Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says that Thanos, the final boss of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will be so central to the story of Avengers: Infinity War that he’s practically the film’s main character.
In an interview with Collider, Feige said that while Infinity War will feature a large ensemble cast of superbeings, but that Thanos will be treated like a main character. Instead of approaching Infinity War as another team beat-em-up, which is what The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron essentially were, next year’s Infinity War will be “a departure” for the Avengers franchise.
“Thanos in Infinity War is — in a movie that has a lot of characters, you could almost go so far as to say he is the main character, and that’s a bit of a departure from what we’ve done before, but that was appropriate for a movie called Infinity War,” Feige said.
Infinity War will have one of the largest ensemble casts of any Marvel film. At one point, it was rumored that there could be more than 60 characters involved in the film, but directors Joe and Anthony Russo later clarified they were exaggerating that number. In an interview with Latino Review in April 2016, however, Joe Russo told Latino Review that in terms of characters, it was going to be unlike anything Marvel has ever done.
“They’re massive in scope and scale but that’s the point,” Russo said. “The point is for them to be as ambitious as they possibly can be. They’re going to be multi-perspective films. They’re not called ‘Captain America: Infinity War,’ they’re called Infinity War. You’re going to be moving around through different perspectives of the characters. It’s like Nashville for superheroes. It’s storytelling that is vignetted storytelling.”
Marvel has been teasing an eventual run-in with Thanos since the first Avengers movie was released in 2012. Since then, Thanos has made cameo appearances in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron. The character, who has been in pursuit of the Infinity Stones that have appeared in multiple Marvel Studios movies, is portrayed by Josh Brolin.
Avengers: Infinity War is currently filming in Atlanta and is slated to be released on May 4, 2018.