Thor: Love and Thunder’s Taika Waititi has revealed that Christian Bale’s Gorr has tested higher among test audiences than any previous MCU villain.
Gorr the God Butcher, who will be played by Christian Bale in Thor: Love and Thunder, has become Marvel’s highest-rated villain among test audiences according to director Taika Waititi.
In an interview with Fandango, Waititi hyped up the villain of the upcoming Thor sequel as well as Bale’s performance as Gorr. “I’d say [Gorr]’s the most sympathetic villain [Marvel has] had,” Waititi said. “He’s also tested the highest out of any villain that Marvel’s had.”
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has received criticism from some fans in the past for the way it’s handled some of its villains, recent examples like Thanos and Killmonger have been highly praised by fans due to their complexity and nuanced motivations. Following the release of Love and Thunder‘s trailer, some fans already feel that the God Butcher could be Thor’s best villain yet. “[Bale brings] exactly what you’d want, hope, and except,” Thor star Chris Hemsworth said. “Nuance, complexity, depth. A sorta quirkiness to it which I didn’t really see on the page. And, with any sort of classic villain, the fact that you find yourself empathizing or asking questions that they’re asking or the ideas that they’re posing. It’s not just stock standard sort of even evil villain.”
Tessa Thompson, who will be reprising her role as Valkyrie in the upcoming film, elaborated further on what it is that she thinks makes Bale’s Gorr such a great villain. “It’s also this thing that Stan Lee talked about, right? Which is that your trauma is the thing both that makes you a superhero and a villain,” Thompson explained. “It’s just in the case of a villain it’s unchecked that the source of your pain is what manifests into your villainry. And I think that [Bale] captures that so well. And he just also was so surprising, you know? It just was so much fun to watch and such dexterity and also what he did with his body in the way that you would assume Christian is. But he also has a sense of humor about it.”
“Yeah, [Bale]’s a great actor. And the only other thing he’s done is this film called Empire of the Sun,” Waititi joked about the actor, who starred in the 1987 film as a child. “And that was his last job. He was eleven. It’s been an incredible journey for him. Just to kind of help… just sort of re-kickstart his career.”
Thor: Love and Thunder premieres in theaters on July 8.