We already know that Josh Brolin’s Thanos is going after the Infinity Stones in Avengers: Infinity War, and now directors Joe and Anthony Russo are ready to reveal a little more about the villain’s motivations. Surprisingly, it’s not solely death and destruction that Thanos is after — actually, in a way, it’s the opposite.
Giving insight into his backstory, Joe explained to The Telegraph India (via The Hollywood Reporter) that Thanos originally came from the planet Titan. “Many years prior to the film, his planet was experiencing a cataclysmic shift. They were running out of resources, and they were overpopulated. Thanos made a recommendation that they exterminate half the population randomly in order to save the rest of the population,” he said, noting that this idea never went any further, got Thanos exiled from his home planet (which later died), and led him to vengefully enact his plan throughout the rest of the universe.
Once Thanos learned he could use the Infinity Stones to achieve his universe-wide population regulation “with the snap of his fingers,” he’s motivated to hunt down the time-saving devices, which brings us to Infinity War. In order to explore Thanos’s particular viewpoint — which now sounds like his attempt to benefit the greater good — the film won’t just focus on the superheroes. Rather, the brothers say Infinity War is “without question” a Thanos movie.
“Every villain is a hero in his own story and believes that what they’re doing is right. They’re just in conflict with the rest of the world,” Joe said. “Thanos happens to believe that what he is doing is right, and he behaves nobly towards that goal. But he will not stop until he achieves the goal because he believes that there is weakness that stands between him and the completion of the goal.”
Even more importantly, the villain is the one common thread linking all of our heroes from different corners of the universe, “some of which have no knowledge of the existence of the other,” Anthony said. “Thanos is the one thing that unifies them all in this movie.”
Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters April 27, 2018.