Josh Brolin is certainly no stranger to the world of comic book movies, and while his best known flirtations with the genre saw him play the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thanos and Deadpool 2′s Cable, his extensive experience in the world of page to screen translations has brought some wildly inconsistent results.
He might have played the bad guy in the highest-grossing movie in history, but the 52 year-old also suited up as the title character in Jonah Hex, which bombed at the box office and quickly gained a reputation as one of the worst comic book flicks ever made. He took top billing in the remake of manga adaptation Oldboy as well, which also tanked and was savaged by critics, while Sin City: A Dame to Kill For was a disappointingly pale imitation of the first installment.
Thanos may have bitten the dust at the end of Avengers: Endgame, but Brolin is still widely expected to remain a part of the MCU whenever the franchise gets around to Deadpool 3. And in a recent interview, the No Country for Old Men star admitted that he found playing the Mad Titan a lot easier than the time traveling Cable, and much of it had to do with the way the Russo brothers approached the material on set.
“I mentioned Brando in Apocalypse Now, this guy who is very elusive and insane but what he is saying makes sense and is poetical. I started seeing the parallel which I liked for me. I loved being able to resort to a film like Apocalypse Now when I was doing something like Avengers. The more I watched it, the more I realized this is a real guy. This is not a big purple guy this is a guy with insides and cells and feelings. Then it became fun. To me, it was like going to do 1970s black box theater in New York. You totally resort to your imagination. It is absolutely behavioral, if not more than other movies.”
Continuing on, he said:
“Deadpool was hard. Even though it was funny, it was harder. That was more of a business transaction, it was more, ‘We need to make this like this’, which I didn’t feel that way with Avengers. With those directors, they would constantly go back and reference Scarface or Dog Day Afternoon. Whether or not it was a manipulation, they knew what to throw out there to bring it back into something inspired.”
Any movie is a business transaction when you think about it, but the actors need to be enjoying themselves to deliver the best performance possible, and it sounds like the Russo brothers were keen to foster as much creativity on the set as they could. Josh Brolin was great in Deadpool 2, no doubt, but Thanos more than lived up to his billing as the Infinity Saga’s seemingly unstoppable end of level boss.