Avengers: Infinity War Cut Almost 10 Minutes Of Thanos’ Backstory


Remember when we were all worried Thanos wasn’t going to live up to the hype in Avengers: Infinity War? Despite those post-credits scenes and cameos, we hadn’t really gotten to know the villain beforehand. Thankfully, the 2018 blockbuster made up for it by portraying Josh Brolin’s character as not just a humongous threat to all living things but also a multi-layered individual with a complicated sense of morality and heroism.

We could have got to understand Thanos even better though if swathes of his backstory remained in the movie. It’s explained in IW that he lost his homeworld, Titan, because of a lack of resources to go around, which fueled his quest to use the Infinity Stones to half the universe’s population. Originally, however, flashbacks would’ve explored Thanos’ childhood and other key moments from his past.

Co-director Joe Russo revealed the news while speaking with ComicBook.com. Though these didn’t make it into the final cut, the filmmaker’s glad that they came up with the scenes anyway as they were useful for him, co-director Anthony Russo and Brolin to further grasp who Thanos was.

“Of course. We did a lot of drafts of Infinity War that involved Thanos’s backstory. We even had a draft where you saw ten minutes of his backstory. You saw him as a child, you saw him try to convince his planet that it was doomed and recommend that they randomly kill half the population to save the planet. He gets sent to a prison off-planet and eventually watches the planet destroy itself….It is a whole other film, but sometimes that’s the value in a story room, of writing that draft in the script because you go ‘alright, at least I have that in my brain now. And I understand that and I can pitch it to Brolin, and he can hear that intimate level of detail so we all know what his story is and how he feels about his past. He’s a very tortured character who’s sociopathic, but ultimately it’s benevolent sociopathy.”

Russo’s final comments touch on the discussion folks had over IW about whether Thanos was right for trying to “save the universe” his way. His use of the word “benevolent” makes it sound like the director’s more than a little on the villain’s side of the argument. We’re not sure the Avengers, Gamora and Nebula, nor the billions he snapped out of existence would think of Thanos as benevolent, though.

But that’s why IW‘s treatment of the Mad Titan was so impressive, as it got us to sympathize with someone so demonstrably evil. While the heroes definitely took the spotlight in Avengers: Endgame, killing their foe not just once but twice, Thanos was arguably the star of Avengers: Infinity War