Thanos has been a looming evil within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) since we first saw him in the post credit scenes of The Avengers. And while he’s made brief appearances at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron and in Guardians of the Galaxy, we haven’t really got to know him as a character in the MCU.
At least not until Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige revealed a significant part of his backstory. But Feige wasn’t the only one to dish on the Mad Titan. Josh Brolin, who portrays Thanos, spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the mad tyrant.
Brolin begins by describing Thanos as an almost sympathetic character.
“But at the same time you feel for him. You want to write him off as insane, and yet what he’s doing makes sense, if you break it down.”
Brolin would build on the idea of Thanos being sympathetic especially with his relationship with Gamora.
“When you see the relationship with Gamora and you see that evolves, God I wish I could tell you. I can’t! When [directors Joe and Anthony Russo] came up to me after we had done maybe three quarters of the film, they said, “It wasn’t necessarily intended that you feel for this guy as much as you do.” Obviously he has a grand plan, like somebody who’s pulling in kids for their own selfish bloodshed. But he has a capacity to love very much and very deeply.”
That’s really interesting and we see a little bit of that capacity to love in Guardians of the Galaxy when Thanos finds out Gamora has betrayed him and Ronan. However, in the comics his only real love has always been Death. It will be interesting to see if Brolin is playing some word games. Is he really referring to Thanos’ capacity to love in regards to Gamora or if his one true love is and has always been Death. In fact, Brolin does say that Thanos’ daughters Gamora and Nebula are nothing more than “tools” to Thanos. But if one of the biggest rumors about the location of the Soul Stone is true, Thanos might actually, truly love and care for Gamora.
Brolin would describe Thanos’ grand plan and what he hopes to accomplish in Avengers: Infinity War.
“You think of overpopulation and killing half the universe in order to save the other half and all this kind of stuff. You have this struggle watching him. It’s this love-hate thing, you know?”
This is definitely in line with Jim Starlin’s Infinity Gauntlet story where Thanos wipes out half the Marvel Universe with just the snap of his fingers.
Brolin then talks about Thanos’ intelligence and that how his looks are rather deceiving.
“You see this lughead and this guy who you pigeonhole right from the first cosmetic reaction to him. And what I see is this in this guy’s eyes. This super, super, super intelligence. There’s this constant contrasting thing about this Neanderthalic lughead who’s way more intelligent than anybody else in the movie, by far.”
Finally, Brolin actually reveals what made Thanos so angry that he would set out to destroy half the known universe.
“He’s different from his family. They’re all Titans and they all look similar, but he was born deformed. You see how he grew up, you see he was like the Quasimodo of this time, or if you’ve ever read Perfume [Patrick Süskind ‘s 1985 novel about a serial killer who craves beautiful scenes but is disgusted by the smell of humanity], it’s a great parallel to Thanos. He stuck out. He was an anomaly. He was a freak. And that lent to this apparent insanity.”
What do you guys think? Do you like the way Brolin is describing Thanos? It’s definitely a shift from the comics where the character is hardly ever described as a character that you “feel for.”