Thor: Love and Thunder’s main villain, Gorr the God Butcher, has a unique opportunity to build upon Odin’s shocking backstory from Thor: Ragnarok. Director Taika Waititi’s first entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is credited with putting a new spin on movies about Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder. The fourth film about the titular Norse God will try to recapture that magic, reuniting Hemsworth with Waititi and bringing back a host of confirmed characters too. The new film may continue to expand on a surprising reveal about Anthony Hopkins’ Odin as well.
In addition to bringing back beloved characters, new casting in Love and Thunder has also made headlines. Among the most exciting announcements, actor Christian Bale has been tapped to play villain Gorr the God Butcher in Thor 4. The actor isn’t a stranger to comic book movies, memorably playing Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. The Oscar winner should also have plenty to work with. In the comics, the God Butcher blames the gods for the loss of his family, making it his mission to destroy them using All-Black the Necrosword, potentially set up by Hela’s death, to help him do it. The character is almost like a twisted version of Batman, taking justice into his own hands. It’s a tragic role that could go to some dark places, which is something Bale has plenty of experience with.
Odin’s bloody conquest of the Nine Realms is revealed in Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok and Bale’s character could allow the fourth Thor film to expand upon that. Prior to the third Thor film, Odin seems to spend a lot of time teaching Hemsworth’s character about peace, but the threequel shows he didn’t always practice what he preached. Thousands of years before the major events of the MCU, Odin carries out a violent campaign to force the Nine Realms into subjugation. Though he later decides a path of peace is the best way forward, Bale’s character may hold the Asgardians responsible for the Allfather’s crimes.
There’s plenty of opportunity for Gorr’s story to intersect with Odin’s bloody history. As shown in Ragnarok, Odin and his daughter Hela (Cate Blanchett) committed atrocities on their way to establishing Asgardian dominance. In the comics, Gorr blames the gods for their inaction and neglect when it comes to the loss of his family, not their bloodlust. However, the character has a history with Thor, and Marvel Studios has been known to tinker with its source material. With some slight tweaks, it makes sense for a god-hater like Gorr to continue to build upon the Asgardian story Waititi already established.
Thor: Love and Thunder is packed with characters and stories. Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster is returning to gain Thor-like powers, Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie is looking for a queen as the first LGBTQ superhero in the MCU, and even Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster is rumored to make an appearance. With all that to cover, it’s still unclear how much of Gorr and his backstory will be shown. But Bale probably wouldn’t take the role unless it had a lot of depth to it, and Marvel doesn’t seem to plan on butchering the story.