If there’s one thing Marvel is excellent at, it’s nailing casting for the MCU. Phase 1 was built on mostly unknowns and up-and-comers sprinkled with a few big names and they became household stars. But as Marvel grew in brand awareness and respect, the studio started landing prestige names that looked more at home on the call sheet of an Oscar-aimed pic than a comic book movie.
Today, the trend continues: Collider is reporting that Christian Bale – yes, you read that right, Christian Bale – is in talks for Marvel’s Thor: Love & Thunder.
So what, you might be thinking. He’s already been in a superhero movie. And, yes, you’d be right. He has been the lead in a superhero movie – but he hasn’t been in a Taika Waititi superhero movie, which is as tonally different from a Christopher Nolan film as you can get. In a Waititi film, especially the Thor movies, it’s almost certain that he’ll be asked to play up a comedic angle or be the straight man. Bale isn’t exactly known as a comedic actor, but he’s an insanely talented one and the internet certainly knows who they want him to play: Beta Ray Bill.
"Christian, please-please tell me that's a prosthetic…"
"Nope! I grafted a horse's face onto my face to fully immerse myself in being a genetically modified space horse."
"Jesus Christ, Christian, that–"
— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) January 6, 2020
(Yes, I just embedded my own tweet. My article, my rules. *hair flip*)
Christian Bale as a talking alien horse, mighty enough to wield Thor’s hammer sounds completely ridiculous.
— Connor Behrens (@ConnorBehrens) January 6, 2020
If christian bale is beta ray bill then that’s the greatest casting in cbm history. pic.twitter.com/MmflSkmZ6k
— Spidey(🕷) King (@KingKin84847316) January 6, 2020
However, there’s one person who has an even bolder vision than Christian Bale playing a genetically modified space horse with the power of Thor:
Look I get that people are excited about Christian Bale in Thor and hoping he'll play Beta Ray Bill but hear me out pic.twitter.com/K3dHDkmAKw
— PresidentPlant (@PresidentPlant) January 6, 2020
In all seriousness, Beta Ray Bill would be a fascinating role for Bale. Bill’s not exactly known as being a comedic character like Thor, but is generally a deadly serious one, which would be interesting to see in the middle of a zany Waititi movie. All you need to know about how out-there the character is can be found in a sentence from his Wiki page: “Beta Ray Bill’s life force and consciousness were transferred by scientists of his race into the body of an alien carnivorous equine-like beast that had been bionically restructured into a cyborg.”
I’m not even going to try to explain all that. All you need to know is that he’s a fan-favorite, he is a close ally of Thor and Asgard, and he’s worthy enough to wield Mjolnir. Plus, we’ve already had a few Beta Ray Bill Easter eggs in the MCU before: In Thor: Ragnarok, Beta Ray Bill’s face can be seen carved in The Grandmaster’s Mount Rushmore-like tower of past champions. And as for Stormbreaker, Thor’s massive battleaxe in Infinity War and Endgame? That was originally Beta Ray Bill’s in the comics, commissioned for him specially by Odin, who found the warrior worthy of having a weapon on par with Mjolnir.
In any case, if you have an actor of Bale’s caliber in your film, you don’t reduce him to a small role, so here’s hoping they go Bill or go home.
Thor: Love & Thunder hits theaters on November 5, 2021.