Thor: Love and Thunder continues to make its run in theaters as the God of Thunder reunites with Jane Foster to protect his friends, his family, and his people in New Asgard. The latest threat to the titular hero comes in the form of Christian Bale's Gorr the God Butcher, arguably one of the MCU's most terrifying and intense villains to date.
Leading up to Thor 4's release, one hot topic of conversation revolved around how Bale would look as the movie's core antagonist, bringing a villain that looked quite scary compared to many of his Marvel Comics counterparts. It was made clear from the get-go that this look wouldn't be 100% comic accurate, but upon his first appearance in the film's second trailer, fans were quick to share their excitement for what was on the way.
The biggest change made to Gorr from the comics to Thor 4 was the lack of alien tendrils on his head, as the movie made him look much more human behind Christian Bale's passionate performance on screen. However, that wasn't always going to be the case, as new concept art provides a look into how Bale's design changed throughout the development process for this new sequel.
Concept Art Shows More Alien Gorr in Thor 4
Character designer Ken Barthelmey took to Instagram to share new pieces of concept art depicting Christian Bale's Gorr the God Butcher from Marvel Studios' Thor: Love and Thunder.
His first design for Gorr gave the character a much more alien feel, making him look a little more fish-like with slit-like nostrils and wrinkles in his face that almost look like gills. Additionally, there are a number of protrusions coming out of the back of his skull to give him a look that was much scarier than how he appeared in the final cut of the movie:
The second design kept the same head and skull structure as the first one, but it changed the face significantly.
The eyes remain identical, although this one has a long vertical nose with six nostrils flaring out as Gorr growls at whatever is in front of him. Additionally, his teeth appear much more jagged and separated than they were in the movie, providing yet another aspect to his appearance that makes him appear more terrifying.
Barthelmey noted that these designs were made long before Christian Bale was cast in the role and that he enjoyed what Bale brought to the performance:
"Early Gorr the God Butcher design I did for Thor: Love and Thunder at Odd Studio, before Christian Bale got cast. I loved Bale's portrayal of the character. Thanks to Adam Johansen for bringing me on board."
Thor 4's Journey with Gorr's Look On Screen
Gorr the God Butcher's appearance was one of fans' biggest concerns heading into Thor: Love and Thunder, although Christian Bale didn't disappoint with his performance when it finally debuted. However, these new images show just how scary the MCU's newest villain could have looked if the movie had used even more special effects and/or prosthetics to add to Bale's look for the character.
Director Taika Waititi described Bale's Gorr as the best MCU villain to date, taking things up a notch from what Cate Blanchett brought as Hela in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. Although it's unclear if this scary look would have added anything to Bale's inclusion in the movie, the only real complaint fans had about the character is that there wasn't more of him in the film.
The MCU is certainly learning towards allowing more scary elements in its storytelling, as proven by Doctor Strange 2 and some parts of Moon Knight on Disney+. While Gorr may not have looked quite as scary as he could have in his final design, the MCU isn't avoiding characters in that same vein.
Thor: Love and Thunder is now playing in theaters worldwide.