As preparation on the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder continues, the cast is starting to assemble in Australia where cameras will roll on the sequel. The Direct brings word of a video reportedly showing co-star Christian Bale arriving in Australia ahead of filming, which is scheduled to start filming in the first part of 2021. Though there are a couple of months between now and then, those months will be needed for training, costume fittings, rehearsals, and other prep on the film. Bale's casting marks the latest actor who previously appeared in another superhero franchise to make the jump to Marvel, which shocked fans considering how he left the role of Batman behind.
Given Bale's past foray into the genre, starring in all three of Christopher Nolan's movies, it's a surprising to see him make the leap to Marvel Studios. Bale also previously said he had no interest in appearing in any superhero movies, saying in an interview: "I’m not interested in doing that... I can’t remember a single superhero film that I’ve ever watched. Apart from the ones I made and like, the Christopher Reeve Superman films.”
It remains to be seen what role Bale will be taking in the upcoming movie but given his previous comments it's seemingly not another hero role and perhaps a one-off villain or supporting part. The list of major Thor characters from Marvel Comics that haven't appeared in the film is shrinking as well, which leaves some distinct possibilities for who Bale could be playing. One of the most popular guesses (that isn't Beta Ray Bill) is that Bale will take on the role of Dario Agger, the remorseless CEO of Roxxon Energy Corp and the primary antagonist of Jason Aaron's run on Thor which also saw Jane Foster taking on the mantle of the God of Thunder (something that will also happen in the upcoming Love and Thunder).
Actress Natalie Portman is set to return for the movie as Foster, wielding Thor's hammer for the sequel as well. Portman appeared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon last week, explaining that "it's going to be really silly and funny, and great. We've got Taika Waititi... He's wonderful, so I'm very excited to just be with all of them."
Thor: Love and Thunder is currently set to premiere in theaters on February 11, 2022. The film is one of four Marvel Studios movie scheduled to be released that year with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Black Panther II, and the Captain Marvel sequel also scheduled to debut.