Thor: Love and Thunder is filled with new and old characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The upcoming MCU sequel will bring back Chris Hemsworth's Asgardian hero for his fourth solo adventure, and he will be joined by a stacked ensemble of allies, such as the Guardians of the Galaxy, Korg, Miek, Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie, and Natalie Portman's Mighty Thor. Another potential ally to Thor is the confirmed arrival of Russell Crowe's Zeus.
Crowe's inclusion in the Marvel sequel was first spotted through set photos, which then eventually made headlines as Deadline reported on his involvement. The award-winning actor then confirmed his MCU role, saying that he's playing Zeus in Love and Thunder.
Now, the film's director shared more details about Crowe's highly-anticipated debut.
Russell Crowe's MCU Debut
Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about Russell Crowe's role as Zeus and the upcoming MCU movie in general.
While still being secretive about the actor's Marvel debut, Waititi teased that Crowe plays the role in "a way you've never seen Russell before:"
"I consider Russell a friend, and I forget that there are some friends I have who are really incredible at what they do. When I was on set with Russell, I was like, 'Oh shit, that's right! You're Russell Crowe! You're a really amazing actor!'"
The teaser trailer for Love and Thunder featured the first look at Crowe's Zeus:
Waititi shared that he wanted to push Thor into even more unexpected territory, saying that he "needed to do something more interesting" for himself:
"What I didn't want to do is just make Ragnarok again, because that's been done. I needed to do something more interesting for myself to keep the whole thing ignited and to make sure that I'm feeling creatively stimulated. I thought, What's the least expected thing with this franchise?"
Thor had quite a journey in-between the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, with the character grappling with guilt and self-doubt after failing to stop Thanos. Love and Thunder, as Waititi teased, will deal with "universal themes about love and loss and our place in the world," with the Asgardian hero at the center of it:
"Ragnarok felt a bit like a party. It was quite festive. This one is still fun, and it's got moments of being over the top, but thematically, it's about something a bit deeper than the last film. It's not a serious film, and it's not a drama, but we do deal with ideas that I think a lot of humans deal with — universal themes about love and loss and our place in the world. Everyone sort of asks this question in the film: What is your purpose? What is the reason that you're a hero, and what do you do when you have these powers?"
How Zeus Fits in Thor: Love and Thunder
Zeus' role in Love and Thunder is still unknown, but director Taika Waititi's latest comments appear to tease that the actor may either have a significant role in the movie or just a glorified cameo.
Given Gorr the God Butcher's inclusion, there's a strong chance that Russell Crowe's Zeus may end up biting the dust at some point in the movie. However, if Zeus ends up surviving, it's possible that the Greek god would team up with Thor and Mighty Thor to take down Christian Bale's Marvel villain. After all, Zeus is the most powerful God in Greek mythology.
Meanwhile, the director's comments about Love and Thunder could hint that he took things to another level after he rejuvenated the franchise with 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. On top of a massive ensemble, it's safe to assume that the action sequences will be top-notch while also exploring the unique personal arc of the titular Asgardian.
While Thor's future remains to be seen, Love and Thunder seems poised to cement the legacy of the character while also advancing the narrative forward through Jane Foster's Mighty Thor.
Thor: Love and Thunder is set to premiere in theaters on July 8.