Fans love films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for bringing popular superheroes to the big screen with bombastic action and revered storylines, but part of their popularity can be attributed to the keen attention to detail and love of the comics that comes from behind the scenes.
When Avengers: Infinity War put Thanos on the big screen, it brought to life one of the most popular Marvel villains in faithful fashion. But it also incorporated the likeness of actor James Brolin, who portrayed the character through motion capture technology and CGI.
Marvel Studios' Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding spoke about the process of creating Thanos for the MCU.
These are #keyshot renderings of my #zbrush model of #Thanos. @Russo_Brothers wanted to make him feel as real as possible so I started by looking at what similarities existed between Thanos and #JoshBrolin and tried to emphasize those. The incredible VFX teams did an amazing job! pic.twitter.com/YseRTMSJ82— Ryan Meinerding (@MeinerdingArt) November 7, 2018
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige addressed the Mad Titan's importance to the MCU in a new book, celebrating the franchise's first decade of movies.
"Thanos has been lurking in the shadows with a desire to obtain these Infinity Stones, which has played a big part in our other films,” Feige said. “We’ve introduced the Tesseract, revealed to be the Space Stone; the Mind Stone, which came out of Loki’s scepter and then went into Vision’s forehead; and the Time Stone: the Eye of Agamotto that Doctor Strange wears is an Infinity Stone itself! And of course the Guardians dealt with the Power Stone.
"So these storytelling devices that we’ve seeded into every film will continue to play a part and come together. We’ve been teasing this for six years. That’s a long time to tease something cinematically before paying it off. Thanos has to be the greatest villain in our movies.”
It remains to be seen if Thanos will stick around after Avengers 4, but Feige has already been teasing the importance of the Quantum Realm and the multiverse, teased in Ant-Man and the Wasp and Doctor Strange respectively.
"At the end of Ant-Man we followed Scott Lang into the Quantum Realm for the first time, Feige said. "We were beginning to peel back the onion that would later be completely peeled back in Doctor Strange as we go into the multiverse. So that was our little test into that.1comments
"But now the Quantum Realm is a whole other territory that we can play with to tell our stories. This Quantum Realm is much larger than we ever imagined, and there are all sorts of adventures to be had at that level, which perhaps we will explore in another film."
Fans can next see Thanos in Avengers 4, premiering in theaters on May 3, 2019.