Thanos wouldn't have been a villain if his solution to a future with a massive population was to double their resources rather than halving their existence in Avengers: Infinity War. Now, the directors and writers of the film have explained the Mad Titans decision making process.
Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War follow. Major spoilers!
By the end of Marvel's biggest ensemble film ever, Thanos had fully formed his Infinity Gauntlet with the six Infinity Stones, enabling him to snap his fingers and erase half of the universe's living beings. Many wondered, though, if the same outcome could be achieved if he had simply doubled the universe's resources, allowing the beings to thrive and prosper as he predicts they will without as many mouths to feed.
"People have asked us why Thanos didn't just use the stones to double the resources in the universe, since clearly he has not," co-director Joe Russo said on the Avengers: Infinity War commentary track.
"No, it's about free will," screenwriter Stephen McFeely said. "That doesn't solve their problem. We're just gonna get there millions of years from now. And this is an opportunity for people to get it right. And he trusts them."
Thanos previously tried to execute such a plan on Titan, only to be cast out and see his home planet perish. "Well,he was told no to an idea that he had that he felt was the only solution," Joe Russo said. "And then was proved right to himself when that solution was not acted upon. So, his messianic complex. He is now committed to following through on the idea that he had many, many years ago. He's not a stable, although he appears stable at times, he's not a stable individual."
Thanos actor Josh Brolin has previously commented on a similar question.
"His intention, if you think about, his intention was there is an overabundance of population and there's limited resources," Brolin said. "So, what he's doing is actually right, right?"
Late Show host Stephen Colbert disagreed. "He could also use the glove to double the resources," Colbert pointed out.
Brolin, however, has a deeper understanding of Thanos' mentality, which prompted him to justify the villain's actions and equate them to a real world situation making headlines right now.
"He could but he didn't think of it at the moment because he's too callous," Brolin said. "The manifestation is callous. If you look at Trump, yes, there's border problems. Every border has problems. People coming over, overpopulation, limited resources and all that but how it's manifested, especially when you bring children into it, is extremely callous."
Avengers: Infinity War is available on DigitalHD now and blu-ray on August 14.