Marvel seems like the ultimate recruitment center lately – on par with military recruiters. While the latter tries to convince college-age students to make a better life for themselves, Marvel has already convinced numerous A-list actors to improve their careers by jumping aboard the MCU train.
The latest is Christian Bale who did play Batman briefly, though he has ultimately shunned acting in any more comic book films. He went on record for a while as saying he wasn’t a fan of Marvel, joining the increasingly louder voices of those who look at the franchise with skeptical eyes.
Now it appears he’s changed his mind, with a new role lined up in upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder film. Many analysts think it’s due to director Taika Waititi being hired as director. Others think Bale doesn’t really fit in the MCU as much as he thinks he does.
Some think Christian Bale could offer something different in the new Thor movie
Places like Film School Rejects are speculating to the skies about who Christian Bale might play in Love and Thunder. However, they’re also wondering what made him pivot so fast on wanting to act in the MCU after initially putting them down.
Villains like Beta Ray Bill, Mangog, or Silver Surfer are names being thrown around as possibilities. Since these baddies are known for being mentally damaged men, Bale is the most perfectly suited to play such characters. On the other hand, he probably won’t go to extremes after saying he’s going to stop doing the risky weight loss tricks as he did in Vice.
Whoever he plays will probably look exactly as Bale currently does physically, even though getting ripped is usually a prerequisite before joining the MCU.
Since Bale is never past a physical challenge in acting as much as mental ones, it’s not too complicated to see why he’d join the MCU. Besides, with Waititi at the helm, he probably understood that he can create something different from a typical Avenger movie.
Even then, would Bale really have the heart to act in an MCU film?
A lot of bigger questions are still up for grabs on why Christian Bale would join the MCU so fast. Perhaps watching Waititi’s previous effort in the Thor franchise was the clincher, not that it still won’t create a new type of aura over Bale as being the latest Marvel recruit.
Once joining the fray, it’s impossible to find one’s way out since it’s easy to get typecast, attraction to higher paychecks not withstanding. Is there all possibility Bale joined because he was offered more money than he typically makes for his other movies?
No doubt this is what attracted a lot of actors who probably wouldn’t have otherwise joined without Marvel’s deeper pockets. Money convinces a lot of people to do things they possibly wouldn’t do otherwise, even if there’s usually serious actor thought put in before joining Marvel.
Now Christian Bale may face some backlash or at least skeptical fans thinking he’s doing the role for the money rather than really having the heart to do it.
Will Christian Bale be deemed a sellout?
Even though Christian Bale did play Batman for three movies for Warner Bros./DC, the latter studio might have been his best home in playing superheroes. With his penchant for playing darker characters, shifting to the MCU will mean having to stay within a PG-13 framework.
Unless Marvel starts going a little darker (unlikely with Disney ruling the roost), Marvel could prove a slightly uneasy fit. Plus, Bale has been enjoying working in some very creative indies over the last seven years, including two for director Adam McKay.
Moving away from that and possibly playing a superhero villain in more MCU movies might be looked askance at as a sellout. While it initially looked similar with Robert Downey, Jr. and his fellow cast, nobody would say now it was a wasted opportunity.
One thing for sure is Downey drew a line on always keeping “aesthetic distance” from things like Marvel. Bale might be very much aware of that and will take time out to make sure Marvel doesn’t turn into a cinematic black hole for him.