When Avengers: Infinity War hit movie theaters earlier this year, fans finally saw a fleshed-out Thanos (Josh Brolin) in his biggest Marvel Cinematic Universe role to date. While the big bad had cameos in numerous Marvel Studios’ properties leading up to this point, Infinity War was the character’s first real chance to shine.
While the character was hell-bent on trying to impress Lady Death in Jim Starlin’s iconic Infinity Gauntlet comic run of the 1990s — a run on which Infinity War heavily drew from — his origin was changed for Marvel Studios’ live-action universe.
Instead, Brolin’s version of Thanos viewed himself as a savior of sorts, wanting to balance all life across the universe so that everyone had a fair shot at life.
On the director commentary for the home release of Infinity War, co-director Anthony Russo spoke to the creative team’s decision of inserting some nobility in Thanos’ cause in Infinity War.
“That's I think, one of the most unnerving things about Thanos, is that there is a nobility in him, you know? It's not ego, it's not power,” Russo explained. “He basically looks at himself as a servant and when he's finished with his service, he rests.”
Brolin’s slated to reprise his role as the Mad Titan in next year’s yet-to-be-named follow-up in Avengers 4. But after that? “We’ll see,” says Brolin.
“You know what, I don't know what the future brings and who knows, but [I] love the idea of something infinite like this," Brolin told ScreenRant. "I've never been involved in sequels. The fact that we've done some of Avengers 2, oh sorry, Avengers 4 but Infinity War 2, I'm going back. I'm going to do more, and we're going to do some re-shoots and all that. So, I'm excited about all that.”
“I love the Russos. I love working on the Avengers. I didn't think I was going to and I actually loved it. I didn't even like it. I loved it. I like playing that character. It's a Brando-esqe, Apocalyptic Now character and it's fun, but you know, I don't know. I don't know what the future holds. I've been surprised my entire career so we'll see."
Whether or not Thanos makes it through Avengers 4 alive isn’t necessarily a solid enough indicator on the character’s MCU future. After all, an Eternals movie has been gaining momentum and could look at the Mad Titan’s rise to power on his homeworld of Titan.
What'd you think of Thanos' story arc in Infinity War? Did his nobility surprise you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Avengers: Infinity War is now available on digital HD and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on Aug. 14. Ant-Man and The Wasp is in theaters now. Other Marvel projects coming soon include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019; the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019; Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019; and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.