Asgard’s Norse gods have played an important role in the MCU since Phase I. Now Moon Knight has revealed the gods of Ancient Egypt are just as real. Soon, though, another set of mythological deities will join them in the franchise. The first teaser for Thor: Love and Thunder introduced Russell Crowe’s Zeus to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Then the film’s first full trailer let us see MCU Zeus in all his thunderbolt glory. But the former Gladiator star and the new leader of the Olympians might not be as immortal as he thinks. Not when a god butcher is on the hunt.
Russell Crowe Spilled the Beans on Playing MCU Zeus
Poor Andrew Garfield did everything he could to deny his return as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Meanwhile, Russell Crowe didn’t even attempt to conceal his role as the MCU’s Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder. Almost as quickly as he got cast in the film he told the world who he’d be playing. General Maximus is getting a big screen promotion to Zeus, supreme ruler of the Olympian gods.
Marvel’s Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder’s Full Trailer
Since Crowe already spilled the Greek beans, the first look at Thor 4 didn’t exactly hide the presence of the mythological figure. Zeus’ signature thunderbolt was hard to miss, as were the many toga-clad worshippers residing in his magnificent realm of majestic columns and gold. If anyone had any doubt who that was, thought, we then got to see Crowe’s bearded face attached to Zeus’ less-than-chiseled godly body in the follow-up trailer. That promo also revealed MCU Zeus’s weird accent and one of his powers. He undressed Thor with a flick of his Greek god wrist. But we also have an idea of what to expect from Crowe’s Zeus based on his Marvel Comics counterpart.
Zeus and the Olympian Gods of Marvel Comics
In Marvel Comics, Zeus Panhellenios exists, same as the Norse god Odin and the Egyptian god Osiris. Zeus reigns over his fellow Olympians, who the Ancient Greeks and Romans worshipped. The magical Olympians live in Olympus, a pocket dimension adjacent to earth. It’s accessible via an interdimensional nexus located on—where else?—Mount Olympus.
Famed Greek gods like Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Athena, Cupid, Demeter, Dionysus, Hephaestus, Hera, Hercules, Hermes, Neptune, Persephone, Pluto, and more call Olympus home. But Marvel Comics’ Zeus, god of heaven, sky, and weather, rules them all with his thunderbolt. For though all the Marvel Olympians are powerful, Zeus is unquestionably the strongest, having defeated both Hulk and Galactus in combat. And because he can transport between dimensions, he can be almost anywhere.
Like Marvel’s Zeus, all Olympians are nearly immortal. But their powers, even those of Zeus, can wain if they do not keep themselves in pristine condition. The Olympians also require Olympian Ambrosia to remain strong and, more importantly, to remain immortal. Without the nectar of the Gods they too can die, as both Odin and Loki have in the MCU.
We’ll have to wait and see exactly what powers Crowe’s Zeus and other MCU gods of Olympus possess. But the possibility of their deaths looms large with Thor: Love and Thunder‘s main villain on the attack. Every Olympian better hope they’re in the best shape possible if Gorr the God Butcher comes calling.
Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher
As mentioned, we don’t know what changes, if any, the MCU will make for its live-action Zeus. But Marvel Comics has shown a dearth of Ambrosia would leave all Olympians vulnerable. Especially any Greek god who allowed themselves to be at anything less than peak performance. That might be all Thor: Love and Thunder‘s big baddie will need to kill a few MCU Greek gods, including even the stout Zeus himself.
Gorr the God Butcher didn’t earn his moniker because he killed at deity open-mic night. The villainous Gorr kills supreme beings without worry or concern. And with All-Black the Necrosword and his cloak of tendrils, he can kill any god he likes. In the comics, that has included murdering the gods of Asgard.
Additional Reading: Who Is Thor: Love And Thunder’s Gorr the God Butcher?
Will the MCU’s Gods Unite Over a Common Gorr Enemy in Thor: Love and Thunder?
What business will the God of Thunder have with the God of the Thunderbolt? Zeus and Thor might very well find themselves with a common enemy. Gorr wants all gods dead. Will the Butcher’s quest mean Zeus and the Olympians are also his targets in Love and Thunder? If so, Russell Crowe’s time as Zeus in the MCU may end as quickly as the mystery of who he’d play.
It’s also possible Zeus will hire the aimless Thor to find Gorr before Gorr finds either of them. But even if the leader of the Greek gods survives, all of the Olympians are at risk. Both Zeus and Thor better hope the power of a lightning bolt can keep them safe.
Originally published April 18, 2022.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.