Kevin Feige Talks About Building Up Thanos in the MCU and How People Thought It Was Way Too Ambitious
I still remember the excitement that I felt when Thanos was teased at the end of Joss Whedon’s first Avengers movie. It was funny because half of the crowd shit their pants with excitement, while the other half was like, “who the hell is that?”
Well now, after this epic MCU journey, everyone knows who Thanos is! The Mad Titan is such a complex character with such an epic story arc in the comics, that some people didn’t even think that Marvel Studios would be able to pull it off.
During a recent interview, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said:
"We introduced Thanos for the first time at the end of the very first Avengers film. Joss Whedon wrote in the very end of his draft this little tag where a character turns around and smiles. We didn’t say the name, but fans recognized that purple profile. That was the beginning of planting a flag saying, 'We could be going here; we could be building towards Thanos.' People who read the comic books knew that meant building towards The Infinity Gauntlet."
Feige went on to share his thoughts on how people thought bringing the story of Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet to the big screen was way too ambitious. Hell, they didn’t even know if they would be able to do it!
"But even after the first Avengers, people thought, 'That’s too ambitious, you can’t do The Infinity Gauntlet as a movie. We weren’t sure about it either at that point. We were just working on Phase Two, and one of the biggest films of Phase Two was Guardians of the Galaxy. We were intentionally bringing in new characters, setting the stage again, and going to a place where even many hardcore comic book fans had no knowledge about these characters. Within that, we found an opportunity late in the process to include Thanos. The character of Gamora and the character of Nebula were tied in to the comic history of Thanos, so it seemed appropriate to add him there."
Well, as you’ve seen, they did manage to pull off this epic story in the most awesome ways imaginable! Marvel Studios and their team did it! When asked why he thought Thanos was a hit and worked so well in these past two films, Feige said:
"The answer to why Thanos worked is Josh Brolin. The reason Thanos is now this iconic movie villain is because they understand where he was coming from is because of Josh Brolin. People put 'villain' in quotes when they’re talking about Thanos."
He went on to talk about how casting Brolin in the role came about:
"It was an idea that came about pretty late in development, and I decided we needed an actor. It was a very small scene, wouldn’t require much time for an actor, but we needed somebody quickly. I thought that face and that presence of Josh Brolin would be incredible, not just for the little bit we wanted in Guardians, but should we ever proceed into the future, you want an amazing actor. But there wasn’t much time, and we required a simple yes. Often times there’s a lot of negotiating, a lot of convincing. Josh said yes right away. I don’t think he even understood quite what he was in for at that time, because he came to us soon afterwards saying, 'You know, a lot of people know Thanos. I’ve done a lot of movies in my career, but never have people been so interested about something I haven’t done yet,' after it had been announced or it had leaked that he was playing the part of Thanos."
I couldn’t be happier with how all of this turned out. Avengers: Endgame was a perfect conclusion to The Infinity Saga, and I’m in awe of how Marvel managed to pull off this story.