Thor: Love and Thunder can introduce the Greek pantheon of gods to the MCU through Christian Bale’s character. The Thor franchise has always focused on gods from Norse mythology like Thor, Odin, and Loki, but in Marvel Comics the Greek gods also exist in the Marvel Universe, and their existence allows Thor to interact with characters like Hercules, Ares, and Zeus.
After starring in three solo films and four Avengers movies, Chris Hemsworth is set to reprise his role as the God of Thunder in Thor: Love and Thunder, which makes him the first ever MCU character to have his movie series extend beyond a trilogy. Taika Waititi, who is credited with rejuvenating the Thor franchise by directing Thor: Ragnarok, is back to helm Thor 4, which will bring back Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who hasn’t appeared in the MCU since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. In the new movie, Jane Foster is set to wield the hammer and become “Mighty Thor.”
Continue scrolling to keep reading
Click the button below to start this article in quick view.
Scheduled for a November 2021 release, Thor: Love and Thunder is the fourth and final film on Marvel’s slate for next year. Since it’s still a good distance away, not much is known about what the movie will entail or what challenges lie ahead for Thor and his friends. Theories are abound regarding who Thor could fight next, as there are plenty of characters from Thor’s rogues’ gallery who haven’t been adapted yet, such as the Asgardian sorceresses Enchantress and Karnilla. Alternatively, Thor could be going up against a character who has no connection whatsoever with Norse mythology, a member of the Greek pantheon. Here’s why Marvel might introduce the Greek gods in Thor: Love and Thunder and how it could work.
Most of The Asgardian Gods In The MCU Are Dead
Thor: Ragnarok decimated the Asgardian population when the battle with Hela (Cate Blanchett) forced Thor and his allies to summon Surtur. Surtur fulfilled the Ragnarok prophecy and obliterated Asgard. Avengers: Endgame shows that a new home was found for the Asgardian but the effect that Ragnarok had on Thor’s corner of the MCU is irreversible. Thor: Ragnarok killed off the Warriors Three, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), and an untold number of Asgardian gods and warriors. Plus, the last two Avengers movies cost the MCU both Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Heimdall (Idris Elba). Though Sif (Jaime Alexander) is still out there somewhere, most of the prominent Asgardian characters are already dead.
Thor: Love and Thunder could presumably introduce a few more Asgardian gods, such as Balder the Brave, but explaining how they survived Thor: Ragnarok or why they weren’t around could prove troublesome if it tries to use too many. What happened to Asgard in Ragnarok limits what it can do with those characters, but that’s not necessarily a problem. The comic books have proven that Thor can interact with other gods who have nothing to do with Asgard. Moving in this direction can help the Thor franchise rebuild its cast with new heroes and villains. So as the Thor franchise move forward, now may be a good time for Marvel to introduce a new supporting cast by looking outside the Norse myths and the Nine Realms.
Christian Bale Could Play Ares In Thor 4
In early January, it was reported that The Dark Knight trilogy star Christian Bale was in talks to join the cast of Thor 4 in an undisclosed role. According to one report he’s playing an “otherworldly” villain, but this hasn’t been confirmed. Naturally, the inclusion of such a well-known actor led to a great deal of speculation over which Marvel Comics character he could bringing to the big screen. Among the names that’s been thrown around are Balder the Brave, Beta Ray Bill, and Ares. Tessa Thompson has since confirmed that Christian Bale is playing a villain. This does narrow it down some, at least.
There are more than a few villainous Marvel characters Bale could be playing, but one who feels like a particularly good fit is Ares. Ares, who is the God of War and Hercules’ biggest villain in Marvel Comics, is a brutal and bloodthirsty warrior who thrives on combat and warfare. Over the years, Ares has been portrayed as an anti-hero at times, but for the most part is depicted as a villain who will do whatever it takes to win.
When playing Batman and other characters, Bale has shown that he would be perfect for a grim, brooding, no-nonsense villain like Ares. As a living instrument of war, Ares needs to be physically imposing, and someone who characters (and the audience) will be able to see as a legitimate threat to Thor. Bale can bring those qualities to Ares on the big screen.
How Thor 4 Can Introduce The Greek Gods To The MCU
By having Ares in Thor: Love and Thunder, Marvel can bring in a whole new world to the MCU. Ares is just one of many Greek gods who populate the Marvel Universe. In the comics, a gateway to another dimension exists atop Mount Olympus. This dimension is the home to the Olympian gods, led by Odin’s Greek counterpart, Zeus. Thor and the Avengers have had encounters with numerous characters from the dimension of Olympus, such as Hercules, Typhon, Poseidon, Hades, Venus, and more. One of them – Hercules – is a key member of the Avengers who the MCU may have plans to use at some point in the future, given Hercules’ importance to the comics.
If Olympus does exist in the MCU, how have they remained hidden for so long? First of all, they wouldn’t be the first mysterious race to avoid the spotlight. What’s been said about Marvel’s Eternals movie confirms that a race of alien immortals has been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years, and it would seem that their enemies, the Deviants, have done the same. The Greek pantheon could be yet another race of superhuman beings that has been hiding in the MCU all this time as well. As for why they’ve been able to stay hidden away from the rest of the world, it could be that the Olympians elected to stay in their secret dimension. Ares could be the character who changes that. Ares leaving Olympus and striking out against the Asgardians who have taken residence on Earth could force more to emerge. Just as Asgard has already presented the MCU with stories for both the Thor and Avengers movies, incorporating Ares and the Greek gods in Thor: Love and Thunder would create new avenues for storytelling that can last for years.
Key Release Dates
- Black Widow (2020)Release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020)Release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021)Release date: May 07, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release date: Jul 16, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
Doctor Who’s Timeless Child Reveal Breaks Matt Smith’s Name & Regeneration
About The Author
Nicholas Raymond is a staff features writer for Screen Rant. He has a degree in journalism from the University of Montevallo. He is the author of the psychological thriller and time travel novel, “A Man Against the World.” Nicholas’ love for telling stories is inspired by his love for film noir, westerns, superhero movies, classic films, foreign cinema, and wuxia. He also has interests in ancient history. His favorite actors are Tyrone Power, Charlton Heston, and Eleanor Parker. His favorite film is Casablanca, and his favorite director is Alfred Hitchcock. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @cnraymond91.