With Captain America: Civil War now behind us, rather than in front of us, we are yet another step closer to the inevitable conclusion of all of this, Avengers: Infinity War. Ever since Thanos was first glimpsed during the closing credits of The Avengers, we’ve had a pretty good idea where this is all headed. Having said that, we still know comparatively little about the MCU version of the character. This will all change by the time we get to the Infinity War as the Russo’s plan to show us just how big Thanos really is, in every sense of the word.
With all the praise that Marvel Studios has received over the years for their cinematic universe, one place where they haven’t always hit the mark has been in regard to villains. Many of them have been forgettable. Most have simply been generically evil characters who gave the hero something to overcome. Joe Russo tells USA Today that there will be more to Thanos than that. There are reasons that he is doing the things he is doing, and the audience will come to understand him, which hasn’t always been the case for Marvel villains.
He is a blank slate, but he is a mythic figure. His stature is, both literally and figuratively, enormous. What’s important to us is digging in and dimensionalizing him and make you understand why he does what he does.
While Thanos has been an ever present force since the end of the MCU’s Phase One, we’ve mostly been exposed to him in very small doses, as part of post-credits sequences. His largest role to date was in Guardians of the Galaxy where we actually got to see him interact with other characters. We were able to see some aspects of the character’s stature there. He was able to instill a certain amount of fear and respect without ever getting out of his chair. Even non-comic fans who aren’t familiar with the character would likely have understood Thanos was a force to be reckoned with.
Still, we have yet to really learn Thanos’ motivations. His desire to obtain theInfinity Stones is probably not perfectly identical to that of the original comic arc that the film’s story will be based on. His motivations, and end goal, are key to creating a terrifying villain. Whatever his terrible purpose is, we have to believe he’s capable of achieving it.
As Joe Russo says here, Thanos is currently a blank slate. Because they haven’t given him anything deeper to motivate him at this point, they still have some freedom to create exactly the character they need to. We’ll get to know Thanos a little better when Avengers: Infinity War hits screens in 2018.