Christian Bale is reportedly in talks to play an intergalactic villain in Taika Waititi’s Phase 4 MCU sequel, Thor: Love & Thunder. The Oscar-winner famously portrayed Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, but has mostly stuck to non-franchise films since The Dark Knight Rises released in 2012. For that reason, many were (pleasantly) surprised when Bale entered talks for a leading role in the next Thor movie earlier this year. Needless to say, fans have been speculating about who he might be playing ever since.
Immediately after the news about Bale broke, Beta Ray Bill starting trending on Twitter thanks to people guessing the actor might be playing the Mjolnir-wielding comic book character in Waititi’s film. Similarly, Thor comic writer Jason Aaron did his part to stir the pot by suggesting Bale should play Dario Agger, the villainous Roxxon oil company CEO possessing the ability to transform into the Minotaur. According to the latest update on the matter, the actor is playing a bad guy in the movie, but probably not that one.
The Illuminerdi is reporting Bale (who hasn’t officially closed his deal yet) is playing the main villain in Thor: Love & Thunder. They’ve further learned his character is from an alien species and described as “otherworldly”, which seems to rule out the possibility of him playing Dario Agger, assuming this news is accurate.
There are a few possibilities that immediately come to mind, as far as which non-human villain Bale could portray in Thor 4. One of the more likely ones would be Gorr the God Butcher, a being from an alien world who swore to ride the universe of “gods” like Thor after they failed to help him in his time of struggle. Gorr would not only pose a physical threat to match that of Hela in Thor: Ragnarok, his inclusion would allow Love & Thunder to carry-over Ragnarok‘s thread about Asgard’s previous sins. The character was also a major part of the comic book storyline where Thor became unworthy of Mjolnir and Jane Foster took his spot, which Thor 4 is confirmed to be partially drawing from (with Natalie Portman reprising her role as Jane for the first time since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World).
If there’s a shared element in all the guesses around Bale’s role in Thor 4, it’s that he’s definitely not playing someone who stays human the whole time. The actor has sworn off gaining and losing large amounts of weight for his films moving forward, so playing an alien or non-humanoid (be it with practical makeup and/or motion-capture) in Love & Thunder would allow him to continue his transformative acting style without putting his health at risk. Bale isn’t known for repeating himself either, which makes it all the more likely he’s playing a villain and not a good guy in his return to the superhero genre. No doubt, he’s up for handling whatever role Waititi ultimately has in mind for him.