Ever since Thanos gave the camera a creepy grin in the after-credits Easter egg to Avengers, we’ve known that the big purple bastard was destined for a big role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe sooner or later. But even with Guardians of the Galaxy hitting the screen this summer, a movie that has numerous connections to Thanos (Gamora is his adopted daughter, for one), Marvel has been downplaying the possibility of seeing Thanos anytime in the immediate future. Well, they shall downplay no longer: Variety is confirming that Josh Brolin has been cast to play Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Variety may have added the stamp of officiality, but Latino Review actually broke the news earlier today. Brolin will technically be the second guy to play Thanos in the MCU, as the post-Avengers bit had Damion Poitier providing the purple smile. Latino Review also specifically says Brolin is “providing the voice” for Thanos in Guardians, but there’s a lot we still don’t know about the role. Is it going to be totally CG/motion-captured, with Brolin providing the physical performance for the digital creation? Or could they actually go the prosthetics route? We’ll have to wait and see.
Either way, Brolin isn’t somebody who ever came to mind for the role, but I actually think it’s an excellent choice. He can do intimidating, he can bring dramatic heft to the character, and I have no doubt he can deliver the “crazy in the most dangerous way possible” when needed. Along with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and James Spader as Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel is lining up some serious talent when it comes to the bad guys.
One thing that remains to be seen is just how much of a role Thanos will have in Guardians. I have a feeling it’ll be considerably meatier than the post-Avengers cameo but still mostly playing coy with the character. He’s almost certainly going to be the big bad in Avengers 3, since each new Marvel movie seems to bring the assembly of Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet that much closer. And given that Guardians already has Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser, Benicio Del Toro as the Collector, Karen Gillan as Nebula, and Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer all straddling or outright hurling the villain line, I imagine Thanos will be shown as the power behind the scenes in Guardians, but not much more than that.
If you’re not boned up on your Marvel trivia, Thanos is one of the Marvel universe’s Eternals, massively powerful cosmic beings. In addition to being irritatingly powerful, he’s also in love with Death. Like, literally in love with Death, the physical embodiment of it. So: crazy, in love with Death, and trying to get his hands on the Infinity Gauntlet, an artifact that allows you to wield godlike powers over all of reality. Avengers 3 ought to be fun.
Guardians of the Galaxy opens on August 1. We’re guessing you’ll want to hang around till the end of the credits.