Joss Whedon Setting Up Thanos For ‘The Avengers 3′?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated April 29th, 2013 at 9:54 pm,

Iron Man 3 opened in several overseas markets over the weekend and beat the international box office opening numbers of last summer’s The Avengers. The success is expected to continue as the first chapter of Phase Two opens in North America this Friday and it’s raising a lot questions about the future – in a good way – as fans and media poke and prod about where the unsigned Robert Downey Jr. and co. fit into the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Tony Stark is a critical part of The Avengers 2, and the sequel to the biggest opening film of all-time already has its first draft in place, writer and director Joss Whedon confirmed last week. He also dropped a major hint of two of the new characters joining the team in The Avengers 2 and chatted about one of the core villains fans are eager to see return.

In chatting with Desde Hollywood, Whedon explained why Earth’s Mightiest should be afraid of Thanos while also hinting at how the character may have a rather long-term role to play in the franchise.

“Well, Thanos is more powerful. He is so powerful he is not someone you can just try out and punch him. Like he did in the comics, you want him threading through the universe and to save the big finale for the big finale. He is definitely a part of what I have got going on.

The thing about The Avengers is that they are very powerful but not very stable. So, there will definitely be some people that will shake them up in the next installment.”

Thanos Actor Talks Role Joss Whedon Setting Up Thanos For The Avengers 3?

What is Thanos up to?

Assuming Thanos shows up in some capacity in both Guardians of the Galaxy as well as The Avengers 2 - as the character’s creator Jim Starlin indicated would be the case – that’s only two films, and not exactly “threading” the character known as the Mad Titan throughout the universe. From Whedon’s words about Thanos being “a part of” his script and plans for Phase Two, it’s a safe bet that Thanos isn’t the primary antagonist The Avengers battle in the sequel and rather, is a villain behind-the-scenes being saved for Phase Three and its final chapter, The Avengers 3. Thanos is simply too powerful and too important to just show up and be defeated that quickly.

Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige said as much last year in discussing the Thanos post-credits button at the end of The Avengers and planning the future:

“Clearly, there’s a purpose to us putting him in the end of that movie. We do have plans for him[...] I wouldn’t say we ever feel the need to rush anything one way or the other. We succeeded in Phase One because we stuck to our guns and stuck to the plan. That plan took place over many, many years and it ultimately paid off. I see Phase Two unfolding in the same way of us taking our time, us doing what’s right for each individual movie, while folding in elements that will not only build up to the culmination of Phase Two, but even Phase Three.”

The more interesting discussion is then determining who will threaten Earth in the next big team-up and how much of the film will delve into the cosmic story setup in 2014′s Guardians of the Galaxy versus staying grounded on Earth. With aliens attacking New York in The Avengers and Guardians serving as the lead-in before The Avengers 2, there will be ties between them and a strong otherworldly influence but we don’t yet know if that means the Cosmic Avengers will join Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man and Thor come time for 2015, or if that super team-up with Avengers, new and old, alongside the Guardians, is being saved for The Avengers 3.

Thanos Death Marvel Comics 570x380 Joss Whedon Setting Up Thanos For The Avengers 3?

Thanos & Death

What we do know is that bad things are going to happen to the team in 2015. The Avengers introduced the dynamic and put them together and in the sequel, Whedon has gone on record explaining that he wants to make it more personal, more “painful,” more emotional, and twist the knife, so to speak. He’s also teased the idea of “death” which works on several levels for fans of Marvel Comics. Knowing Whedon’s track record of storytelling, it’s expected that heroes will fall in The Avengers 2.

“The creation of the team is not the happy ending. It is the beginning of something that is complex and difficult, and now I get to dig a little deeper. And maybe, while I’m digging, just twist that knife. And that’s exciting for me.”

What villain(s) will cause this? How many characters will fight against Thanos in The Avengers 3? Will Joss Whedon write and direct beyond The Avengers 2?


Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6, 2015, and Doctor Strange sometime after that.

Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes your theories on The Avengers 2!

Source: Desde Hollywood

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
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  1. after teasing thanos at the end of the first movie it’s hard to see any other character filling the bill. ultron or any other villain strong enough to call out the avengers would be deserving of more of a build up of there own.

    maybe avengers 2 builds to a desperate last stand to stop thanos from getting the infinity gauntlet from odins stash, which they fail setting up phase three to tell some version of the IG story arc.

    if they do decide to one- off a bad guy for avengers 2 my vote goes to tyrant, that would be one bad ass rumble.

  2. I think Masters of Evil would be perfect. Use Abomination, Mandarin, Crossbones, Loki(in a small role), Kurse, The Leader, and maybe somehow bring back Red Skull. This would make it very personal for the Avengers. This could also be the reason War Machine, Falcon, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch join. And most importantly, it would bring Stark back as Iron Man. Maybe start it off with some of the members attacking Stark with no armor, killing Pepper. This would send Tony into a fury and returning for vengance.

    • Iron Man 3 killed that by making the Mandarin a JOKE!!!

  3. I’d guess that the World Security Council is the big bad in Avengers 2. A shadowy, amoral group of politicians willing to nuke a major American city can’t possibly co-exist with the Avengers. They already wanted to make Blonsky an Avenger, even though he’s clearly nuts. Their little nuke stunt during the Chitauri attack should send a clear message that these guys shouldn’t be in charge.
    I think that the WSC uses its power in “Winter Soldier” to punish Nick Fury by replacing him with Robert Redford’s character, which would explain Redford’s “head of S.H.I.E.L.D.” quote. If this happens, I see Captain America siding with Fury, which would explain the concept art of Cap facing off with a Quinjet that came out a while back. We learned in “The Consultant” short that the WSC wanted Emil Blonsky on the Avengers team, signaling that the group wanted a say in how the team operates. After “The Avengers,” I can see the WSC wanting their own team, which brings me to Whedon’s “brother/sister” comment. I say the WSC creates its own superhero team, possibly led by Blonsky, that includes Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. That would let the two characters be introduced to the MCU as villains before having them join the Avengers, similar to having them start off as Brotherhood of Mutant members in the comics before joining the “Cap’s Kooky Quartet” version of the Avengers.

    • @Iron Patriot, I agree, that makes sense, without having to make “Dark Avengers”, great analogy!!!

    • Wasn’t the Consultant/the post credit-scene in TIK about The Hulk?

  4. Avengers 3 will be lead by Adam Warlock

  5. They could use the villain from Thor 2, Malakith.

    • And repeating the plot of the first movie? Nope.

  6. I predicted this as soon as Avengers came out. Thanos is far too big a character for them to tease like that, and then have him serve as big-baddy in a second film.

  7. This sounds like Avengers may be a trilogy. :( But i want it to continue forever…Just like in comics,constantly changing its members.If MCU finish with Avengers 3,we are gonna miss sequels for Antman,Dr. Strange,Black Panther and many characters without getting sufficient silver screen treatment.Another option is to reboot the whole franchises which is too risky(Advantage : They gets a chance to recast charcters,RDJ can retire). You are welcome to share your thoughts.

    • No, it won’t be a trilogy. Marvel acquired the rights to Silver Surfer AND Galactus, which means big potential for Avengers 4. Don’t forget Disney owns Marvel, which means the franchise will probably go on and on as long as it makes money.

      • When did they get those rights back?!?! Surfer vs. Thanos……classic comic battle waiting to happen on the big screen!!

      • @Dude, Unless you work for Marvel Studios or Fox and know something on the inside that we all don’t, Marvel did NOT acquire the rights back for Silver Surfer and Galactus. Marvel tried to work out that negotiation but Fox refused because Fox had become dead set on making the FF reboot because of the success of the Avengers and even more so because Marvel wanted to use Galactus an Silver Surfer, whilst denying Marvel Studios access to those characters even on lease or loan. FOX SUX.

        • yeah..i heard that too.FOX made negotiation to hold rights for Daredevil.In turn Marvel asked Galactus but FOX refused.

  8. Part of the fan boy in me wishes Thanos was never introduced.

    Where do you go AFTER Thanos? What is threatening after you have defeated one of the most powerful villains in comics?

    Once you do Thanos, you have to stay world destroying big. The only two villains we fit that bill would be someone like Kang (which involves time travel… gross) or someone like Ultron (yay killer AI where have we seen that before?). Everyone else seems insignificant after Thanos.

    • You….you do realize that Marvel acquired the rights to Galactus and silver surfer, don’t you? That’s at least two Avenger’s movies.

      Then they’ll have characters from Thor’s story arcs that will be formidable. i.e. a bunch of gods are more powerful than Thanos.

      • Unfortunately, they didnt get the rights to silver surfer or galactus. They were going to get those 2 characters and allow fox to have more time to get daredevil into production. But the deal fell through so daredevil went to marvel studios and silver surfer & galactus remained at fox

        • You really know how to mess up a Klingon’s day! :-D

    • Dont worry.If they can develop Ironman (was B-lister in Comics) a A-list hero via Silver screen,they can turn any lesser popular villian to a dangerous opponent of Avengers.All they need are a brilliant script and a talented actor.

    • Would be cool if they did a variation of the Korvac Saga but you need the original Guardians of the Galaxy, especially Starhawk, working with the Avengers on that one.
      Maybe something with Chthon and the Darkhold would be equal as well.

  9. Thats starting the hype early when Avenger 2 isn’t even in production yet…

  10. Everyone knows one of the villains should be Galactus, that is a MUST for an Avengers film.

    Stupid FOX ownership :\

    • Actually it seems as though Fox and Marvel/Disney are working on a deal for an unified Marvel Universe where all their characters WILL be able to cross over to each other’s films.

      That being said, I think Galactus/Silver Surfer should remain the Fantasic Four’s main villain, not the Avengers’.

      • The deal fell through (see: comments before yours)

  11. I’m starting to think Ultron will be the villain of Avengers 2 then, and Thanos of Avengers 3. They’ve gotta have Ultron somewhere in the franchise while it’s still going.

    • Is Ant Man due out before or after A2? If its before then we can be pretty sure it will be Ultron.

      • Ultron will be A4 more than likely. Introduce Ant-Man in phase 3 and have him develop Ultron then. In phase 4,where hopefully there will be an Ant-Man sequel Ultron will then make his decision about humanity etc and that will lead into A4. Marvel are in no rush to get all of the big villains onto the big screen ASAP. They will set up story arcs that span multiple films

      • Ant Man is set for the November after Avengers 2

  12. In all honesty I think they should stop with the Avengers 3. I can see that they have huge plans building up to 2 and 3 involving Thanos and it being more personal for the characters(empire strikes back type premise), but in all fairness you shouldn’t push a series beyond its logical conclusion. Three seems like a perfect number with all the other Marvel movies in between. I think we should just be happy that we’re getting more than one Avengers movie, ten years ago this would all have seemed impossible. So let’s enjoy what we have instead of complaining about the avengers not going on forever.

  13. As Thanos is soooo powerful and it will take a large and very powerful team to take him down, I am hoping in the final battle scene of the Avengers 3 (if this happens to be the final Thanos battle) all of a sudden the bifrost will smash down onto the Earth and out of it step Odin, Hiemdall, Lady Sif and the Warriors Three and the Destroyer new and improved. The Gods have returned :) I think this would be nesseccary to defeat Thanos and I would be great to see Odin open up the full power of the Odinforce on screen!!

  14. WHO OWNS THE RIGHTS to the kree and the Skrulls?

    • I imagine FOX, considering the Skrulls are more connected to the Fantastic Four than anything

    • @Yeti, It’s split, Skrulls are in the grey area too, Fox or Marvel Studios can use them but it The Kree may be owned by Marvel Studios exclusively. Although the Kree and Skrulls are enemies, The Kree are not as connected with The FF as the Skrulls.

  15. I think that the villains in A2 will be the masters of evil. They could introduce Baron Zemo in Cap2. I want the lineup of The Avengers in the sequels to include Falcon and Ms Marvel. This is how I’d do it. I’d introduce Madame Mask in Cap2. Then in Avengers 2 introduce Songbird and reveal that an Extremis participant is in hiding named Mallen. Zemo can then assemble the ultimate team to take on the Avengers. It could go:

    Captain America vs Baron Zemo
    Iron Man vs Extremis (Mallen)
    Thor vs Kurse
    Black Widow vs Madame Mask
    The Hulk vs Abomination
    Falcon vs Winter Soldier
    Hawkeye vs Crossbones
    Ms Marvel vs Songbird

    • You know, I’d rather see The Leader than Abomination.

      Two reasons why:

      1.) The Leader was foreshadowed near the end of “The Incredible Hulk”
      2.) Personally, if Tim Roth were to return as Abomination, it wouldn’t feel the same without Edward Norton as Bruce Banner and The Hulk.

  16. How is it that no one mentioned Kang as a villain,or did I miss that?Easily a formidable force that can go up against The Avengers until Marvel is ready to pull their Thanos trump card out.After watching two seasons of The Avengers:Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on Netflix,it’s clear that Kang should somehow be involved in these movies.

    Also,what about Graviton,MODOK,or Baron Strucker? They also were huge in the cartoon and could be great choices for villains.

  17. If they bring in Thanos and Death then they must bring back Deadpool as well.
    The love triangle these 3 had was poeticly bizarre.
    Thanos and Deadpool both have a deathwish which explains their infatuation with her. After Thanos cursed Deadpool by making him immortal, neither of them could ever truly have her.

  18. Ms Marvel needs to be introduced.Lets just say fox and Marvel end up sharing rights.This is what id want ii kno it probably wont but here goes.Have Ms Marvel intruduced in Winter Soldier,She gets her powers blah blah,skip to the end of Days of Future past.Since there changing timelines,have a brief scene where Rogue encounters Ms Marvel.Somehow she manages to hold on to Ms Marvel for to long.BOOM we finally get the Rogue weve always wanted.Even if the timeline changes once again.Wed get a glimpse of the true Rogue.

  19. 3 Avengers films, and a ton load of solo films leading up to it? Yeah, sounds like a great ending to me.

  20. This is a thought that is my opinion only and might not be true.
    Maybe for the third avengers they will do a team up of all marvel groups against thanos just like they did in the infinity gauntlet comic book. Even if they don’t, it will be interesting to see how the avengers will confront thanos.

  21. Can we get this page updated? That would be fantastic.

    Adding in a Guardians/Avengers team up to face Thanos for Avengers 3.

  22. I think not. Avengers 3 will probably have Kang with Masters od Evil or only Kang. Thanos is the main villain of entire franchise so showdown with him will be separated movie 100% . Also 100% that movie title will be Infinity Gauntlet :-)