Twelve years ago when Iron Man first hit theaters, it was hard to imagine the prestigious cast lineup the Marvel Cinematic Universe would acquire in a decade and two years. In the early days of the MCU, Marvel Studios – then an unknown, unproven property – had a working M.O. of hiring rising stars and little-knowns to pad out their Avengers. Now, skimming the cast list of any Marvel movie reads like the cast list of an Oscar hopeful.
Thor: Love and Thunder is the next Marvel flick to get the prestige name treatment. A few months ago, rumors started circling that Christian Bale was in talks to take a role in the third Thor movie. But last night, at the Westworld season premiere, star Tessa Thompson confirmed to ET that Bale has indeed joined the cast and, what’s more, he’s playing the villain.
“Christian Bale’s gonna play our villain, which is gonna be fantastic,” she said during a red carpet interview. “Yeah, it’s gonna be good.”
At the time his involvement with Love & Thunder was first rumored, speculation ran wild on the internet, with the earliest guess to his role being Beta Ray Bill. With him now confirmed to be playing a villain, the collective guess from the internet is that he’ll be playing Dario Agger, ruthless CEO of the Roxxon Corp. Agger was a big part of Jason Aaron’s The Mighty Thor comic book run, which is already heavily influencing the third Thor movie. That was the series that saw Jane Foster becoming Thor, which was confirmed to be happening in the MCU during last year’s San Diego Comic-Con.
Some people were really hoping to see serious method actor Christian Bale playing a super-earnest Beta Ray Bill in a zany Taika Waititi joint – okay, I admit: Me. It was me:
"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
Still, there’s the hope of seeing Bale in a mocap pajama suit yet: Along with Dario Agger’s shrewd and cutthroat skills as a businessman, there’s also the small little fact that he can shapeshift into the Minotaur of legend. It’s been said by Thor that when in Minotaur form, Dario is as strong as the Hulk. However, the powers granted to him came at a price: He also contends with bloodlust, which is triggered by murder and other violent acts and tense situations, which can make him maintaining his human form difficult. Bring on an unhinged Christian Bale-kinda-channeling-manic-Patrick-Bateman!
The plan is for Thor: Love & Thunder to start pre-production next month with an intent to start shooting in August. The release date is set for November 5, 2021. We’ll keep you updated as more info about the project drops.