When Collider exclusively broke the news that Christian Bale would be making his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Thor: Love and Thunder, we didn’t exactly know how he’d fit into the MCU yet. Well now we do thanks to co-star Tessa Thompson, who confirmed that yes, Christian Bale is playing the Thor 4 villain.
Thompson dropped the nugget of information to ET Now during an interview, in which she also confirmed that she’s read a script for the highly anticipated sequel. Taika Waititi—fresh off of winning an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay—is returning to write and direct the superhero follow-up, which also brings Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster back into the fold as the female Thor. Portman did not appear in the Waititi-led sequel/reboot Thor: Ragnarok, but was clearly impressed by how Waititi and Chris Hemsworth reconfigured the franchise and wanted in.
Exactly which villain Bale will play is unclear. Marvel Studios is known to play around with expectations based on the comics, so even if he is playing, say, Beta Ray Bill, we probably shouldn’t expect the character to be exactly like he is in the comics.
This isn’t Bale’s first time playing a baddie, but those roles are few and far between for the performer. He arguably broke out in a big way with his turn as repulsive protagonist Patrick Bateman in the 2000 satire American Psycho, and has similarly played morally dubious characters in films like Harsh Times, The Prestige, Hostiles, and of course as Dick Cheney in Vice. Bale loves to play characters who live in the gray area, so it should be quite fun to see what he does with a straight-up villain—written and directed by Taika Waititi no less. Indeed, Bale also doesn’t have a ton of experience in the comedy realm despite being a genuinely funny guy, so this should be interesting.
Filming on Thor: Love and Thunder begins later this year, but up first Bale is reuniting with his The Fighter and American Hustle director David O. Russell for an untitled new film. That movie starts shooting this spring.
Thor: Love and Thunder is scheduled to hit theaters on November 5, 2021.