Fans of Hollywood versions have long found the issue of comic accuracy to be complex and contentious. Many people think big-budget movies and TV shows should make an effort to mimic the inspiration as closely as they can, but that can’t always be the case for a variety of reasons. Phase 4 of the MCU has made a stronger push than ever for its heroes to have comic-accurate attire, but Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder have stood out as an exception rule.
Gorr is a scary grey alien with no nose that wears a black cloak with tentacles and a weapon tied to a symbiote in Marvel Comics. As the Oscar-winning actor still has his nose and doesn’t appear to have the trademark tentacles, Marvel Studios made significant adjustments to this for Bale’s portrayal, which instantly generated controversy.
Director Taika Waititi has discussed how the god-likeness killers of another classic villain affected the design in advance of Gorr’s MCU debut in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Why Thor 4’s Gorr Looks Different to the Comics
Gorr, the God Butcher’s design for Christian Bale’s MCU villain, was altered due to comparisons to Voldemort in Harry Potter, according to Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi in an interview with IGN.
Waititi said they knew fans would draw comparisons between Gorr and Ralph Fiennes’ adversary in Harry Potter, so they changed the look but “kept bits of the tone”:
“Unfortunately, his comic book face does somewhat resemble Voldemort. So I thought, “People will make that link naturally.” Therefore, we decided to change the design while maintaining the tone and the fact that the character was holding a sword. The most significant aspect for us was his tale.”
Oscar-winner For Thor: Love and Thunder, Christian Bale wore grey makeup because the MCU had abandoned his tentacles and noseless visage.
In a press conference for Thor: Love and Thunder, Bale discussed his ideas for the Marvel villain he played. The Oscar winner described how, after being conceptualized in “an abstract fashion” under quarantine, the design “came out all right”:
“[I] loved it because until you see a character completely, you can’t truly know what you’re doing with them. It exists only in your mind. And since we were under quarantine, we just had a brief period to discuss it. But once you put it on, everything was fine. That was a devout man with tattoos, but he had them removed, leaving him with all those scars. And at that point, you can start experimenting and messing about it while filming. You learn about it as you go, you know.”
Was Thor 4’s Gorr Design the Right Change?
When Marvel or DC significantly alters its heroes and villains, fans frequently become incensed, but there’s a good reason for it. Given that Voldemort is one of the most well-known antagonists of all time, Waititi was anxious to avoid parallels to Voldemort in the case of Gorr the God Butcher.
There are only a few, albeit major, differences between Bale’s Gorr and his comic book counterpart that seem to have preserved the character’s menacing aura. Finally, the new look has made it possible for Bale’s face to show through the layers of makeup, enhancing his capacity to express emotion and maximizing the actor’s star power.
Who knows if Gorr will live past his inescapable loss in Love and Thunder to one day obtain his renowned comic book design? Waititi is wise for the time being in stating that the story must come first. From what has been seen so far, it appears as Jason Aaron’s run on the Thor comics served as a significant source of inspiration for the MCU sequel.
On July 8, Thor: Love and Thunder opens in theatres.