'Avengers: Infinity War' Directors Reveal Thanos' Backstory and Motivation

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building toward Avengers: Infinity War for nearly 10 years now. The last six of those years have been aiming the narrative at the villainous Thanos, as the post credit scene for the first Avengers in 2012 revealed that he was the one behind the attack on New York.

Over the course of these films, we've learned that Thanos wants to get his hands on the Infinity Stones and destroy half of the universe. Why would he want to do that? And why only half?!

During an interview with The Telegraph India, directors Joe and Anthony Russo spilled all the beans about Thanos, where he comes from, and exactly why he does what he does. Anthony began by answering the question, "What makes Thanos different?"

"Thanos’ primary motivation on a plot level is to go after the Infinity Stones," the director said. "That’s really the connective tissue that pulls our entire MCU together as the stones are spread out throughout the franchises."

Joe Russo went on to describe what happened to Thanos throughout his life, leading up to his first appearance in The Avengers, including what caused the destruction of his home planet and how he earned the nickname The Mad Titan.

"Thanos is this virtually indestructible character who’s stronger than the Hulk, and has invincible skin," Russo said. "He’s from a planet called Titan. Many years prior to the film his planet was experiencing a cataclysmic shift. They were running out of resources, and they were overpopulated. Thanos made a recommendation that they exterminate half the population randomly in order to save the rest of the population. Of course, the Titans rejected his notion, branded him a mad man, exiled him, and the planet ended up dying. So he has taken it upon himself to go planet-by-planet throughout the universe and wipe out half of the population of each planet as a way to correct the planet and bring it back into balance.

"Once he hears about the stones, he realises that if he can get hold of all of the Infinity Stones he can control the entire universe. With the snap of his fingers he could correct the universe permanently by removing 50 per cent of life from it. So, these are incredible stakes for our characters. If the Avengers were built for anything, it’s for stopping Thanos from completing his goal."

Thanos will undoubtedly be the biggest character in this movie. In fact, he's so important to the narrative that Joe went as far as to say that Avengers: Infinity War is "without question" a Thanos movie.

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Avengers: Infinity War is set to hit theaters on April 27, followed by Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6.