One of the biggest scene-stealers in Thor: Love and Thunder was Russell Crowe as Zeus. His screentime wasn’t particularly long, but he sure made the most of it. We’re not sure whose idea it was to give him a Greek accent, but this choice just endeared him to us more. But concept art imagines Crowe as a very different character in Omnipotence City than the King of Olympus. The art shows Russell Crowe as Satan.
Via CBR, we learned that artist Miles Teves, via his Instagram, revealed some very interesting images showing Crowe as Satan. This was all concept art for Thor: Love and Thunder commissioned by Australia’s Odd Studio. They handled the prosthetics and creature effects for Taika Waititi’s film. The concept art has Crowe as a very classic-looking Satan, complete with horns, cloven hooves, goatee, and long fingernails. He’s even holding a chewed-up human appendage like it’s a turkey leg.
Teves said “the folks at Odd Studio told me to depict [Crowe] at his current weight due to his character being humorously debauched. Naturally, I would have modeled for this drawing myself were my current physique not so rippling and sveldt.” As for why the Russell Crowe as the Satan concept didn’t happen, he said “Hopefully it wasn’t because he saw my drawings. Though I’d understand.”
There are two other probable reasons Crowe’s character went from Satan to Zeus. For starters, for many people, the Fallen Angel is not a myth, but a reality. And they likely didn’t want the controversy of having the literal Devil in a “family” MCU movie. Some people are not keen on Hollywood mocking the Prince of Lies. For a moment, Satan was going to appear as someone other than Crowe, and Teves made concept art for that too. But horn-head never made the cut.
Another concept artist, Ken Barthelmey also revealed his take on Russell Crowe as Satan.
Barthelmey shares, “Russell Crowe was initially considered to appear as Satan in a cameo scene… The task was to design a Satan close to Tim Curry’s Devil from ”Legend” (1985); big horns, sleazy and evil. Because it was going to be a prosthetic make-up, I was asked to give him hairy human legs and feet.”
There is another probable reason they went in another direction. In the Marvel Universe, the Devil goes by another alias. You might have heard the name before: Mephisto. And they are likely saving that character for bigger things. Perhaps House of Harkness? We feel glad it worked out the way it did, as Russell Crowe was a hilarious Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder. But we do sort of wish we could see a moment of him as Satan too. You know he would have turned it.