Praise Zeus, because Russell Crowe almost played the devil in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

zeus thor love and thunder
via Marvel Studios

Depending on which side of the divide you fall on, you either got a real kick out of seeing Russell Crowe chew on the scenery as Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder, or you couldn’t stand watching the Academy Award-winning actor make a mockery of Mount Olympus’ ruler.

Either way, it was certainly a choice to let the star cut loose to obsess over orgies and speak in an accent that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the House of Gucci set, but it turns out that the Gladiator veteran could have ended up playing an altogether different and entirely more demonic character.

Concept artist Miles Teves recently took to Instagram to showcased some early concept art from Taika Waititi’s Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster, where he shockingly revealed that Crowe was initially pegged to appear as the devil himself.

Presumably, the family-friendly MCU and its corporate overlords at Disney got cold feet at the prospect of mass-marketing a candy-colored superhero spectacular to audiences around the world that featured Lucifer as a prominent supporting figure, so we ended up with Crowe’s supremely hammy Zeus instead.

It would have made the scenes set in Omnipotent City that much weirder (something that scarcely seems possible), but it was definitely the right call in the end, especially once the story unfolds and we see not only how Zeus perfectly fits the tone of Love and Thunder, but how his contributions end up factoring into the narrative and the wider MCU on a number of levels.