[Article] Bringing Gorr to Life in THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER

[Article] Bringing Gorr to Life in THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER
No one can deny that Thor’s introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe started off on rocky ground. Translating the Viking/Asgardian God to be someone the audience could relate to was difficult. The first two films proved that the MCU team tried to figure out how to workshop the character. However, once Taika Waititi stepped into the ring, there was a noted change in character shift, and it worked. In THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER, Thor is forced to challenge himself and look inward once more when faced with Gorr the God Butcher, and it is through the development of that villain that the audience can see what Thor is up to next.

In THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER, we find Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced – a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods.

To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi) and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who – to Thor’s surprise – inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.

Recently, Nightmarish Conjurings took part in the global press conference for THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Moderating the conference was Will Marfuggi of Entertainment Tonight. Joining the conference was Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”), Natalie Portman (“Jane Foster / The Mighty Thor”), Tessa Thompson “(King Valkyrie”), Christian Bale (“Gorr the God Butcher”), Taika Waititi (Director / Writer/ “Korg”), and Kevin Feige (Producer).

[Article] Bringing Gorr to Life in THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER
Christian Bale as Gorr in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER
It wouldn’t be a proper installment in the MCU without a well-developed villain. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has always delivered on creating complex, relatable villains (though, generally undoing all of that with some character decision that reminds us the villain is irredeemable.) In THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER, this go-round we get Gorr the God Butcher. In the Marvel Comics, Gorr is an alien who essentially only knows suffering throughout his life. While his parents taught him to trust in the gods, his prayers go unanswered. Throughout the course of his life, all signs point to the gods not existing. This becomes more apparent after his mate dies and his children die one after another. All things change, though, when he is finally alone and witnesses two gods fighting. This serves as the spark that creates Gorr the God Butcher in the comics.

When it came to Christian Bale creating his version of the character, a lot of it came down to two things – imagination and makeup. Since a lot of the plotting was done whilst in quarantine, Bale had time to imagine how Gorr was. All of the pieces came together, though, once they started assembling the look of the character:

[You don’t know] exactly what you’re doing with a character like that until you see it completely. It’s in your imagination. We didn’t have that long. We talked about it during quarantine and in an abstract way. But then [you] put it on, and it worked out all right. This was a pious man with tattoos and he’s cut those off, and so [you] would have all those scars. That’s when you really get to start playing with it and experiment as you film. You discover it as you go.”

As was revealed during the conference, the special effects makeup viewers get to see on Bale in THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER were done by makeup artists Adam Johansen, Carla, and Emily. He described the process as taking four hours when they first started. With time, they were able to get it down to three-and-a-half hours. If you’ve ever had special effects makeup done, three and a half hours is a blessing. Bale attributed sole responsibility for Gorr’s final form to this makeup effects trio.

Christian Bale as Gorr in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER

While the bulk of the information at the THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER conference was carefully curated, Chris Hemsworth did share more information about Gorr that provided further insight into the character. While the character himself has a relatable turn to the dark side in the comics, it can be easy to not quite connect to the visual image we’d see on the page. It is here, the ability to have the audience connect and at least understand where Gorr might be coming from, that Hemsworth touted as what he loved the most:

“He’s my favorite villain in the Marvels Cinematic Universe. I love everyone I’ve worked with, but this was particularly special. There’s this empathic quality there. There’s a vulnerability. You kind of find yourself going, oh, what’s he’s doing is wrong, but I get the sort of motivation behind it.”

The question here is while the actors may have connected with Gorr while filming, will the audience? Given the all-too-relatable nature of the character’s roots, I’d argue that, yes, he may be one to cheer for. Even, if what he is doing is bad, I think many of us will find the character all too relatable when we go watch the movie in theaters.

THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER hits theaters tomorrow, July 8, 2022. To learn more, read our review.

Photos courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Sarah Musnicky
Follow Me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *