Six-feet-three Chris Hemsworth's star-making role was as literal Nordic god Thor in the Avengers series, so you'd think from here on out he'd be more than fit to play the part of any over-muscled man shy of, perhaps, a biopic of the guy who play The Mountain on Game of Thrones. And yet certain parts of the Internet are somehow under the impression that Hemsworth, whom most might describe as a chiseled-from-marble Michelangelo statue come to life, is just too small and scrawny to be deserving of his next part.
In case you missed it, earlier this week it was announced that Hemsworth would take on the role of none other than Hulk Hogan in an upcoming and so far untitled biopic (the film we concentrate on Hogan's rise to the status of a uniquely American pop culture icon through professional wrestler, and not his later years as a VH1 "celebreality" star and destroyer of Gawker.com). To many, the casting seemed perfect. Who else out there with actual movie star credentials to play a muscled-up WWE star (okay, aside from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, an actual former WWE star)? His abs are so notoriously chiseled that Dakota Johnson admitted that she was regularly distracted by them on the set of their film Bad Times at the El Royale! We're sure some segments of the Internet were just excited by the prospect of getting to see Hemsworth jumping about in Hogan's trademark wrestling uniform of yellow European-cut trunks.
Turns out, however, that others think Hemsworth is, well, not quite swole enough to play Hogan.
As The Daily Mail points out, the backlash began in part when Bryan Alvarez, a wrestling commentator and former pro wrestler himself, claimed on a podcast that Hemsworth "just looks like a normal guy" and wasn't developed enough to play Hogan, and also noted Hemsworth's status as an Australian.
"'He's big, and yes he's got long blond hair, but...have you seen Hulk Hogan in the '80s? He's at least twice the size of Thor," Alvarez asked.
Other men with Twitter accounts were apparently apt to agree.
Though, other people were quick to point out that the casting of Hemsworth as Hogan was more than generous to Hogan in, well, other ways.
For the record, Hogan himself has been talking about how he has wanted Hemsworth to play him since at least 2013. "We need a serious actor that knows what he's doing," Hogan told a newspaper that year. "You know who I thought would be good? That guy that did that action movie Thor."
All in all, Hemsworth might be a little shorter than the real six-feet-seven Hogan, a little more lithe, and a little more appealing in the face, but frankly that's not shocking. That's pretty much how Hollywood casts all of its roles. They seem to always go with someone smaller but better looking that the real specimen, and not even Hogan is exempt.
In any event, Netflix is reportedly in final negotiations to secure the movie, and Todd Philips will direct from a script by Scott Silver (the same pair behind Joaquin Phoenix's upcoming Joker movie). If people remain pressed that Hemsworth is still to small to play Hogan, they can take solace in the fact that there may be several more upcoming opportunities for actors of appropriate size to play the man if any of the numerous scripts about the downfall of Gawker currently circling around Hollywood ever get made.