Thanos has been teased as the Big Bad to end all Big Bads in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But we’ve only seen bits and pieces of the evil galactic overlord (played by Josh Brolin in mo-cap since Guardians of the Galaxy) ordering his ineffectual minions around in pursuit of the Infinity Stones. It’s worked out so bad for him he actually has less Infinity Stones than when he started in the films. But with the big guy finally stepping into the limelight as the main antagonist of Avengers: Infinity War (and its untitled sequel?), the Phase 3 capper is set to be the first MCU entry largely defined by its villain (and we all know, for all its virtues, the MCU hasn’t always
During the Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 set visit, Collider asked MCU maestro Kevin Feige about the purple alien finally getting off the bench to do things himself.
“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.”
The site also had a chance to ask James Gunn about Thanos’ exclusion from Guardians, Vol. 2, which he explained was done to focus on Gamora and Nebula’s relationship instead.\
“It’s about two sisters. It’s not about the sisters and their father. It’s about two sisters and what were the sisters’ problems with each other? And, you know, some of those things were caused by being raised by the ultimate abusive father. But it really isn’t about Thanos, and frankly, I just wasn’t inspired to put him in the movie. You know, I kind of go with my gut on these things and it just wasn’t what I wanted to do. It wasn’t the most fun part of the movie last time for me and I just didn’t really wanna do it this time. And again, the relationship with Thanos has nothing to do with it. It’s not about their relationship with Thanos. It’s about their relationship to each other, and what is that? And that was interesting to me, and I thought that was important to our story, and that was important to our characters. What happened with them in the past—there’s a lot of stuff that happened with them in the past that affects our characters presently.”
That Gunn said the Thanos scenes in the first Guardians “wasn’t the most fun” isn’t too surprising and indicates it was more an obligatory MCU tie-in than an organic part of his storytelling. That is something he deliberately avoided on Vol. 2. He even cut another prominent, unnamed MCU character from his treatment to focus solely on the Guardians old and new as well as Kurt Russell’s Ego the Living Planet and Elizabeth Debicki’s villainous Ayesha.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 hits theaters May 5. Marvel’s space squad will return in Avengers: Infinity War, which is currently filming for release May 4, 2018. The untitled sequel Avengers 4 (formerly subtitled Infinity War – Part 2) is filming concurrently with Infinity War and will hit theaters a year later on May 3, 2019. Check out the Vol. 2 Super Bowl TV spot here and a new high-res images here.