The first big news out of the MCU in 2020 is quite the doozy – Christian Bale is in talks to join Thor: Love and Thunder. Getting one of the most beloved Batman actors in history to join Marvel’s movies would be a pretty enormous coup. But it’s interesting that he’s potentially joining Taika Waititi’s Thor 4. Bale can play anyone, so why this movie? What character could possibly be enticing enough for him to come back to big franchise superheroes? We have some thoughts, and after consulting with our New Jersey branch (Den of Gambling), we’ve also decided to lay some odds on who he could be playing!
Please note: do not place any bets on who Christian Bale is playing in Thor: Love and Thunder. We will not honor any bets and will probably just walk off with your money. With that said, LET’S GAMBLE!
Spoilers for Jason Aaron’s mega run, including The War of the Realms, below. Turn back now if you’re worried!
odds – 1:2
Agger was introduced fairly early on in Jason Aaron’s epic run as part of the series’ long game. Agger is the lord of Roxxon, the biggest evil corporation in Marvel at the moment. He’s also a Minotaur. He cut a deal with Malekith just as the War of the Realms was starting to take shape in the comics, pledging his allegiance to the dark elf in exchange for the rights to strip mine resources from the other nine realms.
To be honest, the case against Agger is that he makes TOO MUCH sense. Evil capitalists destroying the environment is in right now. And Agger is from the era of the comics that one assumes will be the foundation for this movie’s story, with Jane Foster picking up the hammer. And not for nothing, Christian Bale playing a Minotaur just barely holding it together over seething rage seems juuuuuust right.
Beta Ray Bill
odds – 5:4
Horse Thor is a fan favorite, with good reason. He was created by Walt Simonson as a way for a clean break to start what would become the best Thor run of all time. Bill is a Korbinite alien who, thinking he needs to defend his people from an attack by Thor (Odinson was just scouting Bill’s passing ship), fights Thor to a standstill. Bill eventually endears himself to the Asgardians so much that Odin has a new hammer made for him (Stormbreaker), and he half starts a relationship with Sif.
Bill is another obvious choice for Bale to play. The only argument against him is that Bill is kind of tied into Simonson’s Ragnarok storyline – his people were nearly destroyed by Surtur’s army, and that was covered surprisingly faithfully in the last movie. Beta Ray Bill even had a little bit of a cameo in Thor: Ragnarok if you knew where to look!
Ulik the Rock Troll
odds – 6:1
Ulik is one of the toughest beings in the Marvel Universe. He was created by Stan and Jack to be someone who could go toe to toe with Thor. Ulik is your classic Jack Kirby brawler: he’s giant, hairy and angry.
He’s really the only classic Thor villain who Bale could play that hasn’t made it to the big screen yet. Malekith, Kurse, Loki, the Destroyer, Hell and Surtur have all shown up, and as method as Bale is, I can’t see him walking around in a green miniskirt and thigh high boots for three months to prepare for the role, so Enchantress is probably out. And Ulik works in the story – he’s part of Malekith’s dark council with Agger, getting his ass thoroughly handed to him by She Hulk in the War of the Realms. However, if I have to pick between the members of the Council for Bale to play, Agger still makes a lot more sense.
Balder the Brave
odds – 20:3
Ulik and Amora are conspicuously absent villains, but Balder is the most glaring omission from the Thor movies on the good guy side. Balder is Thor’s unfailingly kind and honorable brother, to the point where he caught hell from Odin for deserting from battle when he was really just putting a baby bird back in its nest. Balder is the God of Light, the most beautiful of the Asgardians and widely beloved. He also spent a surprising amount of time as the ruler of Hel.
There’s a reason Balder isn’t in the movies, though. He steals Thor’s shine. Especially gorgeous himbo Thor in the movies who leaves a thin justification for Balder’s existence within the story, and Balder hasn’t really been more than a side character in the comics for a long time.
odds – 40:1
Odin’s brother was created for Fear Itself as the locked away Norse god of fear. He was an off and on antagonist for the Asgardians before being absorbed into their court as part of Odin’s most recent bastard phase, and he died a surprisingly heroic death defending Midgard from Malekith’s armies.
The strongest argument against Bale playing Cul is that Cul kinda sucks. Until recently, he was pretty one note, and Aaron used that one note-ness to sell the hell out of his face turn. A single movie, even one as long as Marvel has shown willing to do, is probably not enough to sell the character’s complete arc.
odds – 50:1
The Prince of Power and the God of Thunder have a long history with each other, but one of their most recent interactions was in the pages of Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente’s superb Incredible Hercules. But their relationship is a little to similar to what Hulk and Thor had in Ragnarok. So probably not. Anyway, Hercules is probably a better fit for Marvel’s Eternals movie.
odds – 100:1
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, The Mangog was the sum total of the hatred of a race killed by Odin eons ago, and the being that destroyed Asgard and led to Jane Foster’s death as Thor in an utterly incredible climax to one chapter of Aaron’s bigger story.
He’s also a half scorpion, half Mayan statue, half hawk. As ridiculous as they’re willing to go in these Marvel movies – and I remind you, Dane Whitman is going to be in Eternals – there are some lines they won’t cross.
odds – you know what? Forget it.
Hey, if we can have odds on Horse Thor, we can have odds on the second best Thor from Simonson’s run – The Frog of Thunder! Thor got turned into a frog and led an uprising in Central Park, and then he got better.
Bale won’t be Frog Thor because if Frog Thor is in the movie, he’ll be voiced by Hemsworth. If Bale voices a frog, it will be one of his compatriots.
Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on Nov. 5, 2021. You can check out Marvel’s release schedule right here.
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