Josh Brolin makes it sound like audiences and the MCU’s heroes would be best to not underestimate Thanos’ mind in Avengers: Infinity War. Marvel Studios has been building towards fully introducing the Mad Titan since the final frame of The Avengers, and the time is almost here for them to show what he can do. The first trailer for Infinity War teased the destruction that Thanos and his army will bring, while Feige has since confirmed that heroes will die for good at his hand.
After all of this build up, Thanos has to deliver on all fronts. He’s been described as the main character for good reason, as he can’t shy away from the spotlight now. It is ultimately up to directors Joe and Anthony Russo to fully realize his power, and they’ve just begun to tease his incredible moon throwing might. As powerful of a force as he will be, Brolin warns that his intellect should not be forgotten.
EW spoke to Brolin, who did motion and performance capture for the role, about Thanos’ presence in Avengers: Infinity War. After the interviewer notes Thanos’ swagger and how the Mad Titan uses his strength to intimidate his foes, Brolin hit back with what could be Thanos’ greatest strength – his mind:
You see this lughead and this guy who you pigeonhole right from the first cosmetic reaction to him. And what I see is this in this guy’s eyes. This super, super, super intelligence. There’s this constant contrasting thing about this Neanderthalic lughead who’s way more intelligent than anybody else in the movie, by far.
Much has been made about Thanos’ power and how it will only increase as he acquires more Infinity Stones. That alone will make him a villain for audiences to fear, but if Brolin’s description is right and he’s smarter than anybody else, then it will only add to the threat. Thanos’ previous plan of sitting on his chair and leasing out the Space Stone proved to be the wrong call, so he’ll have to something better up his sleeve this time around. Part of that plan will bring in his other children, the Black Order – who are siblings for Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan). As it turns out, Thanos actually has love for some of them, and Brolin teases some exciting developments with Gamora specifically:
Yeah. I do think he does. When you see the relationship with Gamora and you see that evolves, God I wish I could tell you. I can’t! When [directors Joe and Anthony Russo] came up to me after we had done maybe three quarters of the film, they said, “It wasn’t necessarily intended that you feel for this guy as much as you do.” Obviously he has a grand plan, like somebody who’s pulling in kids for their own selfish bloodshed. But he has a capacity to love very much and very deeply.
If the Black Order are actually treated as characters and not just pawns to Thanos’ scheme, then that could be how we see his capacity to love. His character motivations for Infinity War stray from the comics and looks to leave out his quest to earn Death’s love, so showing some of his emotions through the interaction with his children could help give Thanos some depth. The Gamora tease is especially interesting as Brolin cuts himself off from finishing the thought. Will we see the two actually reconnect after she betrayed him? Whatever happens, we’ll learn more about Thanos through these stories, and also more about his goal and origin through flashbacks it appears:
He’s different from his family. They’re all Titans and they all look similar, but he was born deformed. You see how he grew up, you see he was like the Quasimodo of this time, or if you’ve ever read Perfume [Patrick Süskind ‘s 1985 novel about a serial killer who craves beautiful scenes but is disgusted by the smell of humanity], it’s a great parallel to Thanos. He stuck out. He was an anomaly. He was a freak. And that lent to this apparent insanity.
It was recently confirmed that Infinity War will feature Thanos’ home world Titan, and it appears to be the orange planet we’ve seen in the marketing. There is rubble and destruction all over the planet’s surface, which ties back to Thanos’ hope to rebalance the universe. He tried to do this on Titan but was not allowed to, so seeing the fall of Titan and Thanos’ previous failure is a nice inclusion. All in all, Brolin makes it sound like audiences will see plenty of Thanos next month.
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