Thanos has been a part of the MCU for roughly four years now, having first shown up in a post-credits scene after the original Avengers movie back in 2012. That makes him easily the most heavily teased movie villain of all time, but eventually all that teasing will come to an end when Marvel's The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 is released in May of 2018.
In the comic books, Thanos has been around even longer. He first appeared in the Iron Man comics back in 1973, but really came into his own as the main villain in the Infinity Gauntlet series upon which the two Infinity War movies are based. That means he will finally be moving out of the shadows and into leading man status in the movies as well. But will he be a compelling villain? Infinity War screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely think so.
The pair recently spoke to The Huffington Post about making Thanos the main villain of the Infinity War movies, and how four years of teases affect fan expectations of the character. When asked what he was looking forward to the most about the two films, McFeely immediately pointed to Thanos:
"It’s easy. Really giving him good scenes. You know, he’s never been the villain in any of the movies. He’s never been the main character in that way, so giving lots of good screen time to Thanos is paramount and pretty fun. He hasn’t had an amazing scene. I think it’s an advantage ultimately, right? Because people are anticipating this guy coming in and really delivering the goods. So, I think they’re eager, and we just have to deliver it. We don’t have to convince them that he’s gonna be interesting. We just have to execute what has been teased."
Markus chimed in as well, presenting Thanos not only as an opportunity, but also as a challenge:
"There’s an aspect of, you know, people know what’s coming, so our challenge is how best are we going to handle this somewhat known quantity. But also he’s barely been touched on. He’s at about 20 seconds of screen time."
Thanos will be played by Josh Brolin, a versatile actor who has more than proven himself in movies ranging from as far back as Goonies to his recent return to the world of the Coen Brothers with Hail, Caesar!. There is no doubt he brings some serious acting chops to the role, but the real question is whether or not Thanos will make a compelling villain. Although McFeely and Markus certainly vote yes, presenting interesting villains has not always been Marvel's strong suit, at least not when it comes to the MCU. Reaction to Avengers: Age of Ultron was a mixed bag, even from its own director, and much of that had to do with Ultron himself. The burden is on Marvel to turn that around with Infinity War.
Thanos' presence in the comic books loomed large not over only the Infinity Gauntlet series and its tie-ins, but the follow-up Infinity War and Infinity Crusades as well. During that time he became one of Marvel's all-time top villains. If Marvel can recapture some of that magic in bringing him to the big screen, then the heroes of the MCU will be facing their most formidable opponent yet.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange– November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.
Source: The Huffington Post