‘Guardians of the Galaxy': Potential Details on Thanos’ Role in the Film

Published 11 months ago by , Updated October 6th, 2014 at 12:58 am,

Marvel Comics Infinity Part One Cover Thanos Guardians of the Galaxy: Potential Details on Thanos Role in the Film

[Potential MILD SPOILERS for Guardians of the Galaxy ahead!]

That the Mad Titan himself, Thanos, has a role to play in Marvel Studios’ upcoming film, Guardians of the Galaxy, has long been regarded as a given, if only because a number of the movie’s confirmed villain-types traditionally have ties to the character, in the Marvel comic books. The question is how significant a role will Thanos play in the plot of Guardians – a question that’s become all the more intriguing, since we now know that Josh Brolin will be portraying him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Thanos made his big screen debut during a mid-credits scene featured in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, where actor Damion Poitier portrayed the character via motion-capture; another mid-credits sequence, this time attached to Thor: The Dark World, planted yet another seed that looks to lead to the famous Infinity Gauntlet story (a comic storyline featuring Thanos) being explored in Avengers 3, down the line in 2018, most likely.

There’ve long been rumors that Thanos will make an appearance in next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, though the general outlook right now is that it will be James Spader as the eponymous power-hungry android, who serves as the primary antagonist in Whedon’s sequel (while Thanos watches from afar – literally, quite possibly). First, though James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie will plant a few more seeds – the kind that establish how much influence Thanos is having, both on the events that unfold during Marvel Studios’ first expedition deep into the unexplored cosmic realms of the MCU – and developments in the larger universe, in general.

thanos the avengers1 Guardians of the Galaxy: Potential Details on Thanos Role in the Film

Thanos (here, played by Damion Poitier) in ‘The Avengers’

Vulture is claiming to have the low-down, with regard to not just how Thanos will figure into the storyline for Guardians, but also how much screen time he’ll have in the film – not to mention, what form he shall appear in:

Though Thanos didn’t appear until the very end of The Avengers, Vulture has learned that he’ll emerge in the first act of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Thanos will be communicating remotely via hologram for most of the film — a move the Mad Titan likely cribbed from the equally enigmatic Emperor Palpatine in The Empire Strikes Back — though he does show up in the purple flesh for a scene that also features Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), who do Thanos’s bidding and serve as the primary adversaries in Guardians.

Still, though Thanos is only briefly glimpsed throughout Guardians, his presence is palpable throughout: Characters reference him often and fearfully, and he has familial ties to Gamora (Zoe Saldana), our green-skinned female lead.

Keeping in mind that the above details aren’t confirmed, they’re nonetheless in line with our previous expectations for Thanos’ role in Guardians of the Galaxy. As mentioned before, it doesn’t seem as though Thanos will play any major role in the Avengers sequel – though his influence may be felt throughout a la Guardians – so there’s no reason for Gunn’s movie to spend too much time on establishing and fleshing out the character, like what the first Thor installment did with Loki (before the latter served as the main antagonist in Whedon’s first Avengers movie).

Guardians of the Galaxy Meets Star Wars Guardians of the Galaxy: Potential Details on Thanos Role in the Film

The trick, of course, will be for Guardians of the Galaxy to emulate Empire Strikes Back and portray Thanos as an Emperor-like manipulator who’s pulling the strings on the film’s central villains – allowing his presence to be unobtrusive to the film’s stand-alone narrative, yet still somewhat essential (beyond just building the shared universe further). So long as Gunn’s cosmic superhero adventure can manage to pull that task off, then introducing Thanos at that stage could benefit both the film and Marvel Studios’ larger movie-making plans.

Now, the question is, will Brolin be doing some motion-capture work for his role as Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy – or will it just be voice-acting only, for now? We’re hoping it’s the former, frankly, because the sooner we get to see leaked images of Brolin pulling expressions like this, the better.


Guardians of the Galaxy opens in U.S. theaters on August 1st, 2014.

Source: Vulture

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  1. I’m guessing he’ll be in mo-cap (motion capture).

    August can’t get here fast enough

  2. Not surprised about the hologram stuff. It was already shown that way in the prelude comic when he was talking to Gamora & Nebula via telepathy. With the movie already finished, I don’t think Brolin will be mo-capping, if he didn’t already do it when it was in production.

  3. Just shot clue-goo everywhere. So excited.

    • Don’t waste your paste….!~

    • We got “Little Elmer” here…!

  4. I like that they’re really drawing it out with Thanos. He’s one of my favorite villains and I can’t wait to see him in action, but he’s just too big for where the MCU is right now. Too big and too complex. I’d rather wait to see him done right than for him to be rushed into the spotlight to quickly. A foe is big and sinister as Thanos requires a lot of good build-up, and I’m happy to see that’s what Marvel’s doing.

    • couldnt agree more

  5. so excited.

  6. Ronan: What is thy bidding, my master?

    Thanos: There is a great disturbance in the force…

    Ronan: I have felt it.

    Thanos: We have a new enemy…the Guardians of the Galaxy…

    • Since Disney owns Marvel they could even replace Ronan with JaJa Binks or make a guest appearance.

  7. There’s a [fight] scene with Gamora & Nebula where they rush at each other’s faces and just growl/hiss instead of clash. I’m thinking Thanos is in there, telling them to stop.

    Thanos is a big deal…Still, Marvel should be pimping the sh** out of Raccoon to the casual folk. I’m sure he would get over huge with everyone, even if he turns out foul-mouthed in the film.

  8. I say that because we really haven’t heard Zoe’s character speak, Groot says one thing which isn’t the best thing to sell your movie with, and Batista hasn’t had a warm reception recently in the WWE. If you’ve seen some of Pratt’s work, you know he’s a cool guy, but he’s still not popular enough to be the lead/draw of a major film.

    I’m sure Rocket will steal every scene he’s in, but people need to see that in the previews to really be sold.

    • The thing with Batista’s recent WWE return is that the vocal minority who were booing him were the fans of indie wrestling who hate WWE but generally watch to complain about it and attend the Big Four events (Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summer Slam, Survivor Series). Case in point, watch any Wrestlemania show of the last few years, the fans are really loud and cheer and boo whoever they like, including Batista, who appeals more to the WWE fans who boo and cheer whoever WWE want them to.

      (Knowing this from years experience being a staff member on Batista’s official site and being frustrated with the many thousands of members who only ever cared about Batista and John Cena and hated everyone else, even when we attempted to clue them in regarding great wrestlers who weren’t in WWE at the time such as Bryan Danielson and Go Shiazaki)

      Trust me, while I haven’t seen pro wrestling in a few years, there are two main crowds looking forward to this movie. The comic book fans and the WWE fans and until Cooper and Diesel were announced as providing voices, a lot of people I know considered Batista the biggest star in the film and genuinely had no idea who Chris Pratt was.

      • I’m sure people can separate Dave Bautista from Bootista, but it’s because of his recent treatment that he’s not going into this movie with a lot of momentum. The company has even been jobbing him out a lot and it’s disheartening to me that he hasn’t had a clean win (or even an outcome to his matches that weren’t controversial/countout/DQ) since his first few matches upon returning.

        I want Hollywood to work out for Dave because WWE’s audiences seems to want new blood (NXT and such). I frequent a lot of wrestling forums and some of those guys are just die-hard wrestling fans who don’t watch much film for entertainment. In the end, we’re all a bit nerdy, but things didn’t work out as positively as I’m sure Batista & WWE had hoped for his return – He was basically turned heel as a cop out.

        • It wasn’t really Bootista’s fault he wasn’t well received when he came back. VKM tried to bring him back as a face which was a HUGE mistake to begin with.

  9. Boy, that first sentence is a duesy.

  10. I hate you so much Marvel/Disney:

    You use deplorable tactics to convince our youth to think along your terms.

    You manufacture mediocre quality stuff to appease the mindless masses.

    You make me want to boycott everything there is about you…

    …then you dangle Thanos…

    …and I come crawling back on hands and knees over rusted nails and broken glass like those psychos from Lord of Illusions.

    • I’m sorry, but I think you need to organize your thoughts and get back to us. Thanos is Marvel. So do you want to boycott him or crawl over broken glass to see him? You want to see Gaurdians, which according to your words, is something mediocre designed to appease the mindless masses. Does that make you mindless? Should we be listening to a self confessed member of the mindless masses? Marvel does make movies which appeal to the majority, but all of their films so far have had themes and sub plots which probably go over the heads of he mindless masses. Deeper meaning is there if you care to look for it.

        • This is the best post I have ever read on SR in regards to Disvel.

          It gives me hope that ALL of the movie going public isn’t brain dead fanboys willing and eager to shovel down whatever crap is thrown in front of them and call it Gourmet.

          But I do disagree with Dr. Mindbender….
          Disvel is not fooling me with this, I’ll see it (I’m a theater junkie) but I’m not expecting anything other than more of the same tired formula.

          • Just read a comments.He is attacking enyone who dont agree with him.And as you can see he is DC fanboy defending the MOS who btw have more plot holes than the entire MCU.

          • Just visiting that God-forsaken link, and i’m agree with Rukiaio101. The article writer (and certain number of commentators) is (are) trying too hard to look critical, but instead they end up critically failed.

            After reading the entire article and comment sections, two thoughts that came to mind are:
            1. Do filmmaker need to spoon-feed every little details to the audience? If they had to make the dialogue telling every single mundane details, the entire movie could end up 5 or more hours. Which leads to…
            2. How hard is it to stay focused for two-three hours? The reason why people aren’t allowed to use cellphones and talking during the movie are to help audience stay focused on the movie. If you do any or both things above but making rants about any movies having too much plot holes, inconsistencies, and stuff, then jokes on you. If you didn’t do any of those things but still making rants, go see a shrink or therapist, you might have problem with your attention span.

            Netizens nowadays reminded me of my little sister. She keep asking questions on atomic-level details because she’s too lazy to do her own research and looking up for the answer (it’s her own word, she told me she’s too lazy to look up the answer herself and asking it is lot easier).

            Use your common sense, people. It’s not like you must get bitten by a radioactive (or genetically altered) spider to develop and use common sense…

            Or perhaps stop pretending to be a hipster who hate everything popular & mainstream and calling them “mediocre”. Stop being gloomy gus and try put some smile every now and then, i heard it helps you look youthful…

        • I’ve just read through that article you’ve posted. It is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen.

          10. Has barely anything to do with anything. Honestly, one of the most adult MCU films yet came from Disney (CA:TWS).

          9. What? Just… what?! Do I even need to point out why this is stupid?

          8. See Point 9.

          7. Yes, just like nearly EVERY OTHER FILM EVER.

          6. How did Loki survive that fall off the Bifrost?” Because it’s never been shown for certain that falling off the Bifrost will kill you. “How did Nick Fury get the Tesseract?” From Howard Stark, who we saw fishing it out of the ocean at the end of CA1 and was one of SHIELD’s founding members. “Why isn’t S.H.I.E.L.D. trying to save the President of the United States?” Because a) it’s not specified to exactly be their job (they don’t run everything security wise) and b) they haven’t had enough time to react yet. The president was taken less than a day ago and even SHIELD needs some time to get active.

          I can’t remember who it was, but I remember someone saying ‘A plot hole is not something that is not directly explained. A plot hole is something that cannot be explained’. Most ‘plot holes’ I’ve found from people can be explained if you put a bit of thought into them. And while it’s true that there are some that can’t, that’s true of pretty much every movie ever.

          5. My god, this list is stupid… Firstly, there’s a rather obvious difference between building something when given as much available parts as a third world terrorist can muster and defending your house from a very unexpected missile attack. (And before people go on at me for saying ‘Oh Tony should’ve seen it coming since he threatened the Mandarin’, let me point out that if Brad Pitt threatened… say, Osama Bin Ladin, he wouldn’t exactly have much to fear. Tony is a billionaire with some of the most advanced weaponry on Earth. The Mandarin is, to everyone’s knowledge, just a third-world terrorist leader. There’s little for Tony to be obviously afraid of. And even if he was more paranoid, there’s no way he could’ve expected a friggin’ missile strike on the same day he made the threat. Okay, rant over). Secondly, Hulk is strongest one there is. Thirdly, a) most of the dammaged suits in IM3 were untested prototypes, b) hollow (which makes them less structurally sound and c) extreme heat tents to be a lot better at breaking through metal than blunt force.

          4. Okay, I tend to ignore any argument that claims ‘all the critics are wrong/delusional/a conspiracy’. But even by that standards, this makes no sense. Okay, so because there have been masterpieces of the genre released in the past, therefore all superhero movies that don’t live up to said masterpieces suck? My favourite action movie is The Raid: Redemption. That doesn’t mean I think every action movie that doesn;t live up the Raid sucks.

          3. There’s always a schism between comic fans and non-comic fans. And what works well on a comic doesn’t always work well on film. And deviating from the comics isn’t a problem, as long as what you replace it with is still of quality.

          2. Okay, I’ll give you that one. (Minus Loki and the villains of CA:TWS)

          1. Christ, this list is giving me a migraine. First, it is established the Incredible Hulk that BB, while completely controlling the Hulk, is able to at least aim it towards enemies if he really tries to. He hulked out accidentally on the Helicarrier, hence no aiming. Second, if you know anything about psychology, you know it’s not a simple as ‘traumatic experience = PTSD’. Sometimes, it’s very much a build up of multiple traumatic events and can eventually be set off by something that seems practically miniscule compared to previously faced events (aka, the straw that broke the camel’s back). Third, because the Tesseract was giving out a trackable energy signature.

          Also, early superhero comics ‘weren’t meant to be escapist outlets as much as they were ways to experience life’s difficulties through the eyes of a superhero.’ Have you read any Silver Age stories? They couldn’t be more escapist outlets if you tried.

          This list is just so incredibly stupid. If you’re wanting to troll, try harder next time.

          • also… ^^^^^THIS^^^^^^

          • Agree with everything you say here. However, about BB being able to ‘suddenly’ control Hulk, I thought of the transition to Hulk as being a two way door.

            If BB wants to change to Hulk he can. However, if BB is in danger for any reason, the primitive ‘fight or flight’ part of his brain is actually in control by Hulk and takes over. Examples are

            1) BB wants to take on the Abomination, but does not want to Hulk out on the aircraft, so jumps out to put himself in danger and land as the Hulk.
            2) BB tries to put a bullet in his mouth and the Hulk spits it out.
            3) BB is in danger when the Helli Carrier is attacked.

            Just my own interpretation.

            • … And to further this interpretation, in Avengers, just before Hulk sucker punches the huge flying monster, he says to the others “That’s my secret, I’m always angry”.

              So, in keeping with this statement, what if the experiment he performed on himself permanently adjusted the primitive part of his brain to actually become ‘the other guy’. Everything below the Cerebral Cortex to the brain stem deals with all your sensory input data (the five senses), plus deals heavily with a neurotransmitter called Serotonin which regulates mood (I’m always angry). So this would explain how Hulk could sense danger, and get angry.

        • BUTTHURT!

    • Mediocre is a bit harsh, Shawshank they aint but they’re not Battlefield Earth either.

      Bum on seat, brain into neutral, entertaining supers action, brain into drive, bum off seat.

      Yes it would be nice if the MCU had a bit more bite to it but they’re trying, Cap2 was a good effort to move away from the sugar soak twee.
      GotG looks like it’s going to be deliberately hilarious (in a good way)

      You must hold a very high standard to enjoy a movie and be disappointed a lot. Not a critique just an observation.

      The Dark Knight and IM1 we’re such highlights that it was always going to be down hill from there but just because something isn’t as good as it’s predecessor doesn’t mean that’s it terrible.

      There’s a hell of a lot out there that “our youth” ENJOY watching that are a lot worse than an MCU film, at least they’re not irritatingly bad…. Grown Ups2 or a Transformers film anyone

  11. may as well count yourself one of the mindless masses.

    …one of us…one of us…

    • gobble gobble!

  12. Ya know the above poster DID basically say they were calling marvel “mediocre films for the mindless masses” and then associate themselves with being mindless just over hearing Thanos. I think that was made abundantly clear. and Yes these comic book films by marvel are completely lack luster. Days of Future Past and Spiderman 2 are pretty s***** also and are miles beyond Avengers etc.

  13. But Brolin Thanos will look like Avengers Thanos.. right? cause that Thanos I liked.

    • I’d guess that you’d probably be able to see a little bit of Brolin’s features – perhaps the eyes – but the majority of the face will look like Thanos from Avengers. Once it’s on film, I doubt they’d change it very much.

      But hey I can’t say, I haven’t seen it yet. YET!

  14. I would guess that Brolin has been on set and using mo-cap under super secret circumstances for his scenes, and Marvel wanted to keep it a secret for a bit longer.

    But with the news that Edgar Wright has left Ant Man, and they are still struggling to find a director, revealing the actor behind the biggest villain of the franchise so far is a pretty good distraction.

  15. The Thanos we see in GOTG might be a robot like in Iron Man #55