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While there is a lot to admire about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it is clear to see that it has been a struggle for this franchise to consistently produce great villains. For me, the two best MCU villains have appeared in recent films such as the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Killmonger in Black Panther. Before these two, it was only Ultron that I believed was a good villain in a franchise full of underwhelming antagonists. A villain that has been teased for a long time is Thanos, played by Josh Brolin and expectation for Thanos to be one of the best MCU villains is high.
Stephen McFeely: “One of the big challenges is how to make sure he’s not just a relentless machine collecting stones like he’s going shopping. So we want to give him a full weighted emotional story. You can kind of say this is Thanos’ origin story, so that he will get the weight of any of the previous heroes in terms of the decisions he has to make in order to get what he wants.”
Christopher Markus: “Another one of the things we set out to do in this was, if Thanos is just a bad guy, then you’re dead in the water. It’s just a bad guy, you know? You get bored pretty quickly after he’s torn off the first few heads, and we have two movies […] Hopefully you’ll come away from this the same way you do in the comics. He started off as a rogue villain but he’s his own thing now.”
The Focus Is On Thanos
McFeely also asserted that Thanos is going to get the appropriate amount of development and screen time in Avengers: Infinity War for him to be the focal point of the film:
Stephen McFeely: “Thanos will get the benefit of both of those things, [screen time and familial relationships]. He’s got daughters that he clearly has to deal with, and James [Gunn] did a nice job of setting the table for us, but we’re certainly going to run with that. And screen time. Very often, in the screen writing weeds, we’re trying to get a character up and off the ground and so the bad guy tends to be a foil for the development of the hero, and that’s not the case here. If anything, it’s the opposite. Our heroes are foils for the villain, whose story we need to tell at large.”
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