Josh Brolin promises that Thanos will be an ’emotional’ and three-dimensional villain in Avengers: Infinity War. And while over the past nine years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become an increasingly rich and layered fictional universe, there’s been one consistent flaw that both fans and critics have been quick to point out. That is, of course, the MCU’s lack of memorable villains, with the studio’s insistence to focus more on its heroes, leading to increasingly bland and forgettable onscreen antagonists. However, that’s also why so many fans are looking to Josh Brolin’s Thanos to break that pattern once and for all.
After making his first brief appearance five years ago at the end of 2012’s The Avengers, Thanos has remained a constant, if admittedly thin, presence in the MCU in the years since. But with only a string of small appearances in a couple MCU films up until this point, Thanos is finally going to have the spotlight all to himself for the first time, in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War, when he comes to Earth, dead set on fully assembling the Infinity Gauntlet.
While speaking with Good Morning America about the film yesterday — following Marvel’s brief presentation at the D23 Expo — Brolin talked about what it’s been like playing Thanos in Infinity War, and how the character’s depth and emotions actually surprised him the more time he spent working with the film’s other actors:
“He’s a smart character. I had no idea, in all truth, I had no idea when I did the [Guardians] teaser, we had like 36 cameras or something and I sat on a seat, and I wasn’t working with anybody. And now, like being actually involved, you know, interacting – I want to mention characters and I can’t, but of the characters that are in it, it’s way more emotional and way more interactive than I thought. So it’s actually a lot of fun, and a lot deeper, a lot more emotional than I thought.”
What’s interesting about Avengers: Infinity War — aside from how many MCU characters it’s bringing together — is that it’ll likely be one of the first times in the MCU where the villain is given as much screen time as the heroes. Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely themselves even called Thanos the main character of Avengers: Infinity War last year, which should, hopefully, give the character enough time to truly develop and emerge as a fully-realized character when compared to all of the other, already established and explored Marvel heroes.
Marvel made a big bet by deciding to wait on bringing Thanos into the fray for this long, and there’s always been the possibility of the character not living up to expectations. Fortunately, the casting of an accomplished actor like Brolin in the role was a good place to start, and considering the character’s unique motivations in the comics for uniting the Infinity Stones, he has the potential to be one of the most exciting villains the comic book genre has ever seen. And based on what was shown in the first Avengers: Infinity War teaser trailer yesterday, it’s looking more and more like Thanos may indeed live up to that promise.
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