In its challenging balancing act of characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe's every corner, Avengers: Infinity War will put its Thanos antagonist front and center.
Speaking to press on the set of the Marvel Studios ensemble flick, Avengers: Infinity War screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely attempted to summarize what the film is about. Like the film itself, the scribes are feeling a balancing act, as well. While they're excited to share the details of their work, spoilers are in desperate need of preservation this time around. Such a fact didn't stop McFeely from claiming, "In many ways, it's a Thanos movie."
"We've been teasing Thanos for many movies in 30 second clips, so hopefully all the lead up will allow us to really go to town with him and make him a villain that requires this epic level of storytelling," McFeely went on. "That is the word I would use most often. It's ridiculously big."
McFeely also pointed out, it has taken 18 entries to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Thanos to earn his time on screen. It won't take long for the Mad Titan to command the movie. "One of the big challenges is how to make sure he's not just a relentless machine collecting stones like he's going shopping," McFeely said. "So we want to give him a full weighted emotional story. You can kind of say this is Thanos' origin story so that he will get the weight of any of the previous heroes in terms of the decisions he has to make in order to get what he wants. "
In being a Thanos movie, the villain of Infinity War certainly won't see himself as such. "Villain is a derogatory term that Thanos wouldn't agree with," Markus said. "Another one of the things we set out to do in this was, if Thanos is just a bad guy, then you're dead in the water. It's just a bad guy, you know? You get bored pretty quickly after he's torn off the first few heads and we have two movies."
Somehow, the movie might just convince audiences the character hungry to wipe out half of the universe will be justified in his quest. "Hopefully you'll come away from this the same way you do in the comics," Markus said. "He started off as a rogue villain but he's his own thing now. Where you go, 'I can't say he was wrong.'"
The writers, in fact, put heavy thought into developing the villain. In the past, Marvel Studios films have been criticized for having villains which don't match up with the quality of the heroes. This time around, it doesn't seem like those criticisms will be valid.
"Part of it is motivation, where if you have a villain who just wants to kill somebody or just wants to take over the world because it seems like a fun thing to do, or has been paid by the Russians to take over the world…run for President to take over the world," Markus said. "That guy isn't very interesting. He's pathetic but, we take this from [Jim] Starlin. Thanos is an amoral philosopher. He's not the Devil – although he does sometimes have the Devil standing next to him. We wanted that all the way through. To have a villain with understandable motivations and emotions. Thanos has family. Thanos has two daughters that we know of. Thanos has 8 million back stories in the comics but they're all kind of sad."
"We won't tell you exactly but you're going to get Thanos but you're not going to feel like we've continued to jerk you around and kept him in check," Markus said.
Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27, 2018. If you have any questions about ComicBook.com's time on set of Avengers: Infinity War, leave them in the comment section below or send them to @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter!