He's in line for leads in 'Thor' and 'Dawn'


Chris Hemsworth is about to win the Hollywood lottery, booking starring roles in two major motion pictures.

Hemsworth will wield Mjolnir's hammer as the title character in Marvel Studios' Norse god epic "Thor" and also will play the lead in MGM's "Red Dawn," stepping into the role originated by Patrick Swayze in the 1984 film. In the new version, China and Russia will invade the U.S.

"Thor" and "Dawn" were among the big movies undergoing wide casting searches, and the Australian Hemsworth had been making the rounds. His U.S. break came in late 2007 when he was cast as Captain Kirk's father in "Star Trek."

Deals for "Thor" and "Dawn" are not quite squared away; the "Thor" deal is contingent on the latter film's shooting schedule. It's set to film in August. "Thor," to be directed by Kenneth Branagh, is FX-intensive and requires a longer preproduction period. It is scheduled for a May 2011 release.

"Dawn," helmed by stunt coordinator and cinematographer-turned-director Dan Bradley and produced by Contrafilm, has a September 2010 release date. (partialdiff)