A month since its release, the largely crowd-pleasing Captain America: Civil War has earned over a billion dollars in theaters around the world. Buoyed by Spider-Man’s long awaited entry into the MCU, played by Tom Holland, and the debut of the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), the film offered fans a tantalizing preview of what’s to come in Marvel Studios’ next phase.
But, even with Spider-Man: Homecoming, Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and every other film on the studio’s crowded schedule, the anticipation for the two-part Avengers: Infinity War likely towers above them all. Part 1 of Anthony and Joe Russo’s epic is still two years away, but Josh Brolin, the man charged with bringing to life the Avatar of Death himself, Thanos, has offered a few comments that should help to raise fans' already high expectations.
With Brolin’s latest film, the Coen Brothers' oddball tribute to the studio-system era of Hollywood, Hail, Ceasar!, hitting Blu-Ray and DVD this week, the veteran actor spoke with Moviefone about his upcoming role in The Avengers:
“I sat at a table and I listened to the story from beginning to end. ... Sometimes you go around and you go, 'Oh, it's a great movie. Or this is a great experience,' and you kind of know that it's not. This is the opposite. … These Avengers stories all come down to this conclusion, and that's our involvement. Basically, my character against everybody. And it's really fun what they've chosen to do with the story. I think it's brilliant, personally. I was blown away, and had goose pimples pretty much 50 percent of the time that I was listening to what was going on, and pretty amazed that I'm going to be involved in it. So it's a big thing that's coming up.”
With Marvel devoting vast sums of money to the culmination of its cinematic universe, it seems like Brolin being anything less than “blown away” would be a bit of a let down. Back in January we learned that Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely had outlined both films and begun working on pages, while just last month we received a few more details as to how the partners spread the characters over both films and that both movies will have unique titles. All of these comments point to the massive scale and complexity of a story featuring this huge collection of characters, yet aside from Thanos being the villain and the Infinity Stones playing some role, the plot remains a total mystery.
The actor also touched upon the effect playing Thanos has had on his public persona, as he adds, “I've gotten more publicity playing Thanos, even though I haven't done it yet, than all other movies combined. If there's any blurb of publicity at all for me, it includes Thanos in some way or another.”
With this kind of hype surrounding a film, it’s hard to imagine the numbers it would have to achieve in order to be considered a success. As more and more information becomes available, fans will calibrate their personal expectations accordingly, but with Marvel - almost literally - putting everything they’ve got into Infinity War, the high threshold for success is established from the first call of action.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.