For 14 movies (and counting), the Marvel Cinematic Universe has focused almost solely on its heroes, with the villains playing second banana. That might soon change.
In an interview with Collider, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says that next year’s Avengers: Infinity War will break from the previous two films’ blueprint of the big hero team-up in order to focus more on a single character: Thanos, the big cosmic baddie who’s been popping up now and again since the end of the original Avengers.
“Thanos in Infinity War is — in a movie that has a lot of characters, you could almost go so far as to say he is the main character, and that’s a bit of a departure from what we’ve done before, but that was appropriate for a movie called Infinity War,” Feige said.
Thanos has been quietly menacing the Marvel Cinematic cosmos since the end of the original Avengers, where he was revealed to be the power behind the alien army Loki set upon New York City. Since then, he’s been seeking out artifacts called Infinity Stones – conveniently the MacGuffins of many of the MCU flicks – in a bid to take over and/or destroy the universe. He’s been portrayed by Josh Brolin since his appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Assuming that Infinity War and the currently untitled Avengers 4 are still essentially a two-parter (which, as far as we’ve heard, is still the case even though they’re no longer actually titled “part one” and “part two”), focusing in on Thanos rather than the Avengers does make a certain kind of sense – we need enough story to fill out two movies, after all.
It’s also a welcome shake-up. One of the biggest flaws of the MCU films are the villains; sure, you’ve got Loki, but other than that most of ’em are bland heavies who stand around pontificating until they can get punched. Thanos has been the MCU’s Big Bad for a while now, but he’s really just been a dude who pops up for to be menacing in a scene or two every now and again – we don’t actually know who he is or what makes him tick, at least in the context of the MCU. Taking time to really get to know Thanos in the same way we have some of the heroes themselves can only be a good thing. And hey, when you’ve got someone like Brolin taking up the role, you don’t want to waste him (then again, we would have said that about Lee Pace in Guardians and Christopher Eccelson in Thor: The Dark World, but here we are).
Avengers: Infinity War doesn’t hit until May 2018, but in the meantime Marvel fans have Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to look forward to on May 5, and Netflix’s Iron Fist series (which drops March 17 – check out the trailer!) on the small screen.