The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a powerful force in the movie industry, making many actors want to join their cast. Making career choices of this magnitude can be difficult, especially for more established names who carefully select projects. Josh Brolin had a successful spell as Thanos, although it seemed like his role wasn’t clearly defined in the early Avenger movies.
Prior to the release of the Avengers: Endgame movie, Josh Brolin, who appeared as Thanos, discussed the status of his contract regarding the film. Marvel Studios had played with the character from the first Thor movie. Thanos would later make his first screen appearance in The Avengers movie which was released in 2012. It was not until the film Guardians of the Galaxy, which many considered glorified, that the villain got a role in the film. Audiences had to wait another four years for the character to appear in Avengers: Infinity War. Brolin was great in the role and the CG work complemented his stature, making him an instant success. This left fans wondering why the actor was not named as Thanos.
“When I said yes to Avengers, it was a small thing. It was basically a cameo, so there wasn’t a lot of money involved. So that wasn’t the reason,” Brolin said. “If [the role] was one of the Avengers…I probably wouldn’t have done it.”
Brolin was less interested in performing as one of the heroes, having turned down several offers to perform in the sequel before agreeing to act as Thanos. Acting as a villain gave him an array of creative possibilities. He said, “The fact that it was all the Avengers against this one guy, I liked that aspect of it.”
The actor also stated that he preferred the creative freedom that came with the role rather than acting as Cable in the movie Deadpool. Despite the special effects applied in the creation of Thanos, the actor created a certain perspective on the villain. Some even compared him to Marlo Brando when he appeared as Colonel Kurtz in the movie Apocalypse Now.
While giving a brief account of his experience acting Thanos, he stated, “Suddenly I would have all this stuff with me, before we started shooting, dots and all. I’d put my elbow on my knee and my hand up there and I’d scratch, and they’d have the rough rendering of it. So the more I looked at it, the more I realized, ‘Oh, this is like a real guy. This is not a big purple man, this is a man with guts and cells and feelings.’ Then it got fun.”
Looks like MCU never had a long-term plan for Thanos
Brolin’s statement indicates that there was no plan initially for the character to have a long-term role in the film, and the Marvel studios seemed unsure whether Thanos would be included from the start. By including him in his first appearance in the Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel was probably experimenting with a second project in case the Infinity War project collapsed. During the Avengers: Endgame Hollywood Premiere, the actor was asked how many MCU movies his contract includes. At first he was playful with the reactions, but eventually stated that he was paid per film, which meant that after Avenger:
Endgame, his fate would be discussed again. “10. For the next 10 years, do one a year. Kevin Feige, by the way, do you hear that? No, I’m good. I’m on a one-movie-on-one-movie basis, so we’ll see what happens after this movie,” he said. Although the actor was eager to continue playing the part because of the satisfaction he felt portraying the character. He stated : “It’s a character that turned out to be likeable that nobody thought would be likeable and that was really nice. It turned into a multidimensional character and nobody thought it had to be that way.”