Josh Brolin Bigs Up Thanos Ahead Of Avengers: Infinity War; Reveals The Godfather References


As things stand, Josh Brolin finds himself in the rather fortunate (or should that be unfortunate?) position of playing not one, but two major comic book villains.

The first is Cable/Nathan Summers (Deadpool 2), who is arguably more of an anti-hero than an out-and-out antagonist. Thanos, on the other hand, is evil personified; an alien deity who descends upon planet Earth in order to retrieve the Infinity Stones. That Infinity Gauntlet isn’t going to fill itself, after all.

And so begins Avengers: Infinity War, Joe and Anthony Russo’s 2018 event movie that will soon bring together all of the many, many elements of Marvel’s cinematic universe. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes may have faced grave threats before (see: Ultron and the Chitauri), but as Josh Brolin himself tells Collider, Thanos is “next level.”

Dude, I’m in a position just personally where not everybody loves me and that’s okay (laughs). Look, not everybody can be on your side all the time and that’s okay. When playing a character like this, dude, it’s like there’s something—I don’t know any other way to put it, it really turned out to be one of the greatest experiences I’ve had. I’m still not done, but it’s been incredible to be able to work with the Russos, to be able to work with these guys. I had no idea. It’s just a different type of acting, but then when they showed me a little six-minute teaser of a scene that I had done, I was so blown away by how next-level this digital process is and how real it feels. I don’t know how I could be anything but happy. If everybody hates me at the end of it, I don’t know, will it be worth it if it’s a great movie? Maybe.

It all depends on which Marvel heroes fall at the hands of Brolin’s Mad Titan. The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been, so it’s nigh on certain that Infinity War will bump off a few characters – either that, or Marvel will hold fire until 2019 and the untitled Avengers 4.

When asked about how his villain differs from previous Marvel baddies, Brolin remained coy:

I can’t tell you definitively, but how I feel right now and what I’ve spoken to the Russos about and Feige, absolutely. It actually more than pulls it off, and I think what they’re coming up with based on what I’ve done, I think is next level.

On set, though, the Russo Brothers often used The Godfather as a point of reference, something Brolin is eternally grateful for:

Look, I got Joe Russo who’s constantly resourcing like The Godfather and, ‘You have a gun to his [frick]ing head.’ I’m like, ‘I love you so much. The fact that you’re taking an Avengers scenario and you’re turning it into a Godfather thing for us to be able to kind of hang our hat on is great, and to emotionalize the whole thing.’ I think they were very happy where they said, ‘We didn’t really realize that Thanos is going to be as complex as he is,’ and I think they were very appreciative with the stuff that we’re bringing to it. Also, I think that they’re in a position very openly and raw-ly where they’re like, ‘We would never do this again. This is a one-time deal. To put this many successful actors together is such a pain in the ass, but it’s been worth it. We’re doing two movies. One back to back, and this is it for us. Then we’ll go off in another direction,’ but this is a very, very, very ambitious project that I think is going to pay off in a big way.

Avengers: Infinity War is slated for release on May 4th, 2018. Closer to home, Thor: Ragnarok will hit theaters on November 3rd, and the first reviews for Taika Waititi’s threequel have been nothing short of stellar.