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In 2008, Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures took a huge gamble by releasing Iron Man, thus setting into motion a plan to create a cinematic fabric that would either succeed or fail. Though there were some rough patches, Phase I completed with the resounding success of Joss Whedon's The Avengers, officially creating the most successful universe of continuity that comic book films have ever seen. The Marvel Cinematic Universe was born. But where there's birth, there's surely death; and where there's death... there's Thanos!
Through Mark Ruffalo's Twitter feed, we were given a rather innocuous but heartfelt message of gratitude from the man behind the massive green rage monster himself. Unbeknownst to anyone who wasn't at Comic Con, this video contained a clear view of Thanos on his throne, complete with a teasing segment of foreboding dialogue. Thankfully, it looks like Ruffalo had Marvel's permission to spill the goods this time.
This video, outside of Guardians Of The Galaxy, is the first clear look and sound we have from Josh Brolin's Thanos! Just when you thought the video was going to end on an epic moment of Rocket cocking his gun, Marvel comes back true to form with the ominous lover of Death promising to "bathe the starways in [our heroes'] blood." If you were to condense Phases I and II into a trailer that sells the high points of the mythos, as well as sell Guardians Of The Galaxy so hard that you'd have no choice but to buy your tickets right after the video, this is the way to do it.
While other companies are trying to shut down leaks of all shapes and sizes, Marvel has taken the reverse strategy and embraced the leak of Thanos's visage. Truthfully, it just sells me on the movie even more seeing that clip, and it makes me wonder just what sort of threat Phase 3 will have in store for the Guardians Of The Galaxy as well as The Avengers. Also, one last fun fact about Thanos before we go: remember a couple months back when Kevin Feige and Business Week teased a character on a rocket powered throne and how the identity of that actor should be kept secret? Kids, that was the story of how Business Week met Josh Brolin's Thanos!
And you can meet him too, when you see Guardians Of The Galaxy in theaters this weekend! I have to say though, as much as I love this video, there's one very big nitpick I have with it. If you want to leave with Thanos' ominous words ringing in your ears, then have fun and enjoy the movie! But if you want to see if one of your nitpicks (and I know you guys have at least a handful) matches up with my singular nitpick with this video, then click over for some extra innings on Page 2.
While every other Avenger and Guardian is shown quite extensively in the Phase 1 & 2: A Look Back video, we only get small pieces of footage involving The Hulk! I know Edward Norton pissed Marvel Studios off enough that he was recast with Mark Ruffalo, but it's time to drop the baggage and acknowledge The Incredible Hulk IS canon! It's included for 30 seconds in this video, the film is in the Phase I Assembled box set, and Bruce Banner even refers to his fight in Harlem and his suicide attempt in 2008's disowned stepchild of a film.
I'm not saying Edward Norton needs to be shown in the clip, however Marvel could easily have expanded the footage of The Hulk that they'd used from the previous film and had Banner's dialogue from The Avengers do the talking. The way Marvel has been handling the Hulk mythology (which was also glaringly present in the Assembling A Universe special a couple of months back) is disrespectful to the character, as well as Mark Ruffalo's stellar performance as Bruce Banner AND The Hulk. Going into the future, Marvel would be doing itself a favor to remember the man behind the monster.