With Thor: Love and Thunder crashing into theaters this week, everyone’s favorite Avenger/Asgardian of the galaxy is returning for another classic Thor adventure of self-discovery and action. But with every new adventure comes even greater, more treacherous dangers and this installment is no exception. Making his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut with Thor: Love and Thunder is none other than the creepy and insanely powerful villain, Gorr the God Butcher.
"Who?" you might say. Well we’re very glad you asked. Because What to Watch is here to breakdown all the creepy, spine-tingling details about the new villain and his origins, so you can see for yourself why the self-proclaimed "Strongest Avenger" might not be strong enough this time around.
Who is Gorr the God Butcher?
Though first introduced in Jason Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder #2, Gorr’s origins weren’t known for four more issues in Thor: God of Thunder #6, where it was revealed he was born into a society of aliens on a planet with no name. His species was overzealous about worshipping their gods, thinking they’d provide for them, but all Gorr saw on his planet was endless sun, barely any food or water and death. His father died of a sun sickness, his mother was eaten alive by beasts and once he survived to an adult age despite fighting through harsh conditions, his pregnant wife was killed when his cave collapsed. One by one his children all died as well.
On the day of his son Agar’s death, he renounced all gods and was shunned and exiled by his people, left to die in the desert heat. Praying for death, Gorr’s suffering was interrupted by two fallen gods (one in black and one in gold), who slammed into the ground before him, battling one another. When Gorr went to investigate, a black substance from the god in black — later identified as symbiote god Knull (yup, the same symbiotes that create Venom and Carnage) in the comics — possessed Gorr. Attracted to his anger and resentment to the gods, he was presented a weapon, later identified to be All-Black the Necrosword, which empowered Gorr. He then used it to kill the god in gold. From there, Gorr went on a centuries long mission to kill all gods that remained.
Who plays Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder?
Gorr is played by Academy Award-winner Christian Bale. Though he is no stranger to superhero movies, he's one of the best Batman actors of all time, this is Bale’s first time playing any Marvel character and first foray in the MCU. However, that wasn’t something he understood fully himself.
When asked in a recent interview with Total Film (via Games Radar) about his experience being cast in a Marvel Studios movie and joining the MCU, Bale was quoted as saying, "I'd read that and people would go, 'Oh, look at this! He's entered the MCU!' And I'd go, 'I've done what? I haven't entered s**t, thank you very much.' I'm like, 'The MCU?' I had to ask what that was."
That being said, an actor of Bale’s clout and commitment brings a sense of gravitas to a role like this. In his career, Bale has been nominated for four Oscars, winning for his first nomination as Dicky Ecklund in David O. Russell’s The Fighter. His turn as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was met with universal acclaim and helped the series to gross over $2.4 billion. Audiences should expect a very complex and potentially sympathetic character from his interpretation of Gorr, given his ability to infuse pathos and dimension into most characters he brings to life.
How is the MCU Gorr the God Butcher different from the comics?
Though much of Thor: Love and Thunder has been kept in secret, we can safely assume there’s a lot about the comic book version of Gorr and his story that won’t be making it into the film. For the most part, Gorr’s look in the comics is less humanoid than his cinematic counterpart. For another, in the comics he murders Volstagg, one of the Warriors Three. In the MCU, Volstagg is already dead, having been murdered by Hela in Thor: Ragnarok.
Additionally, the battle between Thor and Gorr in the comics spans over thousands of years. Thor first encounters Gorr during the Medieval Viking ages, then battles him again in the present and eventually thousands of years into the future. In the storyline, it takes the efforts of past, present and future Thor to defeat Gorr. It’s unlikely the MCU would delve back into time-travel elements again after relying so heavily on them during Avengers: Endgame.
Additionally, Gorr’s connections to the symbiote god, Knull, as well as the symbiote powers bestowed on him will likely be changed, given the rights to anything pertaining to symbiotes lie with Sony Pictures and their Venom franchise. He will likely wield a form of The Necrosword, however, given what we’ve seen in trailers and released action figures. But it’s unlikely it will be rooted in symbiote origins.
Whatever the case, if there is any truth to the buzz coming from test screenings of the movie, Waititi and Bale’s interpretation of Gorr is said to be "…the best villain that Marvel’s ever” (according to Waititi’s interview with AP News). Early buzz has definitely been enthusiastic about Bale’s performance and it seems that any flaws the character may have had in the comics are rectified by Waititi’s interpretations.
Whatever the case, audiences will soon find out when Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters Friday, July 8. Thor: Love and Thunder tickets are now on sale.
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Mike is a proud, sarcastic nerd with a penchant for comic books, comic book movies, and movies in general, and occasional delusions of grandeur. He's also a UC Berkeley graduate who decided to go into writing over pre-med because he figured he'd ultimately save more lives by not being a doctor. He's a Slytherin and a Pisces, so he's very emotionally sensitive, yet also evil, but can be defeated by exploiting his insecurities. His goal is to live one hell of a unique life, and it's been working so far! His proudest moments are being retweeted by James Gunn and Ryan Reynolds in the same week, and getting 999,999 points on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland.
You can find Mike's writing around the web at publications like The Nerds of Color, What to Watch, Spoiler Free Reviews, and That's It LA.