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One of the standout performances of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the Infinity saga’s most notable villain, Thanos.
An epic villain hailing from Titan, Thanos’ hunt for total power was a key plotline taking place mostly behind the scenes throughout the first three stages of the MCU.
During the last two Avengers installments, fans were treated to an in-depth look at Thanos and his backstory as he collected all the infinity stones seeking to complete his goal of restoring balance to the universe by eliminating 50 percent of all life.
The character’s portrayal onscreen was extremely accurate to its source in the comics and was brought to life on screen perfectly thanks to Marvel’s casting for the character.
Who played Thanos in the MCU?
The final two Avengers films, Infinity War and Endgame, were both theatrical successes. And while they both boasted a cast full of superstars, the portrayal of Thanos was one of the standout performances in the MCU.
While it may be hard to tell given the extensive makeup job, Thanos is played by the one and only Josh Brolin.
Brolin is no stranger to the big screen having starred in films such as cult classic The Goonies, 2007’s No Country for Old Men, and more recently Sicario: Day of the Soldado. Marvel fans may also recognize Brolin from his co-lead role in Deadpool 2 playing the time-traveling super soldier Cable.
Joining the MCU as Thanos wasn’t initially a plan for Brolin and, according to an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, it took some words from another MCU alumni to eventually convince him to take the role.
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The incredible Hulk himself, Mark Ruffalo, first tried to convinced Brolin to take the part. He told Brolin that, while the filming process may feel ridiculous, once you see the end product “your mind with be blown”. But ultimately, it was another member of the MCU who inspired Brolin to become Thanos—and that was Benedict Cumberbatch.
After seeing behind-the-scenes footage of Benedict Cumberbatch filming his parts as Smaug for The Hobbit. “He had this mo-cap suit on and he was in this big warehouse and he was crawling around like a snake snapping his tongue out doing this incredible performance,” Brolin said in an interview with SiriusXM. “I saw that and I was like, alright that’s the bar, this is no bullshit, this is something you have to sink your teeth into, conviction, embarrassment, all that stuff, so then I decided yeah.”
After the spectacle that was the conclusion to Marvel phase three, If Thanos does return to the big screen again it would be hard to rival the exceptional performance put on by Brolin.