Last summer, The Avengers hinted at the direction Marvel’s Cinematic Universe would take in Phase Two. A mysterious purple-skinned alien cracked a smile to the audience to usher in a new era of cosmic Marvel movies. The alien was the Mad Titan Thanos, the personification of death and mortality.
After the announcement that Marvel was making a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, it was assumed that he would play a role in that, and also might be the main villain in The Avengers 2. But when Joss Whedon announced that the new title for The Avengers sequel would be Age of Ultron, that line of thinking seemed to be out the window. When will Thanos make actually get a proper introduction in the Marvel movies after being teased in the first Avengers film? Apparently, we could see the Mad Titan in Phase Three, as the main villain in The Avengers 3.
During the press junket for Thor: The Dark World, Marvel producer and president Kevin Feige hinted at the whereabouts of and plans for Thanos. Kofi Outlaw from ScreenRant surmised that the clues such as the Tesseract in Phase One led to Loki’s mind-control scepter in The Avengers. Phase Two also has clues and items that will lead to the robot villain Ultron, so it seems that the same setup in Phase Three could lead to the Infinity Gauntlet, which made a brief appearance in the first Thor movie in 2011. Feige said:
‘Well, I don’t know that I would spell it out that clearly, necessarily, but certainly fans of the comics could surmise that all of this is leading somewhere. That Joss’ decision to have Thanos turn around and smile for the audience at the end of Avengers, our reveal, was always the plan.’ He continued, ‘…And where it goes from there, we’ll see… But yes, the MacGuffin of Guardians certainly plays into MacGuffins of the past.’
According to ScreenRant, the clues seen in Thor: The Dark World might lead directly into Guardians of the Galaxy, and all of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe could be leading up to the Infinity Gauntlet and an epic confrontation with Thanos later down the line. The Infinity Gauntlet is a special glove that includes all six Infinity Gems (controlling time, space, power, mind, reality, and soul), which gives its user god-like powers. In the comics, Thanos obtains the Infinity Gauntlet and almost destroys our heroes, but when Nebula betrayed him, our heroes defeated the Mad Titan. Of course, the space pirate Nebula, who will be played by Karen Gillan, will be introduced as one of the villains in Guardians of the Galaxy next summer.
Depending on the Marvel movies that will make up Phase Three (most likely Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Ant-Man, and Inhumans, among others), there’s a really good chance that The Avengers 3 will feature Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet storyline. Of course, this is just healthy and fun speculation, so take this with a grain of salt, but Joss Whedon didn’t tease Thanos at the end of The Avengers, and that was almost certainly more than just a clever shout out to Marvel fans. He’s got to be part of the bigger universe Marvel Studios is building.