As of the events of Captain America: Civil War, The Avengers are no more. At least not in the way that we’ve gotten to know them in three movies. Captain America and the heroes who stood by him are now fugitives. Iron Man is in charge of The Avengers now with only The Vision by his side. War Machine is crippled, though there is a strong possibility that he can probably still function a suit. Spider-Man is something of a question mark as even though Iron Man was very pro registering, he still enlisted a teenage hero who clearly did not register. Black Widow is in the wind. The Hulk and Thor are dealing with more important things in outer space. So where does that leave the heroes when Thanos inevitably comes? How do the Guardians of the Galaxy and the upcoming Captain Marvel fit into this?
There is no doubt that the heroes will reunite by the time of the sequel of Infinity War. But what about the events in Infinity War? We know that Thanos has finally gotten off of his chair and is about to get the Infintiy Stones. There are many more movies by the time Infinity War comes around so even though Thanos is not announced as appearing in any movies until Infinity War, there is no doubt in my mind that Thanos will appear before then. I mean it’s not too hard to get Josh Brolin, the actor who plays Thanos, to come in for a day or two to do motion capture for the character and just plug Thanos into a movie. But that’s something I’ve talked about lately.
Avengers: Infinity War and its untitled sequel are going to be a masterclass in filmmaking. There are a lot of balls in the air and one mistake could mess up the whole thing. It not only has to acknowledge everything that has come before. It also has to set up the movies that come out after and in between its sequel. The Russo Brothers only had about a dozen characters to deal with in Captain America: Civil War. They have said they will be dealing with about four or five times more than that with these two films. One cannot envy their position. Maybe you do because this is something that is unprecedented and are breaking new ground. We will all know in May 2018.
Here’s a picture of Sean Gunn who does the motion capture for Rocket Racoon on the set. Check out the new logo
Thanos, The Mad Titan, is the current big bad of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We know that he is gathering the Infinity Stones. Their comics counterpart can be placed into ths Infinity Gauntlet and be used for complete domination of reality. It can be assumed that this is the goal of the movie version of Thanos as well. But that’s the thing…we know next to nothing about Thanos. I have already made my statements clear that I think Marvel Studios has tripped with their handling of the character. He has only made three appearances so far, his introduction in The Avengers, a small role in Guardians of the Galaxy where he was disrespected by an underling and the last in Avengers: Age of Ultron where he made a lackluster after credits appearance.
Avengers: Infinity War is due to drop in 2018 so in 2017 Marvel Studios should really build up his threat. James Gunn, the writer/director of Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel has said that Thanos will not be appearing in Vol. 2. He also made the same statements about its predecessor but weeks before the movie was released, it was announced Josh Brolin would be appearing in the movie as Thanos. It’s an open secret that the Guardians will be in Infinity War so something has to bring them to the conflict. Gamora and Nebula are both the daughters (kidnapped children) of Thanos and Drax has a personal vendetta against him. The Guardians also know where one of the Infinity Stones is stored at.
Thor: Ragnarok is probably the most important movie linking to Infinity War. At the end of Age of Ultron, Thor set out to figure out who was behind the gathering of the Infinity Stones. It is also widely believed that the final Stone, the Soul Stone, will play a role in the movie. Loki, currently masquerading as Odin, also has access to the Tesseract aka the Space Stone. Loki was also loaned the Mind Stone (it is still up in the air if he knew that info) in The Avengers to find the Tesseract but failed. So he might have to return a favor to be back in Thanos’ good graces.
Thanos has not been announced for any of these movies. But as with his other appearances, they can be uncredited. Since Thanos is a motion capture character, it would not require a lot to get Josh Brolin in for a day or two to do the role. But it is time to see Thanos actually do something. The most action we have deen is him sitting in his chair and putting on a gauntlet. We have seen characters refer to him as the most powerful character in the universe but that has not been conveyed. Most of his underlings including both of his daughters have outright betrayed him. Ronan the Accuser outright dissed him and yet no retaliation.
One of the biggest criticisms towards the MCU is how the villains are one note. Marvel Studios can really build up the threat of Thanos before his big opening in Avengers: Infinity War. They don’t really have to be much. Just small cameos in Guardians Vol. 2 and Ragnarok to show he is coming for what he covets and is not messing around anymore. There would be something really unfortunate if the big bad for the MCU turned out to be a dud.
Warning there will be spoilers here for Doctor Strange:
The Infinity Stones
As has been speculated for some time, The Eye of Agamoto houses the Time Stone. That means there is one Infinity Stone left unaccounted for. This also means there are two Infinity Stones on Earth. We all know Thanos is finally deciding to get out of his chair and do it himself. So a visit to the Doctor Strange and his mystic comrades is expected.
In a post credits scene that is more than likely a shortened scene from Thor: Ragnar ok, we see Thor has gone to Strange for help in locating his father. How exactly Thor learns of him is unknown at this point. But we do see that Strange knows more about Thor and specifically that Loki is on Earth. Loki is a threat to Earth and Strange is having none of that. The condition is that Strange will help Thor locate Odin on the condition that the Asgardians stay away from Earth.
There seemed to be some tension between Strange and Thor. Probably due to the fact that Loki is on Earth. We all know Thor has a blindspot towards his brother. Plus most of the Earth’s biggest problems stem from the Asgardians in various ways. Probably shouldn’t expect Strange’s role in Thor: Ragnarok to be more than a significant cameo.
Avengers: Infinity War
Doctor Strange and Wong have been confirmed to appear in the movie and presumably the fourth Avengers movie that will be sshooting simultaneously. Strange plays the unconnected third party to the splintered Avengers. He may also bring knowledge about Thanos who is a compete unknown to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Will he be the one to unite the fractured heroes? As we saw in the movie, Strange was willing to risk an eternity of infinite deaths to save Earth whereas in the beginning he is only interested in taking medical cases that wouldn’t harm his reputation. He is probably the best example of someone getting out of their own way. The other heroes can learn something from him.
One of the biggest issues within the Marvel Cinematic Universe are the villains. Most of the villains come across as pretty flat characters such as Malekith and Yellowjacket or inconsistent and confusing such as Ultron. At the end of Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the universe will face a threat that has been there since the end of Phase 1: Thanos. Thanos is considered one of the most dangerous villains in Marvel Comics but will he be that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
At the tail end of 2016, Marvel Studios will start filming Avengers: Infinity War, which will be a two part movie with the first installment released in 2018 and the second part in 2019. These movies will officially mark the arrival of Thanos, who made his first appearance during the mid credits scene of The Avengers in 2012 and he was only glimpsed and never actually named. Sine that appearance, he has only made one small appearance in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and another cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In Guardians of the Galaxy, we learn a little about his character. He is someone who cares nothing for his “daughters”who are implied to be child warriors he abducted and learn that he is after the Infinity Stones but not actually willing to do the job himself despite being referred to as one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy. In the mid credits scene of Age of Ultron, Thanos makes another cameo and donning the infamous Infinity Gauntlet and proclaiming that, “He’ll do it himself” and grinning.
The screenwriters of Infinity War mentioned how they might not have to do any work to make Thanos a credible threat. However, the opposite is true. There needs to be a lot of work done for that to come across. Loki, Ronan, Gamora and Nebula are all of the characters who have interacted with Thanos within the movies have betrayed or failed him yet he only raises his voice. His plan in The Avengers in retrospect makes no sense. Thanos is on a quest to retrieve the Infinity Stones yet he sends Loki with a staff that has the Mind Stone within it to retrieve the Tessaract, which has the Space Stone within. Why would he risk the only Stone in his possession?
It is presumed that Thanos is someone of immense power and resources. We see that he commands a vast army in the Chitauri. Ronan The Accuser, who is stated to be one of the most powerful beings in the universe visibly trembles when confronting Thanos. The only problem is that we never actually see Thanos do anything. In two of his three appearances, he’s mainly sitting in his floating chair and grinning. When he finally states that he’ll do it himself in Ultron, it is supposed to resonate but instead rings a bit hollow. At that point there had been eleven films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and he’s probably had only about two minutes worth of screen time.
Even though it is stated that he will only appear in the Infinity War two parter, it wouldn’t be unfair to presume he will appear in some movies before those. Within the Thor series, those characters are in possession of the Space Stone. So it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume he might make an appearance or have some sort of presence. It is stated that he also won’t appear in the sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy but he was stated to not be making an appearance in the first movie for the longest time before being revealed to be in the movie months before it was released. There are also other movies that will be exploring the cosmic side and mystic of the MCU such as Captain Marvel and Doctor Strange and seeing as Thanos is a cosmic level threat, his presence can be felt.
Josh Brolin, an acclaimed actor, has been portraying the character since Guardians. He portrays the character through motion capture but there are little hints and touches that show that it is definitely Josh Brolin. He is known for playing characters that have a certain intensity to them and one can sense that in his short scene in Guardians. But there is going to have to be more to the character than just menace. In the comics, Thanos is in love with the personification of Death and thus wants to end all creation. Will this carry over into the movies? More than likely but who knows as to what extent. An actor like Brolin can certainly show a character who is one of the most feared in the galaxy and probably back it up but is doing it all for love. Only the future will tell if Thanos rises to the top of the ranks of the best villains in the MCU or the sinks to the bottom.