Ranker Rundown: Love, Thunder, And All Things Thor
Five years after Thor: Ragnarok, director Taika Waititi has returned with the much-anticipated Thor: Love and Thunder, the fourth movie centered on the Norse superhero, played by Chris Hemsworth. Plunging deep into the MCU's Phase 4, this installment follows Thor's life after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Having given up rule of Asgard to Valkyrie and the “Mighty Thor” title to ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, the Asgardian god of thunder decides his superhero days are over - until the powerful Gorr the God Butcher (played by Christian Bale) shows up.
What else do we know about Love and Thunder? Ranker has dug up some dirt on the new sequel, as well as a few interesting facts about how MCU fans feel about Thor and the three movies he's starred in thus far. We've searched every corner of the multiverse for gems of interesting information about the world's second-favorite (as of right now) Marvel superhero.
The Strongest In The Multiverse?
Thor is considered a top superhero among fans of both the Marvel comic books and the MCU - as of this writing he's No. 2 on Ranker's list of The Best Characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and No. 3 on The Top 100+ Best Marvel Superheroes (behind Spider-Man and Iron Man). And up until very recently, Thor sat at the very top of a pretty important list: The Strongest Characters in the MCU.
Thor led the pack on this list of 21 heroes up until May 4, with more than 3,000 voters convinced his super strength, incredible lifespan, and command of electricity make him the most formidable force for good or evil in the MCU. That date happened to be just two days before the release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which might explain why Scarlet Witch, the MCU veteran who goes dark in the Strange sequel, overtook Thor in the rankings. If that's the case, the son of Odin is likely to return to the top spot once audiences have seen him throw down in Love and Thunder.
- Photo: Advanced Graphics
Korg Is Back... With A Mustache?
Promotional images and toys for Thor: Love and Thunder appear to show rock gladiator Korg (voiced by director Taika Waititi) sporting a new look, complete with a biologically improbable mustache! Whether this stony warrior has somehow gained the ability to grow facial hair or it's some kind of accessory he's adorned himself with, it's just one part of a costume change that signals a new direction in Korg's life.
As he travels across the galaxy with Thor following his retirement, Korg now looks a little more Asgardian, rocking some animal pelts, dueling bandoleers, and a huge belt buckle with the head of a ram.
- Photo: Lionsgate Films/Paramount Classics/Warner Bros. Pictures/Paramount Pictures/Mirror Releasing/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Christian Bale Once Said He Was 'Not Interested' In Joining The MCU
Christian Bale is no stranger to superhero movies: As the star of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, be embodied Batman for a new generation of comic book fans. But back in 2017, Bale told Collider, “No, I'm not interested in doing that" to the idea of appearing in a Marvel film. Bale even added hadn't seen a superhero movie besides ones he'd been in and the Superman films starring Christopher Reeve. Now, however, the British actor is set to play Gorr, one of the most formidable supervillains ever to face off against the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What changed? It's hard to say. It could be Bale, who has no problem playing villains like Patrick Bateman, wanted the opportunity to take on a not-so-heroic role in a superhero movie. After all, both Heath Ledger and Tom Hardy stole scenes playing opposite his Batman in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. It could be Taika Waititi, like Nolan, is a respected director with a unique style, and therefore the movie is less likely to turn out a soulless project with no artistic value.
Whatever the reason, Marvel fans will likely be very happy to welcome Bale into the fold.
Tom Hiddleston Originally Wanted To Play Thor
When he auditioned for the original Thor movie in 2009, Tom Hiddleston was actually gunning for the lead role, not that of Thor's mischievous adopted brother. But according to Thor director Kenneth Branagh, Hiddleston exuded so much chaotic, devious energy he couldn't NOT cast the British actor as Loki:
Tom gave you an impression that he could be ready for anything, performance-wise. Tom has a wild imagination; so does Loki. He’s got a mischievous sense of humor and he was ready to play. It felt like he had a star personality, but he was a team player.
Team player that he is, Hiddleston agreed to take the role beside Chris Hemsworth, and we can't imagine he regrets his decision too much: The character is No. 2 on Ranker's “Best Villain in the MCU” list, and his standalone show Loki was voted No. 4 on “The Best New TV Shows in 2021.”
Thor Has Faced Off Against The Strongest Marvel Villains
A big reason Thor is considered the strongest of all the MCU characters is likely his impressive resume of defeated baddies: Of the Top 5 opponents on Ranker's list of The Strongest Villains in the MCU, three have faced off directly with the god of thunder. The No. 2 bad guy, Thanos, was famously not killed by Thor in Infinity War when the superhero put his ax into the titan's chest, rather than his head. At No. 3 is Hela, Odin's first-born daughter and the rightful heir to the throne of Asgard. And No. 4 is Surtur, the fiery demon prophesied to initiate Ragnarok and destroy Asgard.
The only way Thor triumphs over Hela is by unleashing Surtur against her, destroying Asgard in the process. Though he may not have defeated all these villains on his own or with pure brute force, the fact he ended up beating them all is still a testament to the superhero's awesome power.
- Photo: Eternals / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Gorr's War On Gods Like Thor Could Already Be Underway
What's Love and Thunder villain Gorr the God Butcher up to? You can probably guess it from his illustrious title. It seems this antagonist is on an intergalactic quest to exterminate gods like Thor. The question MCU fans might ask: Who has Gorr already butchered to earn that gruesome nickname?
It's possible the Celestials are among the powerful beings on Gorr's hit list. Knowhere, seen in Guardians of the Galaxy and Infinity War, used to be the functioning head of a deceased Celestial, so it's possible the Godhead was brought down by Gorr, and the apparent anxiety about the birth of just one Celestial in Eternals is being driven by anxiety over Gorr's campaign to cull their numbers. It's also possible the decision by Ennead to observe humanity rather than meddle in its affairs reflects a fear Gorr will come to destroy them if he learns of their presence on Earth.