Christian Bale is a Dark Knight no more. The Oscar winner marks his Marvel debut as Thor’s nemesis Gorr the God Butcher in an eerie trailer for “Thor: Love and Thunder,” in theaters July 8.
Writer/director Taika Waititi helms the follow-up to 2017’s “Thor: Ragnarok.” Chris Hemsworth returns as the titular superhero in his first appearance since “Avengers: Endgame.” Tessa Thompson is also back as Valkyrie, as well as Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Waititi as Korg, and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, reprising her MCU character for the first time since 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World.”
Thor and Jane’s awkward reunion is teased in the trailer, narrated by Waititi as Korg, explaining that Thor has gone from “dad bod to god bod.” Jane (Portman) is shown wielding the hammer Mjolnir as Mighty Thor. Portman previously revealed that “Love and Thunder” might finally tackle her character Jane’s cancer arc from the comics, before she also received superhero powers.
Director Waititi (who won a Best Original Screenplay Oscar in 2020 for his film “Jojo Rabbit”) said that he became enthralled with the Mighty Thor character, a female version of Thor, while reading Jason Aaron’s storyline during the production of “Thor: Ragnarok.”
Bale as Gorr sets out to murder as many gods as possible, including Zeus, played by Russell Crowe. The film picks up after the fall of Asgard and the events of “Endgame,” during which Thor attempts to find inner peace but is hindered by the threat of Gorr extinguishing the gods. Thor enlists the help of Korg, Valkyrie, and Foster in his mission and teams up with the Guardians of the Galaxy, which includes the fan-favorite Rocket Raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper, in addition to Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Karen Gillan reprising their roles.
Waititi has called the film “the craziest thing I’ve ever done,” adding, “I definitely feel like we put everything — every idea and every single ridiculous concept or gag or stunt or character — into this film. I couldn’t be happier with it.”
Based on the comics by Stan Lee and Jason Aaron, “Thor: Love and Thunder” is written by Waititi and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. The Marvel film is produced by Kevin Feige, with executive producers Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito, and Todd Hallowell.
“Thor: Love and Thunder” premieres in theaters on July 8 as part of Phase Four of the MCU rollout.