Over the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the appearance of the Mad Titan Thanos has evolved before being finalized for Avengers: Infinity War.
It took a lot of work from the talented people at Marvel Studios to arrive at Thanos' final appearance in the film, with a lot of heavy lifting coming from the Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding. The artist posted some early concept art of the villain, showing how he figured out how to combine his comic book appearance with Josh Brolin's characteristics.
Here is where I started figuring out #Thanos' face. These are concept paintings I did in #Photoshop before translating the design into 3d and refining him. The early challenge was seeing how much of Josh Brolin's likeness could drive the design. #InfinityWar pic.twitter.com/aC67viZtuJ— Ryan Meinerding (@MeinerdingArt) November 30, 2018
While Thanos first appeared in Marvel's The Avengers, well before Brolin was cast and appeared as the character in Guardians Of The Galaxy, Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo have spoken at length about his importance to the Mad Titan's portrayal.
“He’s such an amazing performer and so uniquely suited to Thanos,” Anthony Russo said to the Telegraph. “What we were looking for in the character of Thanos is the strongest, most intimidating figure in the universe. While at the same time we wanted to tell a story about a character with a really complex and empathetic interior life. There are not a lot of actors that can give you both of those things. Josh Brolin is perhaps the best example that you can find where you have somebody who has a physical presence and brings that level of intensity and threat, while at the same time having another layer always at work underneath that, which is a very complex inner life and a lot of emotional depth and texture."
“He’s trying to fix the universe," Brolin said. "He’s trying to balance the cosmos, and by doing that he’s having to destroy a lot of things. So, there’s the warrior Thanos, and then there’s the Thanos that you see in the hut. I personally like the hut Thanos because it’s much more real. He’s perfectly and totally satisfied having accomplished what he set out to do."
Fans can see Thanos next when Avengers 4 premieres in theaters on May 3, 2019.