Avengers: Joss Whedon Admits He Didn't Know What To Do With Thanos

So much for courting Death.

Thanos Joss Whedon
Marvel Studios

After six years of build-up, Thanos fully arrived in the MCU this year, going on an Infinity Stone-fuelled rampage as part of his quest to bring balance to the universe in Avengers: Infinity War.

The movie comes after the Mad Titan was teased at the end of the previous two Avengers movies, both of which were directed by Joss Whedon. But while the director was responsible for bringing him into the universe, he didn't know how to use him. Speaking at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, Whedon told IGN:

"Honestly, I kind of hung [Thanos] out to dry. I love Thanos. I love his apocalyptic vision, his love affair with death. I love his power. But, I don’t really understand it. He’s had a lot of power, and he was cool in the comics. And I’m like, Thanos is the ultimate Marvel villain! And then I was like, I don’t actually know what I would do with Thanos."

The end result is a Thanos quite different from the one teased in The Avengers' post-credits scene, with the courting of death changed to his desire to balance the universe. Ultimately, Whedon feels that was the right decision and praises the Russo bros and Josh Brolin, adding:

“I thought they did what they needed to do. [Thanos falling in love with Death is] not a concept that will necessarily translate. It’s sometimes also an easy out for a villain. To say, I love destruction! No, really, I’m in love with it. And yet, you’re still just a nihilist. Whereas they gave him an actual perspective and made him feel righteous to himself, which is always a better idea. So I liked what they did very much. I did not know about it, I certainly didn’t come up with it.”

It's hard to disagree with him, really. Thanos isn't the focus of his movies, and his scenes are mere teases, whereas Infinity War delivered on the most powerful villain we've seen in the MCU, and yet also one of the most layered too.

What did you think of Thanos in Infinity War? Let us know down in the comments.


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NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far. A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.