By Stephanie Ornelas
There’s something exhilarating about watching your favorite artists in major blockbuster films knowing that, through one way or another, they’re forever a part of the Sundance family. As Marvel fans around the world anxiously await tonight’s premiere of Thor: Love and Thunder, we can’t help but look at the Sundance Film Festival projects that feature a few of the members of this star-studded cast.
So, while you’re waiting for the film to drop, get to know the cast on another level by meeting (or revisiting) some of the characters they brought to life — like Patrick Bateman, a handsome guy who comes across as charming, but is actually a spine-chilling serial killer; and Irene Redfield, a Black woman in New York whose world is turned upside down when she reconnects with an old friend who is passing as white.
What ties do these Thor: Love and Thunder stars have with the Sundance Film Festival? Let’s find out:
Natalie Portman | Jane Foster
Leading up to her role as Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder, Portman was involved with Sundance Film Festival in several ways, both as an actress and a producer. Before you see her play the strong and determined Marvel heroine, watch her in Garden State (2004 Sundance Film Festival), as she plays the strange, but ultimately charming girl-next-door.
Chrstian Bale | Gorr the God Butcher
Gorr the God Butcher is arguably one of the most anticipated characters in Thor: Love and Thunder. A common observation is that he looks eerily similar to Harry Potter’s Lord Voldemort. But most of us know this won’t be the first time Bale shakes audiences to their core with his character transformations. Before you see him as the sinister Marvel antagonist, watch him play a young professional in New York who lives a double life as a gruesome serial killer in American Psycho (2000 Sundance Film Festival).
Taika Waititi | Korg
Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi has a long history with Sundance Institute as an actor, screenwriter, director, and producer. Like his 2022 Marvel film, Waititi directed and starred in Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Before you head to theaters to catch Waititi as Korg, the Kronan warrior, check out his film about a boy and his foster father who become the subjects of a manhunt after they get stranded in the New Zealand wilderness. Fans should also check out Boy which went through the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab in 2005. In the film, a New Zealand youth finds that his father is a far cry from the heroic adventurer he’s imagined the man to be.
Tessa Thompson | Valkyrie
Thompson plays a superheroine in Thor: Love and Thunder, but audiences also know her for her role as Irene Redfield in Passing (2021 Sundance Film Festival), an elegant psychological thriller about obsession, repression, and the lies people tell to protect their carefully constructed realities. Before you see Thompson step into the role of strong-willed Valkyrie, watch her play a refined, upper-class 1920s woman who finds her world up-ended when her life becomes intertwined with a former childhood friend who’s passing as white.