You'll Never Unsee Young Thanos' Design For Avengers: Endgame

Josh Brolin as Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, final battle sequence
(Image credit: (Marvel))

The more we learn about the making of Avengers: Endgame, the more its incredible box office success feels warranted. The new highest-grossing movie of all time combined a decade’s worth of world-building and character development into one culminating conclusion, but there were a ton of elements of the film that were developed, filmed, and ultimately cut from the release. Such as a more in-depth exploration of Thanos’ backstory.

Marvel Studios Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding recently shared this concept art featuring Young Thanos from a preteen to a young adult. Check it out:

A photo posted by on

Never thought you’d see a social media post throwing back Thanos long before he became the Avengers’ most serious adversary to date, did you? The age progression we’ll never unsee was created by the Marvel artist at a point in development when the Mad Titan’s backstory was going to be delved into for Avengers: Endgame.

As Ryan Meinerding notes, the labels up top that say 13 years old, 17 years old and 22 years old weren’t to signify his actual age – but what he appears to be at these statures.Thanos may have already been at the age of 100 by the time he looked 13. You know, like how Baby Yoda is 50 years old in The Mandalorian! Speaking of babies, check out this actual concept art of Baby Thanos:

Marvel concept designer Ian Joyner shared the questionably adorable villain to coincide with Ryan Meinerding’s reveal. The Head of Visual Development recently shared how at first there were plans to track Thanos’ life from birth and even show him “having an actual teen moment of being seven-foot tall awkward teenager."

Ultimately, the Russo Brothers decided it wasn’t necessary to deep dive so far back into Thanos’ lifetime. His motivations are clear to “save the world” by wiping half of the population from existence. It wasn’t shown exactly what motivates the purple villain to do this. He watched his home planet of Titan become extinct before his eyes and he realizes this could happen to the universe if he doesn’t take action.

Thanos certainly has an interesting backstory and between his power and motivations, he became a great adversary for the team of heroes to realistically lose too and need to avenge. Too much story on the Mad Titan would have taken away from the many beloved characters featured in the epic.

Not to mention Avengers: Endgame already came out to an over three-hour runtime. Black Widow didn’t even get a proper funeral – an aspect about the movie the writers admit they regret. Maybe a deep dive into Thanos’ backstory could go on Disney+ if enough fans are interested? You can check out Avengers: Endgame exclusively streaming on the service now!

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.