Russell Crowe’s version of Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder was a selfish character that only cared for his own pleasure and safety. An accurate representation of the Zeus character in Norse mythology, that Crowe plays perfectly However, before Crowe was cast as Zeus, it seems that Marvel wanted him to play the Marvel universe’s devil Mephisto first.
Mephisto was almost in Thor: Love and Thunder
Artist Miles Steves shared artwork of Russell Crowe as Mephisto, though he doesn’t namedrop the villain. Steves says he was commissioned to draw Crowe in a devilish manner and jokingly suggested that his drawing wasn’t the reason MCU changed the character to Zeus.
The two commissions give us an interesting look at what would have happened if we got Mephisto in Thor: Love and Thunder instead.
No reason for the change from Mephisto to Zeus was given, aside from Steves’ joke. It seems that this was a simple case of Marvel Studios going through these drafts and deciding which of their characters to use. Only time will tell when or if we’ll actually see Mephisto appear in an MCU flick, considering how many times fans have clamored for him.
Mephisto fan theories in the MCU
If the name Mephisto is giving MCU fans deja vu, it’s likely due to the number of fan theories that surrounded WandaVision. Due to the then-unexplained nature of Wanda’s sitcom settings, many assumed that Mephisto was the one behind this since the character has a history with Wanda in the comics. In the end, it was Agatha all along, and though some fans were annoyed it was the right move.
We haven’t seen as many Mephisto theories from MCU fans since, likely due to all the expectations they had for WandaVision. Thor: Love and Thunder would have been a fun debut for the character but that didn’t work out. Still, it’s hard to be annoyed when we got Jane as The Mighty Thor, Zeus, and a tease for Hercules.
What’s next for Zeus?
He might not be Mephisto but Russell Crowe’s Zeus might be in the MCU a bit longer if the Thor: Love and Thunder mid-credits scene is anything to go by. After getting humiliated by Thor and his crew, Zeus decides to send Hercules to Earth and make an example out of the God of Thunder, along with other superheroes.
Although the movie is hinting at Hercules being a villain, there’s a very good chance that the Olympian God will side with Thor at the end. In the comics, they have always been rivals but grew friendly towards each other. Hercules would eventually join The Avengers and even have several solo comics, even being the center of attention in stories like Chaos War.
Thor: Love and Thunder is now showing in theaters.