Christian Bale is back in the superhero business, but not in the way anyone expected, instead sending shockwaves through Thor: Love And Thunder as its terrifying villain. The newest MU film is out in theaters on July 8, and it marks the first solo outing for Chris Hemsworth since 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. Filmmaker Taika Waititi has once again pulled out all the stops for the God of Thunder, this time setting him up to face off against Bale as Gorr the God Butcher.
True to his name, Gorr has been making his way through the cosmos and butchering gods with no mercy. With New Asgard in peril, it is up to Thor to stop him - but thankfully he's not alone. With ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) by his side wielding Mjolnir as Mighty Thor and his trusted friend King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) ready to defend her people, Thor is well-equipped for the fight of his immortal life.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Related: How Scary & Violent Is Thor Love & Thunder?
Screen Rant spoke to Bale about what drew him to the role of Gorr and the got him on board with Thor: Love And Thunder to begin with, as well as the inspirations behind his characterization, and unexpected whether he'd ever take up the mantle as Batman again.
Screen Rant: What a movie. What goes into consideration, when you're considering taking a comic book movie role?
Christian Bale: Yes. For me, it was Taika. I loved Thor Ragnarok, as did my family. We also all loved Jojo Rabbit, and then I had worked with Natalie and wanted to work with Tessa and with Chris. It comes down to that, really. I just went, "Great!" Loved the script, loved Taika's description of the villain. "Let's go do this."
There was some potential scheduling conflicts. I said to my family, "I don't think it's going to work out," and they went, "No, you make it work out. You're doing this, Dad." They gave me my marching orders, and I dutifully obeyed.
Gorr is a great villain, and I think a lot of it is because you - maybe not condone what he's doing, but you understand why.
Christian Bale: No, we don't condone what he's doing. He's still a monster. He is Gorr the God Butcher. He is a butcher, but you do have a confusing amount of potentially sympathy and certainly understanding of where he's coming from. That made it very interesting.
Does he cut his tattoos off?
Christian Bale: Yes, we did film that. We filmed an awful lot that you don't see, but I think it was considered to be a little bit too extreme.
What was the most important parameter for you when it came to joining the Marvel Universe? You talked about working with Taika, but was there anything that you were like, "I really want this to happen with Gorr."
Christian Bale: I only had absolutely one request, which was that I had referenced the "Come to Daddy" video by Aphex Twin. There's a character in it that inspired me regarding Gorr, and I did say to Taika, "Here's the deal, I want to have the scream." And if you see the video, you'll understand what I mean. I said, "I want to have that scream in the film."
And I do understand, but that deal wasn't kept. Because it was, again, something which was just a little too extreme perhaps for the PG-13. might have had people running for the exits. But we did do it, and it's on the cutting room floor somewhere.
Hopefully, we can see that. Do you feel any comparisons or huge contrast to playing a hero like Batman and a villain like Gorr? They're both comic book movies, but are there any other similarities?
Christian Bale: Well, they're both characters, as you just said, where there is some confusing sympathy for such a monster as Gorr and certainly some understanding.
And likewise, Batman is not such an out and out hero as many others. There's an urge for him to take the easier route, letting his darker emotions take over. That's the great, fascinating conflict within Batman himself. The two of them do have these raging conflicts within them.
Have you had the chance to see The Batman with Robert Pattinson?
Christian Bale: I have not yet, and my apologies to Robert for that. He's an absolutely fantastic actor, and I look forward to seeing it. I just don't see that many films.
I'm wondering if you have been approached to return as Batman at all? Because with The Flash coming up, Michael Keaton is coming back...
Christian Bale: No. No one's ever mentioned it to me. No one's brought it up.
What is wrong with them?
Christian Bale: Occasionally people say to me, "Oh, I hear you were approached and offered all this." And I'm like, "That's news to me. No one's ever said that."
I had a pact with Chris Nolan. We said, "Hey, look. Let's make three films, if we're lucky enough to get to do that. And then let's walk away. Let's not linger too long." In my mind, it would be something if Chris Nolan ever said to himself, "You know what, I've got another story to tell." And if he wished to tell that story with me, I'd be in.
Thor: Love And Thunder Synopsis
Thor embarks on a journey unlike anything he's ever faced -- a quest for inner peace. However, his retirement gets interrupted by Gorr the God Butcher, a galactic killer who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, who -- to his surprise -- inexplicably wields his magical hammer. Together, they set out on a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher's vengeance.
Check out our other interview with Thor: Love And Thunder stars Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth & Taika Waititi and Natalie Portman, as well as our previous interview with Christian Bale for Vice.