Thor: Love and Thunder is another non-stop rollercoaster from director Taika Waititi, filled to the brim with colorful characters and thrilling moments. Unfortunately, like any good ride, there’s a limit to how many people can get on. Leading up to the film’s release, it felt like a countless number of names and faces were rumored to be making an appearance. Some of those personalities actually did squeak their way into the movie’s 120-minute runtime, like Jamie Alexander‘s long-lost Sif and Brett Goldstein‘s spanking new Hercules, but the film otherwise stuck to focusing on established leads from the previous entries. For the sake of humility, let’s take a look at some of the most heavily rumored characters that didn’t actually end up in Thor’s fourth solo adventure.
Beta Ray Bill
From the beginning, nearly every comic fan hoped Love and Thunder would be the place they finally saw Beta Ray Bill in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The character is the perfect mix of weird and cool for a film written by Waititi, and a visual tease in Thor: Ragnarok meant the director definitely had Bill on the brain. At different points in time, everyone from Barbie star Ryan Gosling to the film’s actual villain Christian Bale were talked about as potential castings for the heroic Korbinite. Heck, even Beta Ray’s traditional weapon Stormbreaker has become a staple of Thor’s on-screen journey. Yet, the entirety of Love and Thunder comes and goes without so much as a mention of the intergalactic warrior. It might be for the best, considering how much is already going on in the movie, as long as Bill gets a shot at stardom somewhere down the line.
This one seemed all but confirmed until the film was actually released. In Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi introduced the world to Jeff Goldblum‘s Grandmaster, an Elder of the Universe who used his less-than-iron fist to rule over the planet Sakaar and use its citizens for entertainment in gladiatorial combat. Though removed from power by the end of that project, the Grandmaster did survive all the way to the film’s end credits. Goldblum was never officially announced as returning to the role, but photos of the actor hanging out with Waititi and a bunch of the confirmed Love and Thunder cast led everyone to believe he’d be back. Alas, there’s no trace of the master manipulator in the fourthquel.
Of note, however, is that Christian Bale did actually confirm in an interview with Screen Rant that he filmed scenes with Goldblum that were cut from the film’s finished product. This might imply Gorr would have killed the Grandmaster in an original cut of the movie, so perhaps him not showing up is better news for Goldblum than fans thought.
Eitri, King of the Dwarves
More or less the same scenario as Goldblum‘s Grandmaster. Months ago, Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage teased during an interview with Empire Magazine that he would soon be back for another shot at Eitri, the King of the Dwarves, after debuting as the character in Avengers: Infinity War. Not only that, but a short while later IMDb listed Lane Friedman‘s job on the Love and Thunder production team as “Hair Stylist: Peter Dinklage.” It turns out, much like the Grandmaster before him, Eitri was intended to appear in a scene featuring Gorr the God Butcher, as revealed by Christian Bale himself in a recent interview. Whether or not this means Gorr was supposed to kill the downtrodden Dwarf remains a mystery, but it’s worth mentioning Gorr isn’t exactly known for letting deities off the hook. Either way, fans don’t have to worry, because Eitri isn’t in the movie and lives to see another day.
It was never a secret that the Guardians of the Galaxy would be showing up in Thor: Love and Thunder. The last time audiences saw Thor, he was flying away with them on their ship, and the team of quirky characters featured prominently in the film’s early marketing. However, never shown among them was Zoe Saldana‘s Gamora, who died during the events of Avengers: Infinity War only to have an alternate version of herself from a different timeline appear and then run away in Avengers: Endgame. There was never a lot of evidence to back up the idea that she’d be with the team in Love and Thunder, but that didn’t stop the internet from speculating wildly that she’d at least cameo on a screen somewhere in the Guardians portion of the film. While she does get an indirect mention from Chris Pratt‘s Star-Lord during a crucial thematic moment, that’s about the extent of her involvement in the story.
Another rumor that never had much behind it was the cinematic return of Tom Hiddleston as Thor’s maybe-more-popular brother Loki. Ever since the character cheated death, again, to lead the Disney+ series Loki, the God of Mischief’s fans assumed he’d find a way to make his presence known in Thor: Love and Thunder. After all, Hiddleston played a large role in all three previous Thor films, and his baddie-turned-sympathetic anti-hero is central to the hero’s extensive mythology. The conversation about a potential Loki cameo revved back up after the actor stated in an interview with Total Film that he had no idea if he’d be in the movie or not, jokingly commenting that he wasn’t even “doing an Andrew Garfield.” Well, it looks like Hiddleston won’t have to wonder anymore, as Loki is definitely not in the film. His face, and name, make a few quick appearances via archival flashbacks and a comical tattoo, but it doesn’t seem any new footage was ever shot.
It would seem fans shouldn’t believe everything they hear. Rumors began to run rampant about a Carol Danvers appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder after online scoopers claimed there’d be a romance between her and Tessa Thompson‘s Valkyrie happening in the near future. There was even talk that Brie Larson had filmed additional scenes as her character during reshoots in Los Angeles. A comment made by Thompson during an interview with The Wrap pushed the rumor even further, with the fan-favorite actress mentioning the queerness of her Asgardian warrior would be further explored in the latest Marvel outing. Obviously, Danvers doesn’t even come close to popping up in Love and Thunder, even if Valkyrie’s bisexuality is addressed briefly. For those disappointed by this turn of events, the new rumor is that Valkyrie could turn up in The Marvels to keep the romantic ship alive. So, maybe there’s still hope?
At one point, word circulated that Thor: Love and Thunder would embrace the multiverse theme of Phase 4 and feature multiple variants of the titular character and his cohorts. It didn’t take long for the internet to assume this meant another live-action appearance for Throg, the amphibious God of Thunder made popular by memes and an often-talked about cameo in Loki. Interviews with creatives behind the aforementioned Disney+ series revealed that Throg originally had a greater presence in the show, which seemed proof enough for a lot of fans that the character, voiced by Chris Hemsworth, could hop his way onto the big screen. Lamentably, this was not the case, and the only other version of Thor in the movie was Natalie Portman‘s Mighty Thor. Although, that’s really not so bad, considering how great she turned out to be.
Balder the Brave
The forgotten brother of Thor and Loki. Balder the Brave, or Balder the Bro, as I like to call him, has been considered for almost every entry in the Thor franchise, but has yet to actually make the cut. When Christian Bale was initially cast in Love and Thunder, and it was still unknown who the thespian would be portraying, many fans jumped at the idea he would be the one to finally bring Balder to life. It’s been known for a while now that isn’t true, but nobody can be blamed for thinking Marvel might want to bring the Asgardian into the fold. Old concept art from Charlie Wen revealed Balder came close to making his MCU debut in both 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, and Deadline’s Justin Kroll recently broke the news that Daniel Craig had once been tapped to play the character as a member of the Illuminati in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented that from coming to fruition, and Balder remains on the outskirts of cinematic notoriety.
Lena Headey (as Unknown)
This is the trickiest one of the bunch. Lena Headey, of Game of Thrones fame, spent a considerable amount of time in the rumor mill attached to Thor: Love and Thunder. After word began making the rounds on Twitter that she may be involved with the production, fans started piecing together via social media posts that the actress was staying in Australia at the same time the movie was filming. A rather recent bit of news, involving a lawsuit, finally confirmed that Headey was definitely set to join the MCU in Thor’s newest adventure, but for whatever reason, her part was cut and left out of the final product. It’s not known who the former Dredd star would have brought to life, considering the film leaves so little room for anything that’s not already there, but it’s likely she would have portrayed yet another God. It’s a shame she was removed from the film, but at least this leaves her open for a different role down the line.