Thor: Love and Thunder’s excessive use of green screen infuriated Christian Bale. The Oscar-winning actor, who is renowned for his versatility and ability to physically transform for his roles, made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the latest Thor film, the film’s antagonist who, following the death of his daughter Love, obtains the Necrosword and seeks the extinction of all gods. Love and Thunder also starred Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Russell Crowe, and Natalie Portman in addition to Bale.
Thor: Love and Thunder, a major studio tentpole, heavily incorporated VFX and green screens to life its fantastical environments and set pieces. Green screens are a common tool in high-budget Hollywood productions, but actors don’t always enjoy acting in front of them because there isn’t anything real to react to, which can complicate the task. Even an accomplished actor like Bale might have trouble, especially if they were unfamiliar with green screens.
Bale recently reflected on his Marvel debut from earlier this year and in particular, his first in-depth experience with green-screen acting, in an interview with GQ to promote his new film Amsterdam. The Thor: Love and Thunder actor describes the experience as “the definition of monotony” and does not recall it with fondness. Here is what he said:
That’s the first time I’ve done that. I mean, the definition of it is monotony. You’ve got good people. You’ve got other actors who are far more experienced at it than me. Can you differentiate one day from the next? No. Absolutely not. You have no idea what to do. I couldn’t even differentiate one stage from the next. They kept saying, “You’re on Stage Three.” Well, it’s like, “Which one is that?” “The blue one.” They’re like, “Yeah. But you’re on Stage Seven.” “Which one is that?” “The blue one.” I was like, “Uh, where?”
Why Do MCU Films Use Green Screen So Much?
It is not particularly new to criticize the MCU for using too many green screens. But Bale had never worked on a production of this nature, and he had never discussed it in public before. Bale must have found it challenging because he is more accustomed to realistic filmmaking and had no prior experience acting in front of a green screen. The Bruce Wayne/Batman character in Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy is one of Bale’s most well-known performances. Nolan is a famously anti-green screen filmmaker.
The main purpose of using so much green screen and CGI in Marvel films is to speed up production, as opposed to having to physically construct real-world sets, which takes a lot of time. While Hemsworth and other seasoned MCU actors are used to green-screen acting by this point, it can feel awkward for newcomers like Bale who have no prior experience. His remarks suggest that he wasn’t particularly pleased with his first attempt at green-screen acting. Bale probably wouldn’t be interested in returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe even if Gorr hadn’t passed away at the conclusion of Thor: Love and Thunder.