Nowadays, everyone knows who Thanos is. The massive villain finally came head to head with Marvel’s heroes in Avengers: Infinity War, with actor Josh Brolin offering a fascinating and surprisingly vulnerable performance. But The Mad Titan actually made his debut at the tail end of 2012’s The Avengers, appearing in the film’s mysterious post-credits scene.
The Avengers featured actor Damion Poitier playing Thanos, wearing impressive prosthesis instead of the motion capture tech that was settled upon for Infinity War and Avengers 4. Now you can get a better look at Thanos’ original appearance in the MCU, and see how he’s changed since he first gave that evil grin to the camera.
Well, this is awesome. While Thanos’ appearance changed a bit when he finally came through in Avengers: Infinity War, you can’t deny that the visual affects artist did make him resemble the character’s original look. But imagine Josh Brolin wearing that huge mask while filming the Avengers movies back to back.
This awesome behind the scenes photo comes from Ironhead Studio, which makes prosthesis, masks, and costumes for plenty of iconic movie blockbusters. This includes tons of work in the superhero genre, including Joss Whedon’s The Avengers. On top of helping to craft the visuals of that groundbreaking crossover film, Ironhead was also tasked with creating Thanos’ look– a character that wouldn’t be fleshed out for another six years and entire phases of MCU movies later.
While the Thanos mask looks glorious, one has to wonder how practical it would be to film. All the big purple guy had to do in The Avengers was smirk, so it wasn’t required to have realistic speech and emoting capabilities. And since Josh Brolin took the character in so many places in Avengers: Infinity War, it’s clear that the stunning mask wouldn’t have functioned in the context of that massive blockbuster, and showcased his awesome performance
Damion Poitier portrayed Thanos for his brief appearance in The Avengers— years before Josh Brolin ended up joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Prior to his acclaimed performance in Infinity War, Brolin was able to get his feet wet in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, wherein he instructs his forces (including Nebula) to find both Gamora and the Power Stone.
Marvel may sometimes have a problem with its villains, but The Russo Brothers crafted a story for Thanos that was fascinating, and basically focused entirely on the Mad Titan for Avengers: Infinity War. His horrifying quest for mass murder actually comes from a deluded place of concern, as the galaxy is so vastly overpopulated. Furthermore, we saw the softer side to Thanos when he was forced to kill Gamora, in order to acquire the Soul Stone from Red Skull.
Thanos will return to the silver screen when Avengers 4 arrives on May 3rd, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.