Christian plays the film's central antagonist: Gorr the God Butcher. He's somewhat unrecognizable as the Marvel villain, disappearing into Gorr's ghostly, somewhat eery visage with dedicated gusto.
So how long did it take for Christian to transform into the eerie, villainous Gorr? Did Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi draw any real-life inspiration for Gorr's look aside from the source material?
Here are all the super-powered details we found about Christian's Thor: Love and Thunder transformation.
Christian Bale's 'Thor: Love and Thunder' transformation explained.
In a somewhat amusing twist, the actor that once played Batman with a fierce intensity was nearly defeated by — Gorr's nail extensions.
Christian admitted to Deadline that, "It rendered me completely incapable of everything. I was pathetic,” he said. “I found myself thinking things like, ‘I don’t think I can walk because I’ve got long nails.’ It affected my brain. I was like, ‘I can’t eat, I’ve got long nails.’ I was trying to type. I couldn’t do anything.”
The actor denied that Marilyn Manson was an inspiration for Gorr's look in the same interview. Christian said, "I was certainly influenced by the look of Nosferatu and I was influenced by another musician, Aphex Twin, and he’s got an incredible video called Come to Daddy, there’s a character in that that Taika and I both enjoyed and he was my reference."
According to an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Christian's Thor: Love and Thunder transformation initially took four hours. However, Christian said that the wonderful team of makeup artists were eventually able to complete his Gorr look in three and a half hours.
Christian did commit to shaving his head to play Gorr for Thor: Love and Thunder's principal photography. However, he wasn't able to do so during reshoots.
Per Comicbook.com, Marvel enlisted the help of a special effects team to create a bald cap for Christian so his Gorr look during reshoots would match the Gorr look shot during principal photography.
Christian told Extra that it took about an hour and a half for the makeup team to help him, "get rid of Gorr at the end of the day." He also noted in the same interview that he was coming from a film that required him to not be so muscular before he started work on Thor: Love and Thunder.
Taika was all on board with not outright copying Gorr's muscular look from the comics. The director thought it would be a good idea to keep Gorr less muscular than Thor as a visual contrast.
Thor: Love and Thunder may not premiere in theaters until July 8, 2022, but Christian's performance as Gorr already won over his co-star Chris Hemsworth.
Chris told IGN that, "Everything you'd imagine [Christian Bale] would bring to it,” he said. “Nuance and complexity and truth, levity. He's one of my favorite actors working, and I was so excited he agreed to jump on board here. What's he's done is that he's definitely one of my favorite villains in the Marvel universe."