Gorr the God Butcher was a fan-favorite villain in Jason Aaron’s sublime run of Thor comics, so you can imagine how excited readers were when it was announced that Christian Bale would play the villain in Thor: Love and Thunder. We still have a month before the film graces the silver screen, but test audiences are already claiming that Bale’s Gorr is one of the best MCU villains yet.
There was a time when the MCU was criticized for having lackluster villains aside from Loki, with no one really caring for Whiplash, Malekith, Kaecilius and others. In time, we did get more interesting villains like Killmonger, Vulture, Ego, Zemo and Thanos. Should these fan reactions prove to be correct, Thor 4’s Gorr the God Butcher could be joining their ranks.
Fans want more of Gorr the God Butcher
Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi revealed in an interview with Erik Davis that Gorr tested really well with test audiences. Even amid test audiences, Marvel films have had tepid reception for many villains, so this is a nice surprise.
Waititi claims that Gorr might just be the most sympathetic villain in the MCU thus far. He said;
“I’d say [he’s ] the most sympathetic villain [Marvel has] had. He’s also tested the highest out of any villain that Marvel’s had."
Since these were test audiences, they aren’t allowed to speak up on what Gorr is like just yet so we’ll have to wait for the movie and judge the villain for ourselves. Given all the praise we’ve seen though, it seems that Waititi and Bale have done the character justice and that’s all fans really want.
In the interview, Thor actor Chris Hemsworth also chimed in by saying that Bale brings a lot of “nuance, complexity, and depth,” to the character. Considering Bale’s decades of amazing performances — American Psycho, The Machinist, etc — this is definitely not surprising.
Sympathy for the butcher
Valkyrie actress Tessa Thompson also discussed Bale’s portrayal of Gorr in the same interview. Thompson pointed out how the actor perfectly captures the trauma and motivations of the villain. Bale’s performance is so good that she believes fans might end up rooting, for him during the movie.
"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."
Gorr does have a fairly tragic backstory in the comics, growing up poor with a family that often believed in Gods. However, they never aided him or his family, and Gorr ended up losing all of his loved ones due to various circumstances. Eventually, he decided that there would be no Gods and would kill them himself, gaining their powers to become a force of nature that needed three Thors to defeat the villain.
We’re interested in seeing how much of the backstory Waititi adapts for Thor 4 and how he improves on it. Thor: Love and Thunder will be hitting cinemas next month, on July 8.