Russell Crowe's Zeus in 'Thor 4' Could Introduce Hercules to the MCU
It's been a long time since we've had a Marvel movie on the brain. With shows like WandaVision and The Flacon and the Winter Soldier preoccupying us and the consistent delays to movies, the upcoming slate of MCU films has felt further and further away.
But things are happening behind the scenes, as we all know from the plethora of photos being shared by Marvel stars to Instagram. Most recently, Russell Crowe has revealed that he will be playing Zeus in the upcoming movie Thor: Love and Thunder.
Though Marvel has yet to confirm it, Crowe's comments were pretty clear. He said: "I'm going to get on my bicycle and ride up to Disney-Fox studios, and around 9.15, I shall be Zeus. It's for Thor. It's my last day of Zeus-ing about and I'm going to enjoy it."
With Crowe's role all but solidified, the inclusion of Zeus opens up a huge possibility for the future of Marvel movies in using their roster of Greek-god-based characters. Including, of course, Zeus' son Hercules.
The Marvel comics version of Zeus, and indeed the rest of their mythology-based characters, is mostly based on the one in Greek legends, but with some extra superhero zhuzh going on. He's one of the Olympians — the human-appearing beings who come from the dimension Olympus (rather than the mountain).
Like in the myth, he's the god of the heavens, sky, weather, and can smite people with lightning bolts. And just like in the myth, Zeus is a total horndog.
He has a plethora of affairs with various women, goddesses and mortals alike, which leads to an equally vast number of offspring, including Hercules. The comics iteration of Hercules paints as a fun-loving demigod who enjoys rough-housing with villains, and sometimes fellow superheroes.
He has the powers you'd expect from a god, including superhuman strength, durability, speed, reflexes, stamina and endurance. But most relevantly to the whole Zeus-in-Thor-4 thing, it's been established that he is a match for Thor himself and wields a golden adamantine mace that is of equal durability to Thor's Mjolnir.
Zeus is also a perennial member of the Avengers, meaning if Marvel were looking for a Thor-like character for its next team-up, Zeus could be it. However, we doubt Zeus will replace Thor entirely as Chris Hemsworth has expressed his desire to play Thor as long as possible.
It's not only his god-like super-status that makes him worthy of inclusion in future Marvel films, but also the addition of a new baddie to the oeuvre: Gorr the God Butcher. We know he'll be played by Christian Bale and based on his name, we know what he's about: butchering gods.
The problem is that there aren't a lot of gods left in the Marvel world for Gorr to butcher. Most of Asgard has been wiped out, and for Gorr to truly live up to his name, he'll need foes.
Now with Zeus joining the ranks, it seems even more likely that other god-based Marvel characters will begin to appear in the MCU. And if you've got Zeus, it makes sense to — at least eventually — include one of his most famous offspring.
Thor: Love and Thunder has a release date of May 6, 2022.
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