In Avengers: Infinity War Thanos' justification for using the Infinity Stones to wipe out half of the life in the universe is based on the concept of balance, something he explains by revealing a "perfect" version of his home world, Titan. While the version that made it to screens was brief, it turns filmmakers had considered a longer sequence for that look.
On the commentary track for Infinity War, the film's directors Joe and Anthony Russo along with writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely discussed the perfected Titan before the world collapsed into devastation due to the burdens placed upon it by its civilization, as well as how there were drafts where it was further explored as part of fleshing out Thanos' story.
"You'll get a chance to see perfect Titan in a couple of seconds here and all of this is..." McFeely started before Markus jumped in.
"And there were drafts where we spent more time on perfect Titan, where we saw more of a backstory for Thanos," Markus said. "But in the end, this was all you really needed, and the rest was fairly gratuitous."
In the film, Thanos explains that he watched his home world die due to a lack of natural resources and that when he suggested his idea of a simple solution -- kill half of the population randomly to reduce the burden -- it didn't go over well. The film doesn't explain exactly what happens next, but the burned out husk of Titan suggests that whatever happened went very badly. Of course, the "perfect" Titan didn't look like it was suffering too much, something that was joked about on the commentary.
"Nice place, Titan," Markus said.
"No? Yeah," McFeely replied before Joe Russo noted that overcrowding didn't appear to be a problem.
"Tax rates are ridiculous," McFeely offered. Anthony Russo took up Thanos' side.
"I'm telling you, if I didn't kill half the people there... The place was dying! It was falling apart," the co-director offered though Markus and McFeely did come around to another possible form of decay for Titan.
"Oh, it's corrupt on the inside," McFeely said.
"Yeah, outside the city walls, bad scene," Markus agreed.
Of course, even without a more detailed understanding of the exact situation on Titan, Thanos truly believed his mission of so-called balance was doing the universe a service, which is something that Anthony Russo said gave Thanos a nobility about him.
"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 in another part of the commentary. "He basically looks at himself as a servant and when he's finished with his service, he rests."
What do you think of Thanos story in Avengers: Infinity War? Let us know 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.