Why Thanos Looks So Different In Avengers: Infinity War


When the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War arrived, Marvel fans were ecstatic to get a glimpse of the movie they’d been waiting years for, but they were also left scratching their heads at one little detail: how come Thanos looked so different from when they’d seen him in previous films such as The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy?

Apart from not being decked out in his elaborate golden armor and helmet, the Mad Titan’s skin was a noticeably lighter shade of purple than it’d been before. His features were also much more human-looking all round, including his eyes, which initially glowed purple. So, why were these changes made?

Matt Aitken, VFX supervisor on Infinity War for Weta, spoke to Screen Rant recently and revealed that the character’s significant redesign was largely left up to his team, with Marvel Studios only encouraging them to deliver a revamped version of the Mad Titan. The one stipulation, though, was that Thanos’ “wacky chin” was retained, as it’s such a recognizable part of his character.

“Those sequences in Guardians is where we see him most clearly in the previous MCU films. It was a wonderful freedom to not have to match that exactly. I think it’s one thing to have a Thanos who in those scenes was definitely more stylized, holed up for those short beats that he was in those films. But when he had to be the lead character and hold film and appear in hundreds and hundreds of shots, it was great to have the latitude to refine his look, to make his facial appearance more natural.”

Continuing on, he said:

“So he’s definitely more detailed and has a more natural shape to his face, to his lips, to his brow, his nose, and all those details we’re talking about in terms of the blemishes and the pores and the stubble. If we’d been confined to those earlier iterations, it would have been too much of a limitation, I think, so that was never an issue. Right from the start, Marvel recognized the need to go to the next version of Thanos, and we were never asked to match that earlier version at all.”

From a design point of view, the alterations to Thanos were absolutely the right move, as they helped turn him into a more believable character. Comic book movie fans have often criticized fully CG supervillains for lacking humanity, but that wasn’t a problem here, as the Mad Titan’s well-realized appearance was very much in tune with Josh Brolin’s surprisingly layered performance.

That said, when you consider the continuity of the MCU, we’re not really sure how Thanos’ varying appearances can be explained. If you look back at his initial cameo at the end of The Avengers, for example, he appears entirely different from the antagonist of Avengers: Infinity War. Still, this is the franchise where Terence Howard apparently morphed into Don Cheadle overnight, so maybe we shouldn’t worry about things like this.

Source: Screen Rant