Russell Crowe debuts in MCU with Thor Love and Thunder: How does his character Zeus Panhellenios fit into Chris Hemsworth movie?

New Zealand-Australian actor Russel Crowe was confirmed to be starring in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movie Thor: Love and Thunder. This will be the actor’s first MCU project. He has previously been a part of DC Extended Universe with Zack Snyder’s 2013 film Man of Steel, in which he plays the role of Jor-El, the biological father of Kal-El or Superman (Henry Cavill).

Crowe, who celebrates his birthday today, is an Academy Award-winning actor, who was given the trophy for his performance as Maximus Decimus Meridius in Ridley Scott’s epic historical film The Gladiator

In Love and Thunder, which is the fourth film in the franchise, Crowe’s role was probably supposed to be secret. But he went on to spill the beans that he is none other than Zeus in the Taika Waititi movie, Marvel’s version of the sky and thunder god and the top deity of Greek pantheon. He was also the ruler of Mount Olympus, the abode of the gods or Olympians, who were successors of earlier Titans.

Who is Zeus in the Marvel Universe?

Zeus, Zeus marvel Zeus in Marvel Comics.

Zeus in Greek mythology and in Marvel Comics are slightly different, even if their backstories are nearly identical with a few minor changes. For ancient Greeks, Zeus, as mentioned above, was the supreme god and the ruler of Olympus, akin to Thor in Norse Mythology and Indra in Hinduism with his thunder-wielding powers. In Marvel Comics, he is a powerful humanoid called Zeus Panhellenios, who inhabits and rules the pocket dimension of Olympus.

He and other inhabitants of Olympians were worshipped by the ancient Greeks and Romans as gods, similar to how ancient Scandinavians worshipped Norse deities. Zeus Panhellenios’ history mirrors the Zeus of Greek myths. He was the eldest son of the youngest Titan, Cronus, who had overthrown his father Ouranos (the god of sky).

Ouranos prophesised that Cronus would meet a similar fate. To escape that fate, Cronus imprisoned his children in Tartarus, the underworld (in the myths he ate his children) and the youngest was smuggled away from his grasp. Growing up to be Zeus, he freed his siblings and defeated his father, imprisoning him in Tartarus for eternity.

After the arrival of Christianity and its dominance over the western world, Zeus and other Olympians withdrew into their pocket dimension, cutting ties from humans.

Zeus and Olympians almost clashed with Odin and Asgardians

Once, in Marvel Comics, Olympians and Norse gods (or Asgardians) almost came to blows when Zeus’ favoured son Hercules and his band of Greek warriors went to battle Norsemen under Thor’s protection. This led to war, but intervention and a private meeting between Zeus and Odin ended hostilities and instead led to an alliance.

How Zeus comes into play in Love and Thunder?

Gorr the God Butcher Gorr the God Butcher, the character Christian Bale is portraying in Love and Thunder.

We do not know for sure, but it must have something to do with Christian Bale’s primary antagonist Gorr the God Butcher, who has reasons to hate gods of all shapes and sizes. Born on an unnamed planet, Gorr was a man who was nurtured with a deep belief in gods. His parents died in childhood. He married and had children, but most of them died due to starvation. His pregnant wife died as well due to an earthquake.

He began to believe there were no gods since not a single deity had answered his prayers. But then he became aware of them and it became his quest to get rid of every single god from the universe. Perhaps Zeus and Thor will team up to take down Gorr.

Meanwhile, Love and Thunder brings back Chris Hemsoworth as Thor and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, the latter of whom will also wield Mjolnir and assume the mantle of Thor. Tessa Thompson will return as Valkyrie, who is now leading the Asgardians. Matt Damon and Jeff Goldblum are also returning after their appearance in Thor Ragnarok. The Guardians of the Galaxy cast members Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan will also be reprising their MCU characters. Jeff Goldblum is likely to return as Grandmaster from Thor: Ragnarok too.

Thor: Love and Thunder will release on 8 July.


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