The Thor: Love And Thunder Trailer Offers Our First Look At Russell Crowe As Zeus

Wake up, babe, a new Marvel trailer just dropped! After leaving fans in the dark for several months beyond the point when the marketing cycle for highly-anticipated superhero movies usually kicks in, the studio finally saw fit to release our first official look at "Thor: Love and Thunder" only 3 months before the sequel makes its way into theaters. Still, as brief a glimpse as it is, the wait has definitely been worth it. Among the many goodies packed into the minute and a half of footage, Marvel has gone ahead and thrown fans a bone (or several) with new looks at the returning Guardians of the Galaxy and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), a Mjolnir-wielding Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) as mighty Thor, and a post-"Avengers: Endgame" Thor (Chris Hemsworth) who seems to be filled with as much ennui and aimlessness as the average Millennial. Reader, I feel seen.

But among the many teases and Easter eggs to be parsed throughout the new trailer, one very quick but no less tantalizing shot would appear to give us our first official glimpse of perhaps the most unexpected casting in the entire movie. Unfortunately, Christian Bale's presence as Gorr the God Butcher is entirely absent at this point ... but what about the other big-name actor making his Marvel debut? Towards the middle of the trailer, we get a few intriguing shots of an otherworldly world that could very well be Marvel's unique take on Olympus, the city of the gods. And overlooking the entire realm, plastered in gold, surrounded by admirers, and sporting some flowing locks, would seem to be Russell Crowe as the top god of them all, Zeus.

Russell Crowe, superhero aficionado

In the past, Russell Crowe has famously portrayed the Roman gladiatorial hero Maximus Decimus Meridius (commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, etc. etc.), Robin Hood, the Biblical figure Noah, both Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and even other superhero roles like Jor-El in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" and an upcoming role in "Kraven the Hunter." But Crowe's portrayal of Zeus in the Taika Waititi-directed "Thor" sequel just might end up becoming his most out-there and mythological role yet.

Technically, our first look at the ultimate god of gods comes when he snatches one lightning bolt out of several that are flying around an appropriately epic-looking amphitheater. The ruler of the Olympians and the god of the heavens, sky, and weather, Zeus has enjoyed a colorful history in the annals of Marvel Comics over the year, coming across characters like the Eternals, and other mythological figures like Hercules and Conan, and even the Incredible Hulk. Given the unabashedly cosmic direction that Waiti has taken the character of Thor since "Ragnarok," it makes perfect sense that Zeus would somehow factor into the plot of "Love and Thunder," which will see Thor joining forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy (another group of heroes who've had run-ins with Zeus in the comics before) and Jane Foster's Mighty Thor. In fact, the looming threat of Gorr the God Butcher easily points to why Crowe's Zeus would eventually get involved at some point.

Personally, I'm fully here for Crowe's no-doubt hilarious and melodramatic take on the ancient Greek god, hopefully tapping into a similar tonal wavelength as his performance as Jackson Healy in Shane Black's "The Nice Guys." Crowe has proven that he can handle both outsized mythological roles and ones that require a killer sense of comedic timing, so I have high hopes for his collaboration with Taika Waititi. "Thor: Love and Thunder" will come to theaters on July 8, 2022.