How Christian Bale's Thor: Love And Thunder Villain Differs From Most MCU Baddies

Despite the fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe just keeps on keepin' on, the studio's track record in the villain department hasn't always fared as well. Loki and Thanos aside, general audiences would be hard-pressed to name any of the franchise's antagonists that they've embraced on the same level as any of the actual Avengers. Sure, common sense would tell you that if you had to choose between movies delivering stronger heroes or villains, most reasonable viewers would opt for the former. On the other hand, there really is something to the idea that superhero movies are only as good as the baddie.

After years and years of Marvel directors promising that this trend would change in a big way with the next movie, the latest Marvel director is again promising that this trend will change in a big way with the next movie. Thankfully, it's not just any director repeating those claims this time around. Taika Waititi spun gold out of straw with "Thor: Ragnarok" in 2017 and is attempting to make lightning strike twice with "Thor: Love and Thunder."

The upcoming fourth film in the "Thor" franchise has already created some buzz thanks to Natalie Portman's debuting as Mighty Thor, the appearance of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the casting of a certain big-name actor in Christian Bale. Honestly, we can't believe he's actually showing up in another superhero movie again. But it's that last point that, when combined with Waititi's return, has us actually inclined to believe that Bale's portrayal of Gorr the God Butcher will stand apart from the crowd.

'He's the most sympathetic villain they've had'

Tickets for "Thor: Love and Thunder" are officially on sale now, so Taika Waititi, Chris Hemsworth, and Tessa Thompson all sat down for an interview with Fandango to mark the occasion. No movie starring Thor and his assortment of supporting characters was ever likely to need an extra boost to convince audiences to show up in droves at the theaters, but talking up the writing for Christian Bale's villainous Gorr the God Butcher doesn't hurt! Waititi briefly mentioned what sets him apart from previous Marvel villains:

"I'd say he's the most sympathetic villain they've had. He's also tested the highest out of any villain that Marvel's had."

That last point is in reference to reactions out of early test screenings, as Marvel has traditionally done throughout the years. Granted, we always have to take these sorts of reveals with a grain of salt, since we're talking about an incredibly small sample size and an unquantifiable amount of factors that could've affected such a high rating. And frankly speaking, it's also relative to the usual standard of quality for Marvel villains in years past ... which hasn't been great!

Still, Hemsworth didn't hesitate to answer when asked exactly what Bale and the character bring to the proceedings:

"Exactly what you'd want, hope, and expect. It's nuance, complexity, depth, a sort of quirkiness to it, which I didn't see on the page. And with any sort of classic villain, the fact that you find yourself empathizing or asking questions that they're asking or ideas that they're posing, it's not just stock standard sort of evil villain."

We'll see how audiences react to Bale's Gorr the God Butcher when "Thor: Love and Thunder" comes to theaters on July 8, 2022.