Josh Brolin Reveals How Benedict Cumberbatch Inspired Him To Play Thanos In 'Avengers: Infinity War'

Marvel's Doctor Strange actor Benedict Cumberbatch's role in The Hobbit franchise inspired Josh Brolin to take the part of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.

Brolin, who debuted as Thanos in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy movie, became a fan-favorite villain after he wreaked havoc on the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Avengers: Infinity War. It wasn't an easy decision to take on the part of a computerized purple giant, though. It wasn't until he saw his Infinity War co-star Cumberbatch in action recording his Smaug the Dragon role that he was convinced.

"I saw Benedict Cumberbatch do, I think it was for The Hobbit and I looked on YouTube when I was deciding whether I wanted to do it or not, and he was in this mo-cap suit on and he's in this big warehouse," Brolin told SiriusXM. "He's crawling around like a snake, snapping his tongue, doing this incredible performance. I saw that and I was like, 'Okay, that's the bar. This is not bulls---. This is something you have to sink your teeth into. Conviction. Embarrassment.' All that kind of stuff and I decided."

Brolin also found there was a great deal of pressure in playing a Marvel villain, let alone in the biggest movie Marvel Studios had ever made.

"Marvel did this thing always where, the critics actually, were always talking about Marvel villains being the weak point," Brolin said. "So, you have that pressure when you started to hear that. I never really knew that. The way that people are reacting to this character as if he truly exists is kind of phenomenal. It's a phenomenal... I had never done anything like that. Mo-cap. I thought I was gonna be behind a bunch of lights and a bunch of cameras and it wasn't like that. I was working with people. It's a phenomenal process."


Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters now. It will be followed by Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6, 2018, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.