Kevin Feige Says Thanos’ Success Is Because Of Josh Brolin

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Remember back when we used to say that the Marvel Cinematic Universe had a villain problem? Sure, there was Loki, but the majority of miscreants in the first two phases of the franchise failed to leave much of an impression. Nowadays, you never hear folks say this and there’s one big reason for that: Thanos.

After years of build-up, Marvel actually managed to stick the landing with the Mad Titan as he proved a compelling, layered antagonist in last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, as well as returning in Avengers: Endgame. But what’s the secret of Thanos’ success?

Well, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige explained his thoughts on the question in an interview for Avengers: Endgame – The Official Movie Special. For him, it’s simple: it’s all because of Josh Brolin’s performance.

“The answer to why Thanos worked is Josh Brolin. The reason Thanos is now this iconic movie villain is because they understand where he was coming from is because of Josh Brolin. People put ‘villain’ in quotes when they’re talking about Thanos.”

Feige went on to reiterate how the villain was introduced in the final scene of The Avengers (played by Damion Poitier). At the time, there was only a vague plan to adapt The Infinity Gauntlet but they saw an opportunity to sow the seeds for this in Guardians of the GalaxyLate in the process, they decided to insert Thanos into the narrative and a rushed search was on to find the perfect actor to play the part.

Feige reflected on how it all turned out for the best, saying:

“It was an idea that came about pretty late in development, and I decided we needed an actor. It was a very small scene, wouldn’t require much time for an actor, but we needed somebody quickly. I thought that face and that presence of Josh Brolin would be incredible, not just for the little bit we wanted in Guardians, but should we ever proceed into the future, you want an amazing actor. But there wasn’t much time, and we required a simple yes.

Often times there’s a lot of negotiating, a lot of convincing. Josh said yes right away. I don’t think he even understood quite what he was in for at that time, because he came to us soon afterwards saying, ‘You know, a lot of people know Thanos. I’ve done a lot of movies in my career, but never have people been so interested about something I haven’t done yet.'”

Brolin followed his Guardians debut as Thanos up with another brief appearance in the following year’s Avengers: Age of UltronThe character was then rested until IW, which finally allowed Brolin to sink his teeth into the villain, exploring him in a much more complex way than fans were expecting. If one thing’s for certain, it’s that whoever the next big bad of the MCU is has got their work cut out for them in topping Thanos.

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