of the 2016 Ghostbusters seem hopeful for a sequel to their own movie, and if that project did enter development, it sounds as though Chris Hemsworth would certainly be game.
- Ghostbusters 3 (2020) release date: Jul 10, 2020