The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become such a big franchise that having a major role in one Marvel movie can create a new star in Hollywood.
That being said, Marvel typically prefers to hire more well-known actors for roles, and that’s why talented actors like Brie Larson, Cate Blanchett, and Idris Elba have all gotten major parts in the MCU.
However, while many actors want to be in the MCU, there are also many actors who may not want that job. Marvel fans thought that Natalie Portman and Christian Bale were two such actors who wouldn’t want to work in the MCU, but as it turned out, they did.
Here’s a look at why Marvel fans didn’t expect Natalie Portman and Christian Bale to star in a new MCU movie, and how Marvel made it happen.
Why Marvel fans didn’t expect Natalie Portman to return
Overall, the Thor movies have been a wild ride. The first Thor movie was generally well-liked enough, but the second Thor movie, Thor: The Dark World wasn’t as well-received. For many fans, The Dark World was the worst MCU movie ever, and there were many reasons for why they thought that.
For Portman however, The Dark World may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of her willingness to work with Marvel. Like Marvel fans talked about on Reddit, Portman wanted Patty Jenkins to direct the movie, but ultimately, Jenkins left the project over creative differences.
And of course, what came after that was a movie that many Marvel fan hated. Portman hasn’t acted in a new MCU movie since then.
Why Marvel fans didn’t expect Christian Bale to get the job
Bale is a different case than Portman, since he had never worked with the MCU before. Rather, Marvel fans didn’t expect Bale to sign up for the role because of his successful three-movie run as Batman.
As one Marvel fan on Reddit said, “I am extremely impressed that he got both Natalie Portman (who wanted nothing to do with Marvel anymore) and Christian Bale (a famously picky actor who of course already famously played an iconic superhero, making him the last person you’d expect to be up for another round).”
Like Portman, Bale has been mainly working on smaller budget movies ever since he finished playing Batman. And obviously, Marvel movies are the opposite of having a small budget, so Bale and Portman signing on to work in Thor: Love and Thunder surprised many Marvel fans.
How Taika Waititi roped them in
While it’s not very clear why Bale signed up for the job, Marvel fans have two main theories. The first one, and the most obvious one, is money. The MCU is extremely successful, and so is Disney. Bale, being a movie star, may have asked for a lot of money, and it’s very possible that Disney agreed and paid him very well for the job.
The other theory is that Bale just wanted to work with Taika Waititi.
In fact, those two theories are also the same theories that some Marvel fans have about why Portman joined Love and Thunder. Like Bale, Portman may have just asked for a lot of money, and Disney may have agreed to it. And, like Bale, Portman may just want to work with Waititi, who is an acclaimed and Oscar-winning director.
However, an additional theory that fans have about why Portman decided to return has to do with the plot of Love and Thunder. Jane, who’s played by Portman, is supposed to take up the mantle of Thor, so Portman will actually get to play a superhero for once. Regardless of why Portman and Bale are onboard however, fans are just happy to see Waititi direct another Thor movie.
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