The Marvel Cinematic Universe was almost a very different place. Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine Marvel's god of thunder Thor being anyone besides Chris Hemsworth, but the actor just revealed in a new Variety cover story that he nearly joined a separate faction of the Marvel movies before getting cast as Thor. Chris Hemsworth was almost part of the X-Men instead of the Avengers.
Before Chris Hemsworth landed the lead role in Thor back in 2011, he was struggling to get an acting gig in Hollywood. Prior to pursuing a movie career in America, Hemsworth was best known for having a main role on the Australian soap opera Home and Away from 2004 to 2007. In the new Variety profile, Hemsworth admitted that he had taken it upon himself to make enough money in acting to pay off his parents' home and take care of them financially, but he was not getting the big roles he was auditioning for in his first several years in Hollywood. Hemsworth named two major parts that he was very close to landing, but ended up losing out on during this time: the lead role in 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra that wound up instead going to Channing Tatum, and the role of mutant Gambit in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which went to Taylor Kitsch instead.
I got very close to G.I. Joe. I got very close to Gambit in the Wolverine X-Men movies. At the time I was upset. I was running out of money. But if I played either of those characters, I wouldn’t have been able to play Thor.
Although Gambit is a Marvel character like Thor, the two roles had to exist in separate cinematic universes at the time since 20th Century Fox owned the rights to the X-Men and Disney owned the rights to the Avengers. But although Chris Hemsworth said that he would not have been able to play Thor if he was cast as Gambit, there actually is a precedent for actors to jump from Fox's Marvel movies to Disney's. Chris Evans starred in both Fantastic Four and its sequel as the Human Torch just a few years before becoming the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Captain America in 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger. And Evans' Human Torch successor Michael B. Jordan also made the quick jump from the Fantastic Four reboot to starring in Black Panther.
Interestingly enough, Channing Tatum also has a connection to the character of Gambit. Tatum has been developing a standalone film in which he would star as Gambit for years now, but recent updates make it sound like the movie may never actually come out.
But, of course, despite losing out on playing G.I. Joe and Gambit, it all worked out for Chris Hemsworth in the end, since he is still playing Thor in the biggest movie releases to this day. That may or may not be over now that Avengers: Endgame has finally come out, though. Hemsworth has yet to definitively state whether or not he will play Thor again, so fans still have some hope that we will see one last Thor movie before saying goodbye.