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We now know how Christian Bale could look in the new Thor film

There may be plenty of new Marvel Cinematic Universe stories coming out this year, but nothing will stop our collective adoration of and excitement for Thor. Speculation has been humming at a fever pitch since the announcement that Christian Bale was in negotiations to join Thor: Love and Thunder in an unspecified role. Who he might be playing isn't clear just yet — there are several possibilities that make sense, particularly within the context of the comic series written by Jason Aaron that will supply the bulk of the source material that inspires the next chapter of Thor's journey. That truth has never deterred fans from speculation and fun, imagining what their favorite character might look like if they end up on screen. 

Two of the characters in the running received the fan art treatment, one featuring Christian Bale rendered as Gorr the God Butcher (by reddit user ozycon) and another with Bale as Mephisto (by photo editor extraordinaire BossLogic). Both provide an excellent possible peek into what we could expect Bale to look like as these villains. Fans who aren't necessarily into the comics scene but enjoy the MCU may recognize the name Mephisto, but Gorr may come as a true left-field option for Bale in Thor: Love and Thunder. So, who are these dudes, and what other characters are possible for this (not officially confirmed) actor for the next installment of Thor's particular branch of the franchise? Let's discuss.

Who is Gorr the God Butcher?

Gorr the God Butcher is a bit of a comics deep cut, but he's a highly consequential character in one of the major plotlines from Jason Aaron's time writing Thor stories. Gorr is a member of an unnamed alien species raised on a barren, forbidding world where he suffers loss and starvation his entire life. This suffering drives him to believe no gods exist, and his pious people ostracize him for claiming so. When he accidentally encounters two cosmic gods in deadly combat, however, Gorr becomes filled with unquenchable rage that omnipotent creatures exist and simply don't care about mortal suffering. The gods die as a result of the fight, but the evil god's weapon — a symbiote in the form of a sword called All-Black — fuses with Gorr and gives him the power to enact revenge on deities. (That's where that whole "God Butcher" title comes from, you see.) Thor is one of the deities on his list; at one point, Gorr grows so powerful, it takes three Thors from different points in time working together to destroy him. It's real epic stuff.

The biggest obvious hurdle with Gorr possibly involved in Thor: Love and Thunder (regardless of whether Christian Bale plays him) is the fact that All-Black is a symbiote, just like Venom... which, as a concept in film, belongs to Sony. A bit of tweaking could make All-Black non-sentient with most people never the wiser, but overall Gorr's prevalence in Thor canon isn't directly connected to the Jane-Foster-as-Thor storyline that will be at the forefront of Love and Thunder, so it's unclear what adaptation of both plots would be necessary to marry them.

Mephisto is a diabolical devil-man

Not to get any demon-loving fans down, but of the characters Christian Bale might play in Thor: Love and Thunder, Mephisto is probably the least likely. Mephisto is a much more critical Doctor Strange antagonist, and there are rumors he will be introduced over in that neck of the woods eventually as well. 

An inter-dimensional demon who just happens to look like Christianity's interpretation of Satan, mostly for a buck and some laughs, Mephisto likes to scare mortals for casual fun – to the point he created a pocket dimension for himself that he ginned up to look a whole lot like hell, complete with eternal fire and dead people's souls he has "borrowed" and stuffed into other inter-dimensional demons. If you ever thought Loki was king of the most elaborate and duplicitous form of cosplay, just wait until you meet Mephisto whenever he arrives in the MCU (which he probably will somewhere). Mephisto can contest with The God of Treachery for the title of chief wheeler and dealer of people, places, things, and favors. 

Unfortunately, however, Mephisto doesn't have much of a central role in the most important comics central to the plot of Love and Thunder – though he does appear in the Jason Aaron's later series Valkyrie, in which Jane Foster becomes a Valkyrie after beating cancer and Thor reclaims his worthiness to wield Mjolnir. It's not impossible for Mephisto to be in the upcoming Thor movie, but in all, it's pretty unlikely compared to other characters who have much more direct ties to the plotline as has been hinted at so far.

Beta Ray Bill: Hero, friend, kind of a lizard

Beta Ray Bill hasn't received the Christian Bale fanart treatment just yet, but demand for the character to appear in Thor: 
Love and Thunder (through Bale or anyone else) is also sky-high. The character very nearly made it into the final version of Thor: Ragnarok, but was cut in favor of, to summarize Kevin Feige, saving his introduction for a more special occasion. Instead, he's merely featured as one of the champions sculpted into the edifice of The Grandmaster's towering fortress.

Beta Ray Bill is a vaguely horse-slash-lizard shaped alien of the Korbinite race. After his homeworld is razed and a new one must be found, Bill is chosen as the champion of his people to lead them to that new world. Through a series of events that can only be described as farcical, Bill meets Thor, fights him, and takes Mjolnir as a prize when Thor loses connection with Mjolnir and reverts to his mortal form, Donald Blake.

It turns out Bill is capital-W worthy, and takes off with Mjolnir. Odin forces Thor to fight for his honor to have Mjolnir returned to him — and loses. Bill refuses to kill Thor, however, and in recognition of his honorable behavior, Odin returns Mjolnir to Thor and makes a similar weapon for Bill: Stormbreaker. Yeah, that Stormbreaker — or a version of it. 

Thor isn't just friends with Beta Ray Bill — he also admires and idolizes him. That sounds like just the kind of idol the depressed and rudderless Thor of Avengers: Endgame needs in his life right now. Casting such a hyper-serious auteur actor like Bale for a role like Beta Ray Bill is ideal, because the joke is that this asinine-looking character is a serious paragon of honor.

Dario Agger: Full-time CEO, part-time minotaur

Our final entrant for Christian Bale's possible Thor: Love and Thunder character is the CEO of Roxxon, Dario Agger. You've never heard of Roxxon, you say? Well, the energy conglomerate has already been featured in several MCU films and Marvel Television titles, though Agger himself never has been. That you would remember, because he can shapeshift into a minotaur at will. 

Agger is a Greek man who was raised on an island in the Mediterranean ocean until his family was murdered by pirates. He prayed during the pirate attack so hard that some malignant god answered him and turned him into a minotaur. He took his family fortune in adulthood, buying his way into executive management to become a super-villainous, willful polluter akin to a Captain Planet antagonist. 

Bale can certainly channel some American Psycho energy for a role like this, but that doesn't mean that role can't have its own kind of humor. At one point in the comics, Agger becomes enraged by his corporate lawyers and sics bears on them as a creative form of murder. If that doesn't scream Taika Waititi levels of absurdist dark humor to you, we're not sure what will.

As to this character's chances at being included in Thor: Love and Thunder: they're decent, regardless of whether Bale will play him. Agger is wholly a creation of — you guessed it — Jason Aaron. Aaron himself has lobbied for Bale to perform this role, should rumors about his courting by Marvel Studios prove true. It's a tight race for this casting call, and all of them have points in their favor. 

Thor: Love and Thunder won't arrive in theaters until 2021, but we can't wait for any and all updates on Bale's character within it.