In a new interview with MTV, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige discussed at some length--but without giving a ton of concrete information--the intent behind including Thanos at the end of Marvel's The Avengers, which hits DVD and Blu-ray next week. He also discussed in general terms the plans for using the character going forward which, according to Thanos's creator, includes appearances in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers 2. Among the points he touched down on:
- "There's a great track record now about lobbing something in at the last moment to get the audience buzzing. Particularly when it came to Thanos, [we knew] that most people in that audience had no idea who that purple guy was — but they could clearly tell he was important, and knew if they asked the two or three people sitting next to them, somebody would know who he was."
- "Clearly, there's a purpose to us putting him in the end of that movie. We do have plans for him. I wouldn't say we ever feel the need to rush anything one way or the other. We succeeded in Phase One because we stuck to our guns and stuck to the plan. That plan took place over many, many years and it ultimately paid off. I see Phase Two unfolding in the same way of us taking our time, us doing what's right for each individual movie, while folding in elements that will not only build up to the culmination of Phase Two, but even Phase Three."
- "Suddenly, you have a million people who had never heard of an Infinity Gauntlet or a Mad Titan learning those terms. I love that. I love when the experience goes beyond the movie theater and encourages people to look deeper into our universe."
He joked that he's equally proud of the millions who tried shawarma for the first time following the jokey references in The Avengers. In a move that will likely surprise very few fans, Feige also suggested that Thanos could be re-cast for the next film he appears in, likely to put a more recognizable name and/or voice behind the character. Damion Politier, who appeared as Thanos in The Avengers, may not be thrilled about that, but it's likely the studio simply didn't want to add another big name to The Avengers and draw the attention of fans who might guess what their last-minute surprise was. "I think we feel pretty free to recast," Feige told MTV. "That was cast for literally that one shot. Depending on what the role requires from future movies, we'll go from there."