Russell Crowe reveals he’s playing Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder

Russell Crowe in Gladiator
Russell Crowe as Zeus in Thor Love and Thunder Pic credit: Warner Bros/Marvel Comics

Russell Crowe is about to bring down the thunder.

A month after it was announced the Oscar-winning actor had joined the cast of Thor: Love and Thunder, Crowe has off-handedly revealed that he’ll be playing none other than the Greek God Zeus. 

This promises a major showdown of the MCU pantheons. 

Crowe as Zeus

Crowe is no stranger to blockbusters, either historical (his Oscar-winning turn in Gladiator) or comic book (Jor-El in Man of Steel). So his casting for the latest MCU sequel shouldn’t be surprising. 

What is surprising was Crowe doing an interview with Australia’s Joy 94.9 radio program, where almost ten minutes in, he made the off-hand remark that “I’m gonna get on my bicycle, I’m gonna ride up to Disney Fox Studios, and around about 9:15, I shall be Zeus!”

Crowe followed it up by confirming, “it’s for Thor 4. It’s my last day of Zeus’ing about, and I’m going to enjoy it.”

What this means for the MCU

This is a massive revelation as it’s the first time the MCU has confirmed other pantheons besides the Norse Gods. 

The MCU leans into the idea that the Asgardians are not truly gods but powerful aliens that ancient humans mistook as deities. Whether the Olympians take the same route or are actual gods will spark the MCU’s cosmic reach.

In the Marvel Universe, Zeus is much like his classic Greek mythology counterpart, the stern father of the gods known for throwing thunderbolts around. 

While Zeus and Odin generally got along well, they could have conflicts, often set in motion by either Loki or the Greek God of War Ares. 

A famous storyline had an angry Zeus imprisoning the Avengers in Hades’ underworld, forcing them to break free and invade Olympus. 

More recently, Zeus and the Olympians returned in the Guardians of the Galaxy comics. Star-Lord had to sacrifice his life to save the universe from them but ended up sent back in time, with the Olympic gods giving chase.

In this storyline, Zeus and the Olympic gods returned looking for war, as it was in their nature. With Zeus a new enemy for the Guardians of the Galaxy and that team appearing in Thor: Love & Thunder, it brings up many questions.

With his booming voice and charisma, Crowe would be perfect for the role, and Zeus’ control of lighting can be a challenge for Thor.

The movie will use the plotline of Thor’s love Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) gaining her own powers. The introduction of Zeus may explain a connection between the Asgardians and Olympus.

Hercules coming?

Marvel’s Hercules Pic credit: Marvel Comics

Another important possibility is that the arrival of Zeus and the Greek myths into the MCU means the film may also set up the MCU version of Hercules. 

While the mythological counterpart had its dark elements, the Marvel Comics character shows Hercules as a boisterous figure who often prefers drinking and partying over serious matters.

However, Hercules is a brave warrior who has often served as an Avenger. His relationship with Zeus can make Thor and Odin look downright genial as, at one point, Zeus stripped Hercules of his godhood as punishment for going against him. 

Thor and Hercules work well as friends and teammates, although they have fought a few times as each is too proud to back down to the other. 

There is also the added fact that, in the comics, Hercules is a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

While there is no word of Hercules popping up into this movie, the confirmation of the Greek Gods existing in the MCU promises a war of truly mythological proportions.

Thor Love and Thunder premiering in theaters February 11, 2022. Click here to see all the upcoming Marvel movie releases.

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