A deleted Thor: Love and Thunder scene gives the impression that Brett Goldstein’s Hercules wasn’t always part of the plan for the Phase 4 movie.
A deleted scene in Thor: Love and Thunder suggests that Hercules wasn’t always part of the plan for the MCU movie. Played by Brett Goldstein of Ted Lasso fame, the Lion of Olympus officially joined the MCU in Thor: Love and Thunder’s mid-credits scene.
In a twist that confirmed that Thor in fact did not kill Russell Crowe’s Zeus, the leader of the Greek gods tasked his half-human god with getting revenge on Thor in the MCU’s future. By having the Prince of Power agree to go on a hunt for Chris Hemsworth’s character, Marvel laid the groundwork for the MCU to have its very own Thor vs. Hercules showdown, a fight that happened quite often in Marvel Comics. Though the scene put Hercules in a position to be Thor 5’s villain, it’s more likely that the plan is for Hercules to have a rather short-lived role as an antagonist. After all, the character is a major Marvel Comics superhero and a top candidate for a spot on the Multiverse Saga’s Avengers roster.
While the MCU clearly has some interesting plans for Hercules in the MCU, a deleted scene with Zeus creates the implication that Thor: Love and Thunder wasn’t always going to send the character in this direction. Set in the hospital before the final battle with Gorr, the deleted scene showed Thor talking with Jane when a surprisingly friendly Zeus arrived and offered Thor an unspecified gift. Obviously, this scene doesn’t work if Thor almost killed Zeus earlier in the movie. Instead, it seems they parted amicably, which means that Zeus wouldn’t have had any reason to send his son against Thor in the mid-credits scene.
How The Love & Thunder Cut Scene Would’ve Changed Zeus’ Role
In addition to what this would have meant for the MCU’s Hercules, this deleted scene raises questions about what Marvel originally intended for Zeus. The whole second half of the movie would have been different had Zeus agreed to help, so it stands to reason that Thor’s trip still resulted in Zeus turning him down in the original plan. Instead, it appears that Thor, Jane, Valkyrie, and Korg all left Omnipotence City empty-handed but without a fight. As for Zeus’ Thunderbolt weapon and its role in the overarching story, it’s possible that Valkyrie didn’t have it in the fights that followed, but Thor did end up with it for the finale. It makes sense that this is the gift Zeus was teasing in the deleted hospital scene.
It’s not clear if Hercules himself is what motivated the changes to Zeus’ role in Thor 4’s story, but the character not being involved from the beginning fits with what’s already been established. According to Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi, he isn’t privy to what Marvel has in store for the character’s future. That, combined with the reveal that casting Goldstein was a decision made by Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, is a sign that Hercules was added to the movie by Marvel for the purpose of setting up future stories.