For somebody who's had a grand total of about five minutes' screen-time, Thanos has sure made an impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. First seen way back in 2012 in The Avengers' post-credits tease, the Mad Titan has been making slow work of his mission to complete the Infinity Gauntlet.
The fact that every new Marvel movie is accompanied by whispers of a Thanos cameo is a pretty undeniable sign that the world is thirsty for Marvel to finally throw its biggest bad our way.
In a new interview with Huff Post, Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, the writers of both [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409) and the two-part Avengers: Infinity War, discussed Thanos' slow-burn introduction to the MCU and his threat moving forward:
"You know, he’s never been the villain in any of the movies. He’s never been the main character in that way, so giving lots of good screen time to Thanos is paramount [to Infinity War] and pretty fun. He hasn’t [yet] had an amazing scene. I think it’s an advantage ultimately, right? Because people are anticipating this guy coming in and really delivering the goods ... We just have to execute what has been teased."
In highlighting the brilliance of Marvel's strategy as far as Thanos is concerned, McFeely also touches, unintentionally, on the problem with certain villains up to this point: they came from nowhere and, often, were too easily dispatched with. The threat rarely felt great enough to raise the stakes for our heroes.
McFeely and Markus also clarified their now-infamous comments regarding the "67 heroes" of Infinity War:
"Well, I mean that number is literal — that’s everyone who’s already been introduced. If you line up all the character’s who are available to use from the prior Marvel movies ... We had our office filled with cards of everybody who was alive and available, and the [Russo] brothers came in and went, ‘Whoa.’ So that doesn’t mean that everyone is, you know, there’s not going to be 67 lead parts."
The most pertinent question here is where the hell were those 67 heroes when the Russos could only find a grand total of eleven to reenact the epic comic arc of the same name in Leipzig Airport for Civil War? I tease, I tease.
Interview source: Huff Post
Perhaps the biggest question mark having over Infinity War is exactly how the Avengers will defeat Thanos - the fact that he is immortal rendering death a virtual impossibility. In the comics, Lady Death herself at one point in time forbade Thanos from entering her realm. (Together, they did create and birth what can only be described as a toxic shadow-being with the ability to destroy anything it came into contact with on touch. The shadow-being was called Rot. Very sweet.)
Thanos being a purple Eternal with quite literally every superpower at the tip of his fingers could prove to be a problem within the context of the MCU.
Looking at Civil War, it's pretty clear that Marvel's movies increasingly favour a more grounded storytelling approach, which keeps the action relatively small-scale and restricted largely to Earth - so the idea that bigger themes, such as Thanos' mortality and dalliances with Death in the outer regions of the Galaxy - will ever be touched upon seems extremely unlikely.
For long-time Marvel readers that could be a sticking point, but the good news is that both the Russos and the writing duo of McFeely and Markus have proved themselves to be an extremely safe pair of hands. If anybody can find a way to marry the wild eccentricities of the Thanos of the comics with the relative realism of the MCU, it's probably these guys.
Civil War hits on May 6, whilst Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 arrives May, 2018.