Josh Brolin is Thanos in Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Published 11 months ago by , Updated June 2nd, 2014 at 12:09 pm,

Josh Brolin Thanos Josh Brolin is Thanos in Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy

The collective Marvel movie news membrane is still trembling after this week’s hard headline that fan-favorite director Edgar Wright dropped out of directing Ant-Man, a project he single-handedly pushed for just about a decade. While fans wait for the official word on Ant-Man‘s new director, they can feast on some HUGE casting news surrounding the MCU: the actor who is playing Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy – and maybe even beyond to films like The Avengers 3 – has been announced, and it’s none other than Josh Brolin.

Latino Review first dropped a rumor that has since been confirmed by Variety.

Thanos first appeared in the mid-credits scene of The Avengers (a motion-capture performance by actor Damion Poitier). It has since been teased that Thanos is acting as an over-arching villain whose machinations and presence will be felt all throughout the MCU – especially in a film like Guardians of the Galaxy, which further introduces Marvel’s cosmic characters and storylines. Following comic book canon, Thanos’ plot seems to be gathering together “Infinity Stones” like The Tesseract or The Aether, in order to form his Infinity Gauntlet, a weapon that essentially gives him the power of God.

Avengers 3 Infinity Gauntlet War Thanos Josh Brolin is Thanos in Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy

After the events of Thor: The Dark World, we spoke with Marvel head Kevin Feige about Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet plot possibly coming to fruition in Avengers 3, where the Mad Titan will presumably take center stage, at last. We’ve also heard that Thanos will appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but how (and for how long) remains unclear.

Feige suggested about a month ago that the Thanos actor had already been cast, and at that time, we questioned what that late-in-the-game information meant in regards to how Thanos will be realized onscreen in Guardians. Will it be through CGI and voice work (like Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon)? Or perhaps through motion-capture performance (like Vin Diesel’s Groot)? Or, if they’ve had Brolin for some time, could they have already developed makeup and prosthetics for a traditional performance (like with Alexis Denisof, who played Thanos’ henchman The Other in Avengers)? And will the method used in Guardians stay consistent through future MCU films – or will the tactics change based on screen time, performance etc.?

Sin City 2 Josh Brolin Josh Brolin is Thanos in Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy

Brolin in ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’

Since we don’t know yet how long Brolin has been with camp Marvel, the finer details about the nature of Thanos’ appearance in Guardians remain unclear for now – as does the question of whether or not this is a longterm casting, or simply more star power being put behind Guardians. However, knowing Marvel Studios, this chess move was almost definitely made diligently, with thought towards the future.

On a side note: this casting also knocks down one of two big rumors about Vin Diesel possibly having a bigger role in the MCU; now, with everything happening regarding The Kree alien race and mythos, it’s seeming more and more likely that Diesel could snag that Black Bolt role in Inhumans. Could Comic-Con 2014 be that very reveal?

Blackbolt Inhumans Marvel Comics Josh Brolin is Thanos in Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy

For Brolin, this marks a fifth comic book role he’s taken on in the last few years. He played DC’s Jonah Hex (2010); stepped in to play the young version of Agent K in Men in Black 3; was the lead in Spike Lee’s American remake of Oldboy; and he will soon play a pre-surgery version of Clive Owen’s character in the prequel/interquel film Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Of course, when it comes to playing an iconic villain like Thanos, Brolin is definitely stepping to the next level of comic book flicks. However, it’s pretty safe to say that he’s doing so as an actor likely to have the majority of fan approval at his back.

Let’s test that theory:

[poll id=”814″]


Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Sources: Variety & Latino Review


Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
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  1. Interesting……..

  2. Cant get the Batman role, get the next best thing!

  3. Yay! Another left field choice, but a good one! For people complaining about casting against looks, I think Josh definitely has the Thanos look. Plus, he’s a great actor and I think he’ll bring an interesting complexity to the role.

  4. Thanos, or as I like to call him Darkseid’s rip-off! Then again his creator even admitted he is too.

    • Who cares!! Hater!

    • Ughhh! Why does every DC or Marvel thread always have to have a DC vs. Marvel poster? JUST BE THANKFUL WE’RE GETTING GREAT CBMs!

      • +1

      • What do you expect? Looks like comics are mostly for kids after all. You can’t expect any level of maturity with these clowns.

      • +1000000

        Someone’s in desperate need of attention I guess…
        SR needs to put on a big sign: DON’T FEED THE TROLL!

        • Actually, I’d be happy with a different ad set-up on the page, the new “recommended for you” thing on the bottom right and, now the media links overlapping the center left :P. I just want to read the articles :/ .

      • Thank you Kahless! + 100 !

    • Oh cool, another comment saying Thanos is a Darkseid ripoff! That certainly is original. 😉

      Actually, Jim Starlin said he was modeled more after Metron initially. And if you actually bothered to *read* any of Jim Starlin’s Thanos work, you’d recognize he is quite different from Darkseid …

    • Might be a rip-off but a way better version, and more popular… Get out of here b/c they both steal from the other.. Aquaman is a rip-off of Namor and there is hundreds more. Don’t be a DC fanboy, be a true comic book fan and stop favoring one side. Though its hard to argue that Marvel is spanking them in the cinemas. 4 Marvel movies this year compared to how many from DC?

      • @Tony

        Exactly. All we get is constant updates / rumours without anything concrete. Practically every week there’s something to read about but no footage and it’s getting a bit tired to be honest.

        Brolin like Rudd, Douglas etc is again a casting that convinces and makes sense. Marvel don’t need as much hype, almost everything they do at the moment just seems right.

        DC on the other hand.. Gal as Wonder Woman? Superman getting demoted to 2nd billing, and nt to mention Eisnenberg as Luthor? The list goes on.

        • That one shot of Gal on set reminded me of Linda Carter but a little more fit. I’m ok with that:-)

        • @Lebsta,

          I must point out that you do the same bashing on other articles, if it bothers you then maybe you shouldn’t do the same!

          • @superhulk There are enough hypocrites on this site, please stop adding to their number. Either start admonishing the dc zealots the same way too or keep your “points” to yourself. Their fans are not only belligerent and condescending to the point of ignorance, but you typically can’t get a half-dozen posts into any thread without coming across their pro-DC, or anti-Marvel, stupidity… as the “rip-off” comment you so blithely skipped over while you were in such a hurry to suck up to dc fanboys would have demonstrated.

            • You are correct as I did not address that blatantly foolish comment. I do not think that statements like that should even be considered. I find it in bad taste when someone criticizes others for doing what they themselves do. Please feel free to any of my posts anywhere and see if I have every been hypocritical. I am sorry if you get so upset over someone who has deferring opinions but that is a problem you need to deal with.

              • *differing

          • @SuperHulk

            To be honest, I don’t think you’ve actually read a word of my post let alone understood it.

            I’ve just supported the argument that Marvel is producing a vast amount of cinematic output in comparison to DC. It’s not bashing anyone just stating hat is fact.

            I’m taking it you are a DC fan as your reaction is so typically defensive whenever someone highlights WB / DC’s inactivity. I for one love DC’s heroes which is why it’s so frustrating seeing such a lack of commitment towards them.

            Next time, please read posts properly next time and then react with an actual argument.

            • First and foremost I am a Superman And Hulk fan not any one studios fan as my screen name suggests. I am sorry as bashing was not the proper term for what your comment was. I respect your opinions even though I sometimes disagree. I have no problem with disagreement as long as it is constructive and positive. Once again I am sorry for the unjust accusation as I think we both are passionate about these movies and only want the best outcome.

            • Actual argument? Umm, lessee…

              “DC on the other hand.. Gal as Wonder Woman? Superman getting demoted to 2nd billing, and nt [sic] to mention Eisnenberg [sic] as Luthor? The list goes on.” That doesn’t exactly strike me as “highlighting WB/DC’s inactivity,” rather bashing a film in advance for pure conjecture (2nd billing? Where did that come from?) and unexpected casting decisions that we’re yet to see if they’re mistakes or not. Hardly facts.

      • I hate to be that guy but Marvel only released 2 movies. You really can’t count the films that Marvel Studios didn’t do like X-Men and Spiderman.

        • No one blames you…someone has to be “That guy.” All these years and explanatory articles later, there are still people who think Marvel produces the spider-man and x-men films.

        • I think the thesis of his argument was that Marvel comics in general has more film adaptations than DC, so there’s really no inaccuracies to address in his comment.

          • Yes there is, because 3 studios obviously can release more movies than one. What can be compared is Marvel Studios’ output vs. WB’s, as no other studio produces DC films. Though even this way, Tony’s point still stands.

      • @Tony

        Completely agree with you sir! They both copy each other all the time! Marvel is spanking them in the cinemas for sure but you can’t overlook the fact that DC has been spanking Marvel in the animation department and the live action tv series departments. I did really enjoy Marvel’s animation series Avengers:EMH, but the new avengers show was not good in my opinion (though I still watched it). Young Justice was BY FAR the best animated comic book show since Justice League/Unlimited. I re-watch that series all the time! Wish they had never cancelled it! And Marvel’s animated straight to DVD movies are not even comparable to DC’s at the moment. Can’t wait for the new Aquaman movie to come out as well as the Assault on Arkham starring the Suicide Squad!!

    • Batman, or as I like to call him Zorro and Sherlock Holmes’s rip-off!

        • How is this comment related to Mark’s, exactly?

    • He was based on Metron, but then-editor-in-chief Thomas asked him to make the character more like Darkseid.

    • Who cares? Thanos is way more interesting and complex.

  5. Amazing choice, great actor and his face does resemble Thanos quite a bit.

  6. it isn’t a very creative choice, but a perfect one once again by Marvel. nice!

  7. Whaa? Damn, did not expect that, love Josh Brolin and I think he’s a fantastic actor so I’m more than cool with this choice.

  8. Theres not alot Josh Brolin did wrong the last decade or so, amazing actor.
    Hope u can actually see it’s him acting, i have the same worries about James Spader in Avengers 2.
    Whats the use getting a big name if u can’t see it’s them.

    • I’m not at all worried about that. Feige has stated plainly that they want Spader for Spader, not to do some hypnotic voice. I think it’s no different for Brolin. Look at Ruffalo and the Hulk for example. I don’t think he got lost in that part at all.

      • Except the Hulk’s features were modeled after Ruffalo’s (but he was voiced by Lou Ferrigno). The same obviously can’t be done with Ultron, and Thanos didn’t look like Brolin in Avengers 1.

        @Scrooloose: What’s the use? First and foremost, to bring in more cash: big names attract bigger crowds, that’s pretty much a no-brainer. Why do you think the same big names are cast in every animated movie nowadays? A specific actor can also be picked for his characteristic voice. You never actually see Hugo Weaving in V for Vendetta but you damn well know it’s him…

    • Maybe, except for choosing so really REALLY bad roles to star in (*cough* Jonah Hex *cough*)

      Always liked him though, ever since Goonies! (did you know he was in that movie?!)

      • Notice he said “not a lot”, and not “nothing”…Jonah Hex was pretty much his only bomb.

        • Yeah, but Mastodon made the soundtrack.

  9. This is awesome!! I’m now even more excited to see Guardians!

  10. I like this pick.

  11. Perfect indeed.

  12. It’s also comforting to know that Marvel can keep a secret for so long in this age of social media and ubiquitous devices all linked up the web. I almost wish they’d kept it under wraps a little longer, but maybe the timing is good PR after the Ant-Man news.

  13. Very interesting choice. Wasn’t expecting this one at all. Now more anxious than ever to see Guardians of the Galaxy.

  14. Wow didn’t see this one coming but no complaints at all. Brolin does have a compelling and imposing presence, playing villains not a problem so yep, another great choice by Marvel.

    It can be assumed that since Thanos will be huge physically that Brolin will be performance , part motion capture as well.

  15. holy s*** this si awesome, you lately every time dc shows up with some kind of good news regardig their next comic book movie, marvel shows up again to nailed it!

  16. This is awesome news, great casting! I can see Josh nailing this role for sure.

  17. absolutely flawless. He was in my top 3 choices for who to play Thanos. Cannot wait.

  18. My body is ready.

  19. Great news, can’t wait to see him in Guardians. How long have they known this for?

  20. GOONIES 2???

  21. Great choice. Josh Brolin is dope and his ability to transform in all his roles has been itching to take on a role as popular and complex as Thanos. I’m excited!

  22. As long as they keep using Damion Poitier face, Josh Brolin voice should be interesting. We’ll wait and see.

    • seriously doubt it – Damon Portier is probably assed out …. sucks for him – but may be they’ll find another role for him down the line – may be as Luke Cage or an Inhuman ?? may be as Triton ?

      kinda sucks though they could have kept him and added another person of color to the MCU – even if he is purple
      but you never know may they will keep him for the MO cap / face work – time will tell

  23. Love Josh Brolin he is a great actor and will be a badass Thanos!

  24. Holy F U C K, never saw this coming !

    • You really have no self restraint when typing something? Way to break one of the two simple rules for no reason at all.

      • Breaking moronic rules is a civic duty.

      • Breaking stupid rules is a civic duty. Also, it does serve a purpose: to show his amazement.

  25. If they use the CGI like they have for the Hulk he’s perfect for thanos.

    • Yes, it’s been confirmed Thanos will be motion captured like the Hulk.
      Prepare for some bad ass fight scenes from him.

  26. I like the casting, but for all the planning ahead that Marvel gets all this credit for, why can’t they figure this out before they show the character? It would be great if they cast Brolin and had him in the stinger scene at the end of The Avengers… what happened to that dude?

    • I know, right…? And what was with all that Terrance Howard and Edward Norton nonsense…? Come on Marvel, look alive…

      It was a three second clip of his profile, I think it will be a smooth transition.

      • If they use the same actor to portray the mo-cap and Brolin is the voice, then I think its great, but if Brolin is going to physically portray Thanos, then I wonder how they will approach it.

        • Maybe they’ll pull a Lucas and edit Thanos’ face so that it looks like Brolin…? Uh, nevermind, I’m joking but honestly, like Kieran said, it was only a three second clip of his profile and if they can recast characters with actors who look nothing like their predecessors, I think they can pull it off pretty safely.

  27. So Thanos will have a slight southern twang.

  28. I’m not a big fan of Brolin, but I actually think if he’s having any role in the MCU, this is a good one for him. Satisfied with this.

  29. Love the casting decision. Makes the wait for Guardians even longer, though.