Kevin Feige Explains Why Gorr Looked So Different From The Comics In Thor: Love And Thunder

"Thor: Love and Thunder" is a film heavily inspired by the Marvel Comics, specifically Jason Aaron's famous run on the God of Thunder. Featuring everything from Jane Foster, aka the Mighty Thor, to the two goats Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder, "Love and Thunder" feels heavily influenced by Aaron's take on the character and the world of Asgard.

Perhaps the most considerable influence Aaron's Thor comic had on the film, aside from the introduction of Jane Foster's Mighty Thor, is the villain at the center of "Love and Thunder." Gorr the God Butcher, portrayed by Christian Bale in the film, is an original character created by writer Jason Aaron and artist Esad Ribić as the first major villain for their run.

Gorr's monstrous appearance and powerset soon made him one of the most popular Thor villains, so there was plenty of excitement when Christian Bale was cast as the villain. Bale's appearance in the film would differ significantly from the Gorr in the comics, and according to Feige, it was for the distinct purpose of not wasting the acting talent of Christian Bale.

A more humanistic approach

Gorr's appearance in "Love and Thunder" gives the God Butcher a much more humanistic impression. This creative decision could be considered one that removes the inhuman qualities of the Gorr from the comics, whose alien design gave off a much creepier vibe than in the film.

In the making-of documentary for "Thor: Love and Thunder" on Disney+, Kevin Feige defended the decision to change Gorr's appearance significantly:

"Gorr the God Butcher has an awesome look in the comics. We wanted to tap into that. But had we done exactly that translation, we would've lost all of Christian [Bale]. So we made the decision early on that we didn't want him to be a motion capture character. There are incredible ways of doing that, but with this particular actor in this particular character, Taika really believed, rightfully so, that we could achieve that with makeup."

The change to Gorr's appearance accounted for the fact that the film had gotten a powerhouse actor, Christian Bale, to portray the villain. Losing the subtleties that Bale would bring to the tragic and terrifying character behind makeup or motion capture seemingly felt like a dealbreaker to Feige and Waititi. They believed that Bale could achieve the character's aesthetic purely through makeup.

Fundamentally changing a character

However, it wasn't just the appearance of Gorr the God Butcher that "Love and Thunder" had changed. Gorr's backstory was heavily rushed at the beginning of the film. Moreover, his primary weapon and powerset in the comics, the Necrosword, was robbed of most of its backstory. In a comic book movie adaptation, there isn't a problem with superficial appearance changes to a character. However, if a character's fundamentally changed in a way that robs them of the depth that made them compelling in the first place, there's a problem.

The fact that the Necrosword is what influences Gorr to become the God Butcher instead of his own hatred is one of the most significant changes to the character. While the comic's sword gave Gorr the power to fuel his hatred, it seems that "Love and Thunder" makes it more about the weapon itself than Gorr and his story. This character flaw is just one of many reasons "Love and Thunder" didn't hit as hard as the previous entry, "Thor: Ragnarok."

However, Christian Bale still plays a good enough villain with the material he's given. Although the team behind the film made fundamental changes to Gorr both in appearance and character, it's a character that still serves the larger purpose of the film.