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It seems like yesterday when we first got a glimpse at the infamous Thanos as he briefly appeared during the closing credits of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers back in 2012. The glimpse was so subtle, though, that we yearned for more, and Guardians of the Galaxy granted our wish, with a full body view of the ultimate villain. But, it turns out, there was a chance the tease would’ve continued, and it was at the very last minute that Thanos was put in James Gunn’s galactic adventure.
The visual effects team behind Guardians of the Galaxy was recently nominated for an Oscar. Their impressive work gave us the lovable Groot and the always hilarious Rocket among many other alien life forms we saw throughout the galaxy. But, it was their work on Thanos that sticks out most of all. In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Stephane Ceretti (one among the team of visual effect superstars nominated) spoke out about the insane rushing they had to do to get Thanos into the film:
"It was a pretty mad rush, actually. He was in the movie initially, and then he sort of came out. Pretty much with about three months before release, we thought we were missing something. They wanted to bring him back, and we were like, 'Do you really want to bring him back now?'"
The amount of detail on Thanos’ face alone would be a ton of work for a visual effects team. That’s probably why in The Avengers end credits they only showed his face. But to create his entire body/costume/floating chair thing on short notice— that is quite the feat. But obviously, Marvel’s visual effects teams have some serious talent. One of the team members on the Guardians set had also worked on Avengers, so they had a jumping off point. The team also wanted to make sure to do justice to Josh Brolin’s voice work for the character, so even though they had so little time, they made a point to do facial captures, and tried to keep some of Brolin’s facial features especially around the nose and mouth. And showing us the scale of Thanos, the intensity he brings even just through his body language was an incredibly important set up in the MCU.
In the rare occurrence that two Marvel teams collide (Guardians and Avengers), Thanos is their connecting factor. We already know that he is definitely going to play a large role in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, but Josh Brolin has teased an appearance before that point too. We still have yet to hear a definitive answer on whether or not the Mad Titan will return before Infinity War, but we look forward to seeing his character take up more screen time when Part 1 hits theaters May 4, 2018.