Chris Hemsworth on Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher: “He’s definitely one of my favorite villains in the MCU”

As the MCU’s Thor, Chris Hemsworth has faced a veritable gauntlet of star-studded villains from his duplicitous step-brother, Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston) to the Asgardian Queen of the Underworld, Hela (Cate Blanchett) to the universe conquering Thanos (Josh Brolin).

How can the antagonist of the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder expect to follow the acts of such an impressive bunch of villains? Frighteningly well, in fact. That’s because renowned actor Christian Bale (American Psycho, Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Terminator: Salvation to name a few) will be filling the shoes (and Grim Reaper-esque cloak and cowl) of Love and Thunder‘s Gorr, the God Butcher, a performance which Hemsworth had high praise for in a recent sitdown with IGN.

“[It’s] everything you’d imagine [Christian Bale] would bring to it,” Hemsworth said. “Nuance and complexity and truth, levity. He’s one of my favorite actors working, and I was so excited he agreed to jump on board here. What’s he’s done is that he’s definitely one of my favorite villains in the Marvel universe.”

Gorr, the God Butcher first appeared in 2012’s Thor: God of Thunder #1 under writer Jason Aaron. Gorr is a character who, after living a lifetime where he feels as if he is deliberately shunned by the gods of the universe, sets out on a crusade to hunt down and slay every god in existence after being imbued himself with the powers of a dark, fallen deity.

“He’s hugely intimidating and destructive, but the right amount of heart and truth there and relatable pain that we can attune to or understand ourselves,” Hemsworth added. “So, it makes it all the more complex when you’re trying to figure out what everyone’s motivations are.”

Much like Marvel’s Moon Knight, Gorr the God Butcher is a character whose modus operandi and personality involve themes that are much darker than standard fare Marvel Comics material — how much darkness Bale and filmrunner Taika Waititi bring to Thor: Love and Thunder remains to be seen, but we’re guessing the fourth solo Thor film will be a much darker entry than previous ones (ironically, even moreso than 2013’s Dark World).

The official synopsis for Thor: Love and Thunder reads:

“The film finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced – a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods.

To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi), and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who – to Thor’s surprise – inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.”

Thor: Love and Thunder releases in theaters on July 8th. The film stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher, Russell Crowe as Zeus and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie.

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