The second episode of Kevin Hart’s Netflix miniseries True Story features a surprise cameo appearance from one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most popular actors.
The drama stars Hart as a stand-up comedian called The Kid who gets drawn into a dark situation that threatens his booming career and opulent lifestyle.
Episode two opens with Hart in handcuffs in a police interrogation room, sporting an orange prison jumpsuit, initially appearing to be a continuation of the show’s main storyline.
“You’re in a lot of trouble,” a police detective tells him from across the desk. “I can help you, but I need you to tell me exactly what happened if you want to work out a deal… did you hear me?”
So far, so normal. But the response that Hart’s character gives instantly alerts viewers that this is nothing to do with the grounded crime drama of True Story.
“You need to tell me exactly why you helped Dr Zane plant the bomb,” he replies, just before his eyes start glowing bright red as he frees himself from the cuffs and throws the desk across the room.
After Hart disarms the cop, a mysterious figure comes blasting through the wall in a bright blue explosion, stepping out of the dust and debris to reveal it’s none other than Chris Hemsworth (in a fictional superhero role).
The packed crowd in the cinema begin cheering upon his dramatic entry, suggesting this is a fan-favourite character in the world of True Story, although we only see him for a few fleeting seconds.
“Yeah, you were right mate, don’t rub it in,” says Hemsworth in his regular Australian accent, flashing a knowing smile to the camera.
Hart quips: “You couldn’t use the damn door?”
Indeed, what we’re actually seeing in this scene is a clip from True Story’s movie-within-a-show called The Anti-Verse, a billion-dollar grossing superhero blockbuster which has made The Kid (Hart) an international star.
A faux poster spotted later in the episode suggests that the movie stars The Kid and Hemsworth as a super-powered crime-fighting duo, the former boasting laser eyes and the latter firing energy blasts (similar to those of Captain Marvel).
The namecheck for an unseen character called Dr Zane could be a reference to actor Billy Zane (Titanic), who has a supporting role in True Story as Greek gangster Ari.
Of course, this cameo is a bit of self-parody for Hemsworth, who was himself catapulted to stardom after being cast as Thor in the MCU, appearing in four Avengers films as well as three solo films (with another one, Love and Thunder, coming next year).
Funnily enough, that isn’t the only Marvel link to Netflix’s True Story, as the show co-stars Wesley Snipes as Hart’s older brother, Carlton, who found great success in the role of vampire antihero Blade.
Snipes’ tenure in the role came to an end with 2004’s Blade: Trinity, with two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali set to take over in an upcoming reboot set in the MCU (recently teased in the Eternals end credits scene).