While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has consistently pulled in the most overwhelmingly positive reviews of Hollywood’s current crop of superhero mega-franchises, some long-running criticisms have continued to follow the various films within the properly. Most notably, many detractors (and even those who otherwise enjoy the MCU films) point to a lack of strong or memorable villains; as most Marvel films place the heroes at the emotional center of their narrative.
The bold declaration originates a conversation our own Rob Keyes and a group of movie journalists had with the powerful Hollywood producer on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 last April. It is here where it was asked what Feige and and co. have learned about creating Marvel movie villains after having gone ‘big’ with Ronan the Accuser in the first Guardians but much more personal and intimate with Zemo in Captain America: Civil War.
“Well, I mean, it always varies, but it always starts with what serves the story the most and what serves the hero the most. We’ve been criticized, if a big criticism of ours is that we focus on the heroes more than the villains, I think that’s probably true. I don’t think it will always be true and I think some of you spoke to Chris and Steve at the Civil War junket. When the heck was that, yesterday? Last week? And they talked about, in appropriately oblique terms, Thanos. Thanos in Infinity War is, you know, in a movie that has a lot of characters, you could almost go so far as to say he is the main character, and that’s a bit of a departure from what we’ve done before, but that was appropriate for a movie called Infinity War.”
While Feige’s description could be interpreted to mean everything from Thanos’ journey being the driving force of the plot to the story actually taking place (at least in part) from purple-skinned intergalactic dictator’s perspective; either case would mark a noteworthy departure from the previous MCU features, where the heroes have more often confronted their own personal demons with the individual villains mainly serving to incite the incidents that drive said introspective confrontations. However, given that Thanos and The Infinity Stones are the only tangible links between characters like The Avengers and Guardians of The Galaxy who have otherwise not yet encountered one another, from a logical perspective his centrality makes sense.
Additionally, the shift would be highly appropriate given that Thanos was very much at the center of the original comic book storyline (“The Infinity Gauntlet”) that the third and fourth Avengers films are said to be drawing much of their inspiration from. In that story, Thanos assembled the Infinity Stones into a singular weapon in order to wipe out most life in the galaxy – an act which he believes will endear him to the cosmic deity Death, whom he is romantically infatuated with. It is unknown how much of that aspect of the story will be adapted in the finished film(s), but either way the prospect of this much involvement from Thanos should come as a relief to many Marvel fans who have been puzzled by the fact that the all-powerful villain has made very few (onscreen) moves of his own and seems to have been failing at many of his schemes thus far – to the extent that Infinity War could possibly end up being an “origin” preceding an even bigger showing in the as-yet untitled Avengers 4.
Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, with Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Nikolas Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers.