Thor: Love and Thunder’s Zeus Will See Russell Crowe Reference Gladiator

The upcoming Marvel sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder, will add some incredibly famous faces to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Oscar-winner and Gladiator star Russell Crowe chief among them. The Academy Award winner, who will be joined in the comic book movie outing by fellow Oscar winner Christian Bale, will join the MCU as Zeus. And Thor actor Chris Hemsworth had nothing but praise for the actor and his divine debut.

“I never thought I’d see the day where Russell would appear on screen with hints at Gladiator imagery, yet with a wink-totally self-deprecating. He didn’t hold back. I’m such a fan. I have been since I first started acting. There’s such a weight and a seriousness to his performances and to him, as an individual, from afar. But meeting him, he has a great sense of humor and did whatever Taika asked on set, which was mind-blowing. And it was really fun to play with the mythology, going from Norse to Greek mythology – Taika pulls all these worlds together.”

Speaking with The Direct, Hemsworth revealed that Crowe’s take on Zeus, who is, of course, the king of the Olympians and is based on the Greek mythological deity of the same name, will include winks and hints referring to the actor’s previous dalliance with the world of ancient Greece. That of Gladiator’s stoic hero Maximus Decimus Meridius. Something which should provide a few moments of self-referential humor and amusing Easter eggs for cinephiles.


Don’t Get Too Attached to the Gods in Thor: Love and Thunder

Marvel Studios

While fans will no doubt delight in the sight of Russell Crowe as Marvel’s Zeus, we shouldn’t get too attached. Despite the role being played by a Hollywood powerhouse of Crowe’s stature, Thor: Love and Thunder will also introduce Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher who, as his name suggests, just loves to kill gods. Which could be very bad news for Crowe’s deity.

Gorr’s villainy will not be as straightforward as it seems, however, with Chris Hemsworth recently revealing some insight into the character and how his journey informs the themes of the Marvel sequel. “Gorr’s backstory involves being wronged by the gods,” Hemsworth began. “And a lot of his motivation is getting revenge for these wrongdoings… we really wanted to explore this idea of religion, belief, and what it means to put your faith in a higher power. And because Thor is essentially a god, what does it mean for him to represent these gods?”

Thor: Love and Thunder finds the Asgardian and former Avenger embarking on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced — a quest for inner peace. However, his retirement gets interrupted by Gorr the God Butcher, a galactic killer who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, who — to his surprise — inexplicably wields his magical hammer. Together, they set out on a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance.

Directed by Taika Waititi, Thor: Love and Thunder is scheduled to be released on July 8, 2022, as part of Phase Four of the MCU.