Long before Infinity War was even a glint in Kevin Feige’s eye, Thanos first appeared in a shock cameo at the end of 2012’s The Avengers. With Josh Brolin not appearing on the scene until the villain’s first speaking role in Guardians of the Galaxy two years later though, the Mad Titan was played here by Daimion Poitier (credited as Man #1 to conceal the surprise).
It’s clear when rewatching the movie that the character design of Thanos changed a great deal over the years, but this behind-the-scenes shot below shows how completely different the process of creating the antagonist is nowadays. Famously, Brolin played him via cutting-edge motion capture tech. Back in the day, however, it seems that Poitier wore a good old-fashioned prosthetic mask for the part, with a dash of CGI added in post to give him an alien sheen.
Ironhead Studio’s Instagram account shared this throwback image to production on The Avengers, which reveals what Poitier looked like the make-up chair once he’d been transformed into Thanos. Their caption for the photo, meanwhile, revealed that Jose Fernandez designed and sculpted the mask while Thoum Floutz applied it to the actor.
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Apart from the hilarious juxtaposition of Thanos with a hairline and wearing a T-shirt and jacket, it’s impressive how cool the actual mask for the character looks. Poitier’s sharp features are a perfect fit for the Titan so in a way, it’s a shame we didn’t get to see more of him in The Avengers. All that said, the CGI used on Thanos in Infinity War is incredible and Brolin can’t be beaten in terms of portraying the villain. So everything worked out alright in the end.
Speaking of Brolin’s Thanos, he’ll return to battle the remaining heroes when Avengers 4 arrives in theaters next May, and that first trailer should be here any week now.
Source: Ironhead Studios