Actor Josh Brolin has been involved in classic geek films since his first major role in The Goonies. Most actors are lucky and talented enough to get just one iconic movie on their resume. Brolin was nominated for an Oscar for No Country For Old Men and he just added [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073), as his latest participation in iconic filmmaking. He is signed to a multiple picture deal with Marvel and all signs are pointing to an epic appearance in the third Avengers film. In a recent interview with IGN, Brolin explains that he has a tiny part of the master plan:
"I know what one appearance is going to be for sure. There's one or two that I don't know."
Brolin has secured the role of Thanos, the ultimate villain in the Marvel universe. While it may be years before we get to see what Thanos is truly capable of, it is exciting that an actor of Brolin's caliber is so invested in the material. Here he explains his growing enthusiasm:
"So I'm in the learning stages that is really exciting. When I first said yes, they sent me so much frickin' research. I was in the middle of doing Everest, and I was focusing more on Thanos than I was on Everest. But it's an exciting prospect, truly."
Brolin was asked if he was nervous about signing a multi-picture deal with Marvel. A big comittment considering that his character's main arc has yet to be actually scripted. This is what he had to say:
"Having done different series and all that, it's like doing the best series you could ever do," Brolin said when asked if he hesitated to sign on for multiple films. "You know you're taken care of, you know the manifestations are good, you these people are at the top of their game. I've been involved in series where I couldn't wait to play a character and watch the character go through this trajectory, and then you would say, 'Why would you do that?' Like, you're doing that based on a model of what you think people want. 'Oh, we need a love interest now. Oh, we need this.' This is already set up, and it's set up brilliantly. It's like, 'Okay, now how are you going to utilize it in a way that's within Avengers, within Guardians, within that?' I don't know if there's anybody better than them [Marvel Studios]. They understand it. They live it. I can tell you live it too, and it's that kind of a thing. It's like, I'm catching up to you guys, and I love the idea of catching up to somebody."
That is a different way of approaching it. He is thinking of this almost like a serialized television show. The analogy works. Certainly Bryan Cranston didn't know how everything would play out in Breaking Bad, but he had faith in creator Vince Gilligan's overall vision. In the Marvel universe, it's easier to have faith in future unscripted projects, because there is a track record of success and a clear blueprint to follow in the comics. All the elements to bring the character to life are already there, it's just a matter of how the studio is planning to plot it out, until the inevitable showdown.
According to Brolin's statements it can be assumed that the same motivation for Thanos' villainy will remain from the comics, in the eventual big screen adaptation.
"His relationship with Death, who is actually the woman, I love that," Brolin enthused. "You can take Sin City [in which Brolin plays a man obsessed with a dark-hearted woman] and pump it full of steroids, and then you have Thanos. I like that he's motivated by that -- not just motivated by destruction or death or this or that. He's motivated by a very identifiable, human trait."
Death is both the source of Thanos' inspiration and his greatest folly. In the Infinity Gauntlet story arc, Thanos can be seen to be as an almost sympathetic character. As he is willing and ultimately does, kill millions to appease the perceived wishes of the woman he loves. Meanwhile Death seems to not even know he exists. It truly is a tragedy for millions within the Marvel universe.
When this story is brought to the big-screen it should be fun to see how the director chooses to portray the character of Death. It could be a fun opportunity to play with perspective. To Thanos he is looking at a hooded Angelina Jolie for example, while to the world her true skeletal, Grim Reaper-like appearance would be apparent. Again, which would exemplify the tragic love story.
Brolin explains that he is still exploring the character, but he did have a breakthrough at San Diego Comic Con last month. While he only voiced the character in the recent blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy, it stands to reason that he will do motion capture work and get a chance to fully embody the villain. However last month he got the opportunity to briefly step into the shoes of Thanos in front of thousands of rabid fans. This is what Brolin said about his breakthrough:
"Do I see myself as this thing and could I do this thing?' Not that I'm ever 100-percent sure, but we had constructed this small thing, Kevin Feige and I and Robert, and going on-stage at Comic-Con. Then it became something else. Once I got on-stage, it sort of became its own improv. I knew at that point, because I saw the rivalry between Robert [Downey Jr.] and I, and I thought, 'I get this. I suddenly really get it.' So I feel like I'm more inside it than I was. It was more a display to me before that. It was more cosmetic. Now I think I'm starting to get who the guy is a little bit."
In the exchange, Robert Downey Jr. announced that Marvel has "Thanos." Brolin took to the stage and asked, "Where's my rose?" Which Downey promptly gave to him. Without missing a beat Brolin bit the rose and spit out the petals. In that very instant a cinematic rivalry of David and Goliath proportions may have been born. It is now up to Marvel's writers to figure out how to pair the very mortal Tony Stark against a space god like Thanos, so the two actors can share screen time.
It's extremely encouraging to see the level of zest Brolin is approaching the role with. It is an even better sign that he has only a fraction of enthusiasm as the brain-trust in Marvel Studios. A company so full of energized people is a great sign that the level of care and quality put into their films this far, will continue into the future.
Source: Point of Geeks, IGN