‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Writers Tease Thanos’ Big Introduction
This is not a surprise to anyone who has been paying any attention, but Thanos will be the big villain in Marvel’s two-part Avengers: Infinity War finale. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building up to this ever since that Mad Titan’s debut in the Avengers post-credits scene back in 2012. He’s an evil, powerful supervillain who has the power to destroy the entire universe. Despite that, at this point he has appeared on screen for less than one minute and has a grand total of zero of the six total Infinity Stones (Time, Space, Mind, Soul, Reality, and Power). James Gunn has already said Thanos will not return for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, so Avengers: Infinity War is going to have to do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to properly introducing audiences to the big man.
I caught up with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the writers of Captain America: Civil War, who are also writing both Infinity War movies, and asked them about the Thanos Problem, namely that he’s the biggest of the BIG BADS and yet the characters and audience know extremely little about him and his motivation.
“That’s a good point,” says Markus. “We don’t get an element of surprise. Everyone knows he’s coming, and yet he hasn’t had terribly many scenes that have illuminated very much about him.” You can expect that to change very quickly as a large part of Infinity War, Part 1 will be devoted to introducing Thanos in a very big way. “You can count on a lot of scenes where we illuminate a lot about him very early.”
With Markus and McFeely behind the 8-ball so to speak when it comes to having to spend such a good chunk of time introducing Thanos, they are acutely aware they have a lot of characters (director Joe and Anthony Russo seemed to confirm yesterday that the Guardians of the Galaxy would be part of the battle as well) coming together who all need their own storylines.
McFeely explains their approach saying, “We still have to take it on a character-by-character basis. The challenge is hanging on to character as motivation when you blow the canvas up to the entire universe. And not to make it seem like all your people look like tiny little video game characters running around.” Adds Markus, “It’s just trying to balance character moments in the middle of big, crazy Jim Starlin [creator of the “Infinity Gauntlet” comic series] action.”
One of the things I’ve wondered is the how and why of the Guardians of the Galaxy getting to Earth. Peter Quill is the only human, so what connection at all do they have with that world and how aware would they be of its troubles? But Markus and McFeely seem to be hinting at the opposite. It’s not that the Guardians would be coming to Earth, it’s that the Avengers would be going out into space like in the comics. This splash page from “Infinity Gauntlet #3” is a good reminder that the climactic battle is a “conflict on the far side of the galaxy.” And if you remember Tony Stark’s vision from Avengers: Age of Ultron, all the Avengers that are dead or near-dead are all on a floating rock in space. Thanos’ rock.
Now they just need to remind everyone who Thanos is and show us he’s capable of killing all of The Avengers and all of mankind.