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After three films playing Batman, Christian Bale is no stranger to superhero movies, but Thor: Love and Thunder is still a departure of sorts from his previous work. The film marks the first time the actor has worked on a Marvel property, the first time he's played a comic book villain, and the first time he's returned to the comic book movie world since The Dark Knight Rises a decade ago.
So, why was now the right time for the Oscar-winning Bale to come back to this kind of movie? Two reasons: He wanted to do it, and his family really wanted him to do it.
Speaking to Screen Rant to promote the upcoming MCU epic, in which he co-stars as the villainous Gorr the God Butcher, Bale talked about the factors that drew him to the project in the first place. For one thing, he liked the ensemble that writer/director Taika Waititi was assembling for the film. For another, his children were really excited about seeing him in a Marvel movie. So excited, in fact, that they demanded he make things work even when potential scheduling conflicts loomed that might have made joining the movie difficult.
"For me, it was Taika," Bale explained. "I loved Thor: Ragnarok, as did my family. We also all loved Jojo Rabbit, and then I had worked with Natalie [Portman] and wanted to work with Tessa [Thompson] and with Chris [Hemsworth]. It comes down to that, really. I just went, 'Great!' Loved the script, loved Taika's description of the villain. 'Let's go do this.'"
He continued, "There were some potential scheduling conflicts. I said to my family, 'I don't think it's going to work out,' and they went, 'No, you make it work out. You're doing this, Dad.' They gave me my marching orders, and I dutifully obeyed."
It's somewhat impressive that Bale's family was able to push him to make the movie work, considering he wasn't necessarily the biggest MCU fan before agreeing to play a new villain in the franchise. In recent interviews, Bale has noted that he barely had an idea that there was an MCU when he opted to take on the role of Gorr, an alien being who's decided to launch a war of vengeance against all gods.
"People would go, 'Oh, look at this! He's entered the MCU!' And I'd go, 'I've done what? I haven't entered s---, thank you very much,'" he said. "I'm like, 'The MCU?' I had to ask what that was."
Gorr the God Butcher will rampage through Thor: Love and Thunder when it hits theaters July 8, and you can thank Christian Bale's kids for that.
Thor: Love and Thunder is one of many big blockbusters expected to light up the box office this summer. Jurassic World Dominion is out now, and Jordan Peele's sci-fi horror mystery Nope opens July 22 in theaters.