If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that Taika Waititi got to make the sequel he wanted with Thor: Love & Thunder. Following up on the balancing act of tragedy and satire that worked so well Ragnarok was never going to be easy, but that’s why you bring the very best actors in the game along for the ride. Such is the case for Christian Bale, who now makes his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the fan-favorite Thor villain Gorr the God Butcher. Bale needs no introduction, of course, as his iteration of Batman was the face of the comic book genre for an entire generation. Though as the actor has now revealed, switching over to the bad side was a lot more fun than expected, and almost included a little dancing.
As discussed during the official Thor: Love and Thunder press conference, Taika Waititi encouraged even more improvisation on set than what he did on Ragnarok. A lot of that came from the music that Waititi was playing before and in between takes, a practice that the filmmaker has now become known for. And seeing how music is now a major element for Waititi in forming the identity for his Thor films, similar to what James Gunn did for the Guardians of the Galaxy, the stars of the film admitted that jamming to tunes while filming helped in their performances. But what was Christian Bales’ Gorr the God Butcher vibing to on the set of Thor: Love and Thunder? Well, apparently a lot of Kate Bush among other artists.
“You do the script first and then you just see what else you can do beyond that,” Bale explained when it came to his experience with improvisation. “But what I liked a lot [about Thor: Love & Thunder] is emotion comes through the ears, right? and [Taika] plays music nonstop on set, and that was fantastic.” He then went on to list the music that stood out to him the most from Waititi’s playlist. “Nice bit of Kate Bush, thank you very much for that favorite. But then also I discovered Bruce Haak, who makes his own synthesizers.” For those unaware, Bruce Haak was an oddball pioneer in the 1960s and 70s electronic field, and according to Bale, his synths had “a very Gorr-like sensibility” that was very helpful in capturing Waititi’s “comedy and tragedy.”
Kate Bush is now more of a household name than ever thanks to Stranger Things 4 skyrocketing her hit single ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)’ back to the very top of the streaming charts. And as previously revealed in a separate interview with Total Film, a Gorr-specific Kate Bush dance sequence almost made it into the film. “Taika and I wanted to do a whole dance, which we didn’t get to do, but we had all this sort of Kate Bush stuff that we worked at.” If it wasn’t too obvious, Bale confirmed that Waititi “realized he was never going to be allowed to put that in the final film.” Fast forward to the press conference and Bale emphasized that the dance sequence was “not cut, [but] planned” to avoid any confusion on whether or not it actually exists somewhere in the Marvel Studios editing rooms.
Bale went on to elaborate more and say that Gorr’s dancing bit was “perhaps only whispered between Taika and myself.” The two were on the fence about the whole idea, asking themselves, “Hey, would we ever find a half a day to be able to do a Gorr dance?” But alas, the shooting schedule and chances of it making it into the final cut never aligned together. “We’re both Kate Bush admirers, and wondered just how bizarre it could be… [the idea] stayed in our heads,” said Bale. Did the universe rob MCU fans of an epic, sentimental Gorr the God Butcher musical set piece? It’s tough to say. Is there still plenty of mythological action set to musical perfection in Thor: Love & Thunder? That’s for sure.
As for another musical influence that Bale applied to his portrayal of Gorr, the actor also paid close attention to the famous British composer and DJ Aphex Twin. “I would say that the most common thing I was staring at was the Aphex Twin video of ‘Come To Daddy’,” Bale also told Total Film. If you haven’t seen or heard of the infamous piece, you can watch Aphex Twin’s ‘Come To Daddy’ music video here and tremble in your latest nightmare fuel. If that isn’t scary enough for you then Christian Bale might do the trick when he brings Gorr the God Butcher to life in Thor: Love & Thunder.