Attention: Contains Thor: Love & Thunder Spoiler!
Brett Goldstein appears as Hercules Thor: Love and Thunder‘s post-credits scene, continuing an MCU phase 4 trend Wonder End credits sequences introducing surprising new cast members. Thor: Love and Thunder‘s cast sees several new characters in the MCU, including Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) and Zeus (Russell Crowe), but saves one of the biggest ones after the credits begin with the arrival of Goldstein’s Hercules. The iconic god is also one of the most powerful characters in Marvel Comics and now brings that level of power to the MCU as Zeus seeks vengeance on Thor.
Introduce Hercules in Thor: Love and ThunderThe credits scene from is not to A big surprise as it goes very well with Marvel’s MO since Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) stepped out of the shadows iron man Speaking of something called Avengers Initiative, the MCU’s after-credits scenes were used to tease future films and characters, but it may have grown even bigger in the Phase 4 films. Not only was that the case with the usual teasing about the future and likely sequels, but it also brought new actors into the MCU.
Phase 4 is all about expanding the MCU afterwards Avengers: Endgame, creating legacy and backup heroes and exploring the multiverse. Alongside this, some major actors will be cast in Marvel’s post-credits scenes, which previously included Harry Styles as Eros eternal and Charlize Theron Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Both were surprises that set the stage for more, but Goldstein as Hercules Thor: Love and Thunder is perhaps the most surprising of all, and a highlight of how it’s becoming a problem for the MCU.
Why Thor: Love & Thunder revealed Hercules in the post-credits scene
Hercules had previously been rumored for an appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder, given its status as an important part of the comics that not only would likely be introduced into the MCU at some point anyway, but also with strong ties to Thor himself. As the marketing with a clear focus on the gods, not least the revelation of Zeus, it seemed a little less like Hercules would appear in the actual film as he wasn’t in any trailers. So, Hercules in Thor: Love and Thunder‘s end credits scene is designed to tease the future and set up Zeus’ revenge and presumably a massive battle between Thor and Hercules. Then comes Hercules love and thunder‘s credits fit what Marvel has always done.
Nevertheless, the legitimate question arises as to whether Hercules could have been introduced at an earlier point in time. There’s a lot of time in the film devoted to Zeus and other gods, which realistically could have included a scene or two of Hercules before he’s brought back into the credits scene. Alternatively, Marvel could have waited until gate 5 Revealing Hercules, announcing and having Goldstein’s casting in advance in the more usual way love and thunder‘s Stinger focus on Zeus’ revenge plan. Anyhow, there’s still the same setup – whether with his son as an established character, allowing for some discussion of Hercules fighting Thor in much the same way, or a more covert banter leaving room for greater speculation as to what exactly that means (which feels a bit more like how Marvel’s pre-phase 4 post-credits scenes worked).
So then Thor: Love and Thunder The revelation of Hercules in the after-credits sequence is largely there to give the audience a sense of the shock they leave the film with. It’s debatable there wasn’t room in the film, otherwise it would have been too distracting, but saving it for the sting only guarantees that it will be a talking point from then on love and thunder beat theater up gate 5‘s publication.
End credits scenes are often among the last parts of a film that are also shot, allowing greater flexibility over content: it’s possible when Thor: Love and Thunder Filming finished, Goldstein as Hercules was not part of the film, that came about in post-production. That would certainly suit the scene depicting Hercules alone, showing that these projects are malleable (with recurring characters like Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster and Peter Dinklage’s Eitri ending up on the cutting room floor) and the same goes for future teases , With gate 5 probably a few years away.
Post-credits casting reveals continue Marvel’s worst obsession
Even if it can be explained, Hercules in Thor: Love and Thunder‘s credits scene continues a phase 4 problem. A big part of that is casting big names for Marvel post-credits scenes, which now feels like an escalation that started out as a joke that a poor casting director took way too literally. Harry Styles as essentially a sex god in eternal, alongside distractingly bad CGI Pip (voiced by Patton Oswalt)? Charlize Theron in Doctor Strange 2? The guy who plays Roy Kent as God in Ted Lasso Thor: Love and Thunder? There’s a level of silliness that reflects how audiences might be talking about the MCU, including future speculation and fancasting, but the Phase 4 films highlight that it works better in theory than it does in execution. It’s not that any of these actors are bad or undeserving of the roles – quite the opposite – but Marvel’s obsession with casting big names for credits scenes only gets weirder in a “wait, who’s going to be next?! ‘ manner that makes a meta-discussion of the films an inherent part of the process.
This may all sound like exactly what Marvel is doing, but the MCU casting characters in post-credits scenes aren’t the common, or wasn’t before phase 4. Aside from Jackson’s rage, the only other major recurring characters were Thanos The Avengers (a move that defined the entire saga, which revolved around the character, not the actor, and was both recast and retconned) and Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor Johnson) in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a tease where none of the actors were a true “name” in the same way, and also one that paid dividends just two films later. Others include The Collector (Benicio del Toro) in Thor: The Dark World (one of the MCU’s smaller films) and JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man: Far From Home (an admittedly brilliant fan service, although one the MCU has done little else with).
In contrast, Phase 4’s credits scenes not only seem driven by the MCU meta-eating itself, but also don’t deliver the same satisfaction for two different reasons. A lot of Marvel’s post-credits scenes paid off fairly quickly, and there was a clear sense of what they were working towards. The latter isn’t fully present in Phase 4, as Kang the Conqueror, the character expected to be the main villain, has only appeared as a variant in a TV show so far, and similarly, due to the size of the MCU, the former means the Castings of Styles, Theron, Goldstein, and whoever else comes will not be visited again for the same time.
Playing the long game can work – again, it’s key to the MCU’s success – but only if the short game is good too. The post-credits scenes in stages 1-3 vary in quality, but there are rare exceptions – such as: Ant Man and the Wasp – where they are more memorable or important than the film. When the quality is there, the teasing not only feels deserved, it feels extra. They’re meant to be a bonus, and yet, as Marvel expands into television and seems to find itself in a cycle of endless, relentless content production, it seems increasingly the point.
Especially styles in eternalbut the same goes for Goldstein in Thor: Love and Thunder, Marvel’s post-credits casting overshadows what came before. This isn’t just an actor problem — it’s a problem in varying degrees Black widow and Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings too – but the names just piss it off. Wonder needs to refocus on primarily telling good stories and stop casting people in MCU post-credits scenes.
Next: Which Thor Will Return After Love & Thunder?
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