We are eagerly counting down the days until Chris Hemsworth returns to the big screen in Thor: Love and Thunder. But it turns out he has another film up first. And this one for Netflix. The actor leads Spiderhead, a new sci-fi thriller from Joseph Kosinski. In the film, Hemsworth plays the “brilliant visionary” head of a different kind of prison, one that uses mind-altering drugs to keep inmates under control—at their agreement. The “brilliant visionary” head of a penitentiary description definitely indicates Hemsworth is shedding his usual good guy character for something more sinister in Spiderhead. And the trailer points at that much.
Chris Hemsworth boasts a charming facade in the Spiderhead trailer. And Minnie Riperton’s roaring “Les Fleurs” further gives it an upbeat push. But this is all to underscore the unsettling undercurrent lurking beneath.
Here’s Netflix’s official synopsis for Spiderhead:
In a state-of-the-art penitentiary run by brilliant visionary Steve Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth), inmates wear a surgically attached device that administers dosages of mind-altering drugs in exchange for commuted sentences. There are no bars, no cells, or orange jumpsuits. In Spiderhead, incarcerated volunteers are free to be themselves. Until they’re not. At times, they’re a better version. Need to lighten up? There’s a drug for that. At a loss for words? There’s a drug for that, too. But when two subjects, Jeff (Miles Teller) and Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett), form a connection, their path to redemption take a twistier turn, as Abnesti’s experiments start to push the limits of free will altogether.
Adapted from George Saunder’s “Escape From Spiderhead,” a short story from The New Yorker, the film follows two inmates and participants who connect, leading them potentially to be at odds with the person controlling their every move. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick wrote the script, with Mark Paguio and Tess Haubrich rounding out the cast.
With Top Gun: Maverick ushering in the summer blockbuster season, Joseph Kosinski and Miles Teller—who stars in the Top Gun sequel—are already in for a big next few months. (Additionally Teller also stars in The Offer, the Paramount+ series about the making of The Godfather.) But between Teller and Hemsworth’s blockbuster hits, we’re excited to go on another twisted ride.
Spiderhead releases on June 17 on Netflix.