It is possible that Avengers: Infinity War will present the culmination of what might be the most teased-out role in the history of cinema. Thanos has been presented as being the ‘Biggest Bad’ in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2012, when he made a brief appearance during the credit sequence of The Avengers. Here, he was played by Damion Poitier, and it was not until Guardians Of The Galaxy in 2014 that Josh Brolin assumed the supervillain mantle.
His part in Guardians Of The Galaxy was relatively small, however, though his presence loomed over proceedings like an unshifting shadow. Popping up once more during the credit sequence of Avengers: Age Of Ultron in 2015, we were teased again – making us familiar with his visage and omnipotence, but never really getting to know him.
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Josh Brolin recently spoke to Moviefone about his non-Marvel role in Hail, Caesar!, but took the opportunity to confirm that the fleeting glimpses of Thanos are about to become more substantial in nature – something he learned when he went through the whole Avengers: Infinity War story with Marvel.
“Yeah, I sat at a table and I listened to the story from beginning to end, which was … you know, sometimes you go around and you go, ‘Oh, it’s a great movie. Or this is a great experience, and you kind of know that it’s not. This is the opposite.
“First of all, from a publicity point of view, or an interest, I’ve gotten more publicity playing Thanos, even though I haven’t done it yet, than all other movies combined. If there’s any blurb of publicity at all for me, it includes Thanos in some way or another. ‘By the way, he’s got Hail, Caesar! coming out. But don’t forget about Thanos – that’s coming out,’ which is amazing, which is really cool. Then the other side of it is really how much it means to people. It all comes down … these stories … these Avengers stories all come down to this conclusion, and that’s our involvement. Basically, my character against everybody. And it’s really fun what they’ve chosen to do with the story. I think it’s brilliant, personally. I was blown away, and had goose pimples pretty much 50% of the time that I was listening to what was going on, and pretty amazed that I’m going to be involved in it. So it’s a big thing that’s coming up.”
In the comic books, Thanos made his first appearance in Iron Man #55 in 1973, and was introduced as the Titan-born son of two Eternals. This is a race of superbeings, that are an off-shoot of human evolution, but Thanos carries the Deviants gene, which essentially makes him a mutant. His mother tried to kill him at birth, but he survived, and later fell in love with Mistress Death – under whose influence he murdered his family. In Guardians Of The Galaxy, though, he is also the adoptive father of Nebula and Gamora.
The combination of his status as a god-like, nihilistic being, and his desire to collect the Infinity Stones for nefarious purposes, means that Thanos represents the biggest threat faced by the Avengers to date. This makes his role in Avengers: Infinity War highly anticipated and, from the comments of Josh Brolin, it seems that there is much to look forward to in terms of actually getting to see Thanos do his supervillain thing, after all these years. We should definitely prepare for more teasing, though, as Avengers: Infinity War Part One does not arrive until May 4th, 2018.