Marvel is definitely playing the long game with Benicio del Toro’s powerful and eccentric Collector. The ancient supervillain, also known as Tanleer Tivan, appeared first in the post-credits sequence of Thor: The Dark World, being entrusted with the Aether (one of six Infinity Stones), then showed up again in Guardians of the Galaxy, when he attempts to gain possess of another Infinity Stone contained in the mysterious Orb, only to have his entire workshop disintegrated by an opportunistic slave. Now, del Toro is saying that it’s really anyone’s guess when the Collector might show up again.
Speaking with IGN on the eve of Escobar: Paradise Lost hitting screens, del Toro said that he has no idea whether director James Gunn is incorporating his character into Guardians of the Galaxy 2. He commented:
“I would like to keep working on that character, though. It was kind of like a cameo. I would like to keep developing the character based on what’s written in the comic books. I’d like to see some different sides. I had a blast working with James Gunn and the cast – but it’s not up to me.”
Marvel almost certainly has plans for the Collector, having put him front and center in the Infinity Gauntlet storyline that will culminate in 2018 and 2019’s two-part Avengers: Infinity War. As far as we know, the character is still in possession of the Aether, which Josh Brolin’s Mad Titan Thanos will almost certainly come looking for as he seeks to fill up his all-mighty gauntlet with the Infinity Stones.
Aside from the Aether, the gem from Loki’s scepter is residing on the Vision’s (Paul Bettany) brow down on Earth, another Infinity Stone is in the possession of the Nova Corps, and the Tesseract houses another and is under lock and key Asgard. That leaves two unaccounted for – and the Collector will certainly be among those searching for them.
Del Toro did note one aspect of the character that he hopes future films to bring into play:
“[In doing the research] I said, ‘please help me out.’ Because there are big, thick volumes about the characters. So they did point me in the right direction. I learned a lot about the character. One of the most interesting things that I learned about him is the reasons that he’s collecting. He sees himself as putting together Noah’s Ark. He sees himself as having that responsibility. He’s collecting things, because eventually there’s going to be an apocalypse in the universe and he wants to get things to safety. That’s a really interesting aspect of the character.”
With Infinity War sure to have devastating repercussions on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the rest of the universe, the Collector may be wise to prepare such a collection. Here’s hoping that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 lets us see more of it.