The filmmakers behind Avengers: Infinity War explain how Thanos knew about Tony Stark/Iron Man. The existence of Thanos has been a major factor in Tony's personal arc since 2012's The Avengers. His fear of the possibility of another attack on Earth, further fueled by the Scarlet Witch-induced vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron, motivated him to create Ultron. This caused people to paint him as a bad guy, an image that stuck with him coming into Captain America: Civil War. In reality, Tony is anything but a villain. The arrival of Thanos and him ultimately succeeding in wiping half of life in the universe proved that he was actually right all along.
But just as the genius, billionaire grappled with the idea of an extraterrestrial bad guy attempting to take over Earth again, Thanos was also disturbed by the idea that an Earth-dweller may be just the person to hinder him from achieving his goal of a perfectly balanced universe. This is the reason why despite having never met before their encounter on Titan, the Mad Titan was aware of Stark.
During the audio commentary included in Infinity War's home release, co-director Joe Russo and co-writer Christopher Markus talk about how Thanos knew specifically about Tony Stark. As it turns out, it stems from the "interesting parallel between Thanos and Tony. They're both aware of something from an early point and constantly having to deal with being smarter. Thanos is a futurist as much as Tony Stark," as Markus put it.
Russo further delved into their connection by citing the Battle of New York as Thanos' real first introduction to "Earth's best defender." As much as Tony had been nagged by the threat of Thanos in the last six years, the Mad Titan had been also bothered by the existence of Stark. In hindsight, this connection between the two may very well be how the Earth's Mightiest Heroes defeat the villain.
"He's aware of Stark from the original Battle of New York as the person who undid the plan. It's interesting because, as Thanos moves forward from this moment, once he disposes of his armor, he almost becomes a holy warrior where he doesn't spend a lot of his energy intentionally trying to murder people unless they are, in some way, a threat to his agenda. Almost no one ends up being a threat to the agenda except for Tony, who I think he feels has a sort of existential connection to Thanos."
Tony may have lost the battle against Thanos in Infinity War, but in reality, they're really at a tie right now considering that the Avenger technically beat the Mad Titan during the Battle of New York. It remains to be seen how their final bout will end come Avengers 4, but it's no secret that Tony will be a major factor in Thanos' defeat. Doctor Strange's willingness to give up the Time Stone to save Tony's life was a good indication of that. But while the fight with the intergalactic supervillain has always been personal for the genius, billionaire, Peter Parker's death will undoubtedly further fuel his desire to take down Thanos. Just like the supervillain's dedication in achieving his goals, it's safe to assume that Tony is not going to stop until the bad guy pays for everything he's done, even if that means he'll have to sacrifice his life for the sake of it.
Avengers: Infinity War is available now for digital and streaming, coming to Blu-ray on August 14th.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019