As per the norm for Marvel movies, the closely guarded first looks at characters are usually revealed on merchandise. Barring the leak of set images, of course. And while the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder has been a victim of several set leaks, we now have our first good look at multiple characters including Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Christian Bale’s villainous Gorr the God Butcher, thanks to tie-in action figures.
The set also includes pictures of Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord, Tessa Thompson’s King Valkyrie, and Groot, voiced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by Vin Diesel. In addition to a revamped Thor costume, we also get a glimpse at another version of the character, the Ravager Thor, and Natalie Portman’s Mighty Thor.
But notably, this is the closest look we’ve gotten at Bale’s Gorr yet, after set images that were leaked about a year ago. One batch of those leaked images showed Bale, with a shaven head, walking on set in regular clothes, while the other showed him in full costume and makeup, perhaps heading for a shot, shielded by an umbrella and a large jacket. “Wielding a strange and terrifying weapon, Gorr will let nothing stand in his way,” the description on the packaging of Gorr’s action figure reads.
Gorr marks Bale’s hugely publicized return to comic book films. The Oscar-winner famously played Bruce Wayne/Batman in director Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. Gorr’s look in the film appears to have been changed from the source comics; he’s missing the character’s black tendrils and seems to have a regular nose.
Thor: Love and Thunder is the fourth film in the Thor series, which began in 2011. Kenneth Branagh directed the first installment, which put an emphasis on the Shakespearean nature of Thor’s relationship with his brother, Loki. The second installment, Thor: The Dark World, was directed by Alan Taylor, and is largely considered one of the weakest films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Director Taika Waititi gave the character a much-needed shot in the arm with Thor: Ragnarok, and was quickly brought back to helm the fourth film.
And if Waititi is to be believed (why shouldn’t he?), fans are in for an even crazier ride with this film. He told Empire last year that Love and Thunder will be “very different” from Ragnarok, and said that he was surprised with what he was able to get away with. In his own words:
“Well, just between (me and) you and the readers, I’ve done some crazy sh*t in my life. I’ve lived, like, 10 lifetimes. But it’s the craziest film I’ve ever done. If you wrote down all the elements of this film, it shouldn’t make sense. It’s almost like it shouldn’t be made. If you walked into a room and said, ‘I want this and this and this.’ Who’s in it? These people. What are you going to call it? Love And Thunder. I mean, you’d never work again. Maybe I won’t after this.”
The film also stars Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), and Karen Gillan (Nebula); Russell Crowe, Matt Damon, Sam Neill, and Luke Hemsworth will appear in cameos. The film is slated for a July 8 release. You can get a better look at the merch here: