It has been said that Marvel Studios churns out movies for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) franchise like it was an assembly line. Even as a film is getting ready for a cinematic release the studio already has development and pre-production for the follow-ups already ongoing. So even as promotion for the upcoming “Black Widow” is happening, the pieces are coming together for “Thor: Love and Thunder,” with the return of Chris Hemsworth and especially Natalie Portman as Thor and Jane Foster respectively, with the latter gaining the former’s powers and name. Of course, they will need a bad guy.
Comic Book Resources reports that “Thor: Love and Thunder” director Taika Waititi has engaged in negotiations with an actor to join the cast, to possibly portray the antagonist for the movie. The big surprise is that said actor is English actor Christian Bale, better known as Bruce Wayne/Batman of the “Dark Knight” film trilogy by Christopher Nolan. While Bale’s acceptance of the role has not been confirmed, a possible description of the character he will play all but confirms that it is rather villainous, with a quality that is “otherworldly.”
How being “otherworldly” could encapsulate the sort of antagonist character from Marvel Comics that Bale might be cast for can cover a wide variety of possibilities. As established in world-building for MCU, while olden-time humans considered the Asgardians as mystical gods from Norse mythology, modern humans perceive them more as highly-advanced aliens. So Thor – both of them – could face anybody from the Marvel rogues’ gallery, ranging from magical like Dario Agger, a human magically transformed into a minotaur, or the Beyonder, a powerful reality-warping cosmic entity supposedly existing on a plane of existence above that of the Marvel universe setting.
Having Christian “Batman” Bale on board for Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Love and Thunder” could be yet another example of movie stars shuttling back and forth between studio productions of the big two comic-book labels. For instance, Ryan Reynolds portrayed Wade Wilson/Deadpool (sort of) in then-20th Century Fox’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009), before crossing to Warner Bros. for their DC film “Green Lantern” in 2011, then returning to Fox for a more accurate take on “Deadpool” in 2016, which generated a sequel in 2018. For now, talks are still ongoing as to whether Bale’s involvement in the MCU franchise will stick.
“Thor: Love and Thunder” stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson in the confirmed main cast so far, under the direction of Taika Waititi. The MCU film is slated for a November 2021 premiere.
Image from Marvel Studios News