thanos guardians of the galaxy

We saw a tease of Marvel’s big bad Thanos at the end of The Avengers, but the purple-skinned alien has been absent from the screen since then. What we do know is he’s in Guardians of the Galaxy, and there is reason to believe he plays a part in the eventual third Avengers film as well. (He is not a big part of Age of Ultron, according to Joss Whedon.) We also know the actor who played Thanos in that Avengers post-credits stinger won’t play him in upcoming movies. So who will?

Latino Review reporst Oscar-nominated actor Josh Brolin, star of The Goonies, W., No Country For Old Men, Oldboy and more is playing the baddest man in the galaxy. Read more about Thanos Guardians of the Galaxy below.

Latino Review broke the news, and Variety confirmed it. He’ll provide the voice for the character in this film. Interestingly, trades are saying Thanos will play a role in Age of Ultron, too, contrary to what Marvel sources have said in the past. That’s still a rumor.

There had been rumors that Vin Diesel, who voices Groot in the film, would play the role because of his physical similarities. But until today, the identity of the character has been one of Marvel’s most closely guarded secrets. Brolin makes sense though. He’s a big name, has a similarly imposing physique (should motion capture be part of the process), and fits in with Marvel’s idea of casting fantastic actors as bad guys. (Those include James Spader, Tom Hiddleston, and Jeff Bridges, to name a few).

So what is Thanos’ role in Guardians? Last year, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn explained,

We’re definitely connected by Thanos. This is the first movie in the Marvel cosmic universe. We’re connected to the rest of the [Marvel Cinematic] Universe. How that plays out is gonna be seen as the future comes along.

Prior to that, Joss Whedon had talked about his use of the character:

Well, Thanos is more powerful. He is so powerful; he is not someone you can just trot out and punch him. Like he did in the comics, you want him threading through the universe and to save the big finale for the big finale. He is definitely a part of what I have got going on. The thing about The Avengers is that they are very powerful but not very stable. So, there will definitely be some people that will shake them up in the next installment.

That doesn’t tell us much, but Drax and Gamora are both pretty important characters in the Thanos mythology. It should all fit together come August 1 when James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters.

Here is concept art of Thanos done for The Avengers. That means it is a couple years old — we ran much of this in the fall of 2012. But if you need more of an idea about the character, this is a good start. That maquette for the prosthetic work sure could be seen to look like Brolin. (Though it could also be considered to be based on three or four other guys.)

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