Over the course of their Phase 2 slate of films, Marvel has spent quite a bit of time establishing the character of Thanos. He hasn’t really done much, but he’s popped up a number of times just to remind people that he’s out there. One of his biggest turns was in Guardians of the Galaxy, and that has lead many to wonder whether or not he’ll show up in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which starts filming next year. It doesn’t sound like we’ll be seeing the Mad Titan in that movie, but it does appear that next time he shows up, we’ll finally see what the big deal is.

With the sequel to the surprisingly massive 2014 deep space adventure on the way, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige sat down with Empire (via Comic Book Movie), and had this to say about Thanos and Guardians 2.
I wouldn't look too hard in that movie for Thanos. The next time we see Thanos he will not be messing around. It will be, 'Oh, that's why they've been teasing this villain for five years!

That’s what comic book fans have been waiting to hear. Thanos is a total badass in the comics, but thus far on the cinematic side, he’s done relatively little. Sure, he’s ominous and threatening, but aside from talking a big game, he hasn’t shown much—they’re definitely playing the long game. From what Feige says, that is going to change, however. And we can’t help but get stoked at that prospect.

That said, it’s still unclear when we’ll see him again. After he picks up the empty Infinity Gauntlet at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and says, I’ll do this my damn self, it’s clear that he’s going to start trying to collect the Infinity Stones. As much of Phase 3 will likely involves this quest and culminate in the two-part Avengers: Infinity War movies, we’re still wondering when he’ll pop up.

Given that he was in the first film, and his ties to characters in that arc and deep space, many suspected that he would appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. That’s apparently not the case, but there are a number of places he could show up. Though it’s unlikely he might pop up in Doctor Strange next year, though Thor: Ragnarok in 2017 sounds more realistic than that—he’s certainly capable of wrecking up Asgard and could be behind the destruction Thor witnessed in his apocalyptic hallucination. But at this point, who the hell knows.

It’s going to be interesting to see what Marvel does with Thanos moving forward, but it’s nice to know that he’ll finally start living up to the hype. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 starts filming under the watchful eye of director James Gunn in February, and hits theaters, sans Thanos, May 5, 2017.

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