In 2011, Sony Pictures announced that Hemsworth would star in the thriller Shadow Runner, though the film has yet to go into production. That same year, Hemsworth was cast as the superhero Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His first film in the franchise was 2011's Thor. He and castmate Tom Hiddleston, who ultimately played Loki, had each auditioned for the role, for which Hemsworth said he put on 20 pounds of muscle. Grossing a worldwide total of $449. 3 million, Thor was the 15th highest-grossing film of 2011. The film received positive reviews, and Hemsworth's portrayal of the God of Thunder was praised by Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times. Hemsworth reprised the role the following year for the film The Avengers (2012) as one of the six superheroes—alongside Robert Downey Jr. 's Tony Stark / Iron Man, Chris Evans's Steve Rogers / Captain America, Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner / Hulk, Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanova / Black Widow, and Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton / Hawkeye—sent to defend Earth from his adopted brother, Loki. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing $1. 519 billion worldwide. The ensemble casts were praised for their on-screen chemistry by Peter Travers from the Rolling Stone.