Despite having to juggle an insane amount of superheroes in Avengers: Infinity War, directors Joe and Anthony Russo have said that they didn’t want to shortchange the movie’s villain, Thanos. In fact, they’ve even called him the main character of the film, and it turns out that they had an interesting way of approaching the big bad.
While speaking to CNET, Anthony Russo explained that he and his brother turned to heist movies for inspiration in working out how to handle Thanos’ storyline in the sequel. According to the co-director, the Mad Titan will go after the Infinity Stones “in a much bolder” way than before, which will capture a kind of “heist-style energy.”
“With Infinity War, the biggest new element to the movie is Thanos and the fact that he’s entering the storytelling in a very bold, strong way, to the degree that he’s almost one of the leads. We’ve shaped an interesting narrative around him that in some ways leans heavily on a heist film in the fact that he’s going after the infinity stones in a much bolder, successful way than he has in the past. The entire movie has that energy of the bad guy being one step ahead of the heroes. We looked at a lot of movies that had that heist-style energy to them, [and] that brought some inspiration.”
The past two phases of the MCU have attempted to curb cries of “superhero fatigue” by having certain movies pay lip service to other genres. For instance, the high school drama of Spider-Man: Homecoming, the action-comedy of Thor: Ragnarok or the 70s-style thriller that was Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Which was the Russos’ first Marvel outing, after all. As such, it’s interesting to hear that this will be continued in Infinity War and that efforts are being made to ensure Thanos has a cunning plan this time.
Russo is right about the villain needing to find a more successful way to steal the Stones, too. Previously, Josh Brolin’s big bad has operated through agents like Loki and Ronan, but has always ended up empty-handed. After seeing him fail several times, Infinity War needs to really convince us that he’s the most dangerous adversary the Avengers have ever faced, and making him “one step ahead of the heroes” should go some way to doing that.
But will the film manage the Russos’ aim of making Thanos this generation’s Darth Vader, too? We’ll have to see when Avengers: Infinity War hits cinemas on May 4th, 2018.