Days before the release of Fighting With My Family, the WWE Studios-produced biopic of women’s wrestler Paige, news has broken of another film telling the story of an even more famous professional wrestler.
A movie about Hulk Hogan will be made, with Chris Hemsworth starring as the Hulkster, the Hollywood Reporter said Wednesday. The film will be directed by Todd Phillips, best known for Old School and The Hangover, with Scott Silver and John Pollano writing the movie.
The film is being set up at Netflix, with producers including Bradley Cooper, as well as Eric Bischoff, the former head of 1990s WWE competitor World Championship Wrestling. It doesn’t appear, as of now, that WWE is on board as producing the film, but Hogan is listed as an executive producer, and will consult on the project as well.
The Hogan movie, the report said, will focus on Hogan’s rise and is described as “an origin story of the Hulkster and Hulkamania.” It’s unclear if the film will delve into Hogan’s appearance in the 1982 film Rocky III, which first exposed him to national audiences ahead of his run as wrestling’s top star.
Hogan, along with the-then WWF’s national expansion in the 1980s, became the most popular professional wrestler of all time, holding the organization’s championship at one point for four years between 1984 and 1988, while engaging in memorable feuds with the likes of Andre the Giant, the “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and The Ultimate Warrior.
There’s no word on who might be playing Andre, Vince McMahon, or any of the other key figures in the Hogan story. Hemsworth certainly has Hogan’s muscles, although at 6’3″ he’s a few inches shorter than the man he’ll be playing.
In recent years, Hogan has been part of several controversies. A sex tape of Hogan with the wife of his friend, radio host Todd “Bubba The Love Sponge” Clem, was released and later led to a lawsuit from Hogan that ended up bankrupting the website Gawker, per The Atlantic.
casting chris hemsworth as a young hulk hogan in that biopic is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for hulk hogan pic.twitter.com/ku6YnjOvll— Q U I N N (@QuinnKeaney) February 20, 2019
Meanwhile, an audiotape later surfaced from the same incident of Hogan using racial slurs, which led to a multiyear exile for Hogan from WWE, where he had a “legends” contract. But Hogan returned for appearances last year, both for WWE’s “Crown Jewel” event and at a Raw tribute to the late announcer “Mean Gene” Okerlund.
Multiple film projects are in the works about the Hogan/Gawker story, per a Washington Post account last year.
Hogan’s status as an executive producer raises one potential concern — Hogan’s penchant for exaggerating outrageously when telling stories about his life and career, per this WhatCulture list from 2017. Among other things, Hogan has claimed that the George Foreman Grill was first meant for him, and that Andre the Giant died days after Hogan bodyslammed him at WrestleMania III (it was actually six years later).