We may finally know how much of the Mad Titan we'll see in Marvel's next superhero adventure.
We've been expecting to see more of Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy for a while now, though we haven't known all that much about what he'll really be doing in the film. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Guardians director James Gunn both long ago confirmed Thanos would pop up in the film, but it's also been stressed that Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) will the be the film's principal baddies, with Thanos sticking to more of a background, puppetmaster-type role. We also know now that Josh Brolin will voice the character, giving him his first lines of dialogue in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What we don't know yet is just what Thanos is up to in the film beyond simply bossing Ronan and Nebula around, or just how big his presence will be. Now, thanks to a new report from Vulture, we might have answers.
POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD!
So, we've all suspected since his cameo in The Avengers that Thanos' eventual goal will be to gather the six Infinity Gems and use them to dominate the universe (and "court death") with the Infinity Gauntlet, the legendary cosmic object of unbelievable power that established Thanos as one of Marvel's greatest villains during the Infinity Gauntlet event back in 1991. That suspicion was seemingly confirmed by a coda scene from Thor: The Dark World in which the Collector (Benicio Del Toro) received the Aether from Sif and Volstagg and said to himself "One down, five to go." We know both the Collector and Thanos will have roles in Guardians of the Galaxy, so it makes sense that those two coda scenes will converge into the beginning of something here, right?
Well, according to Vulture, Thanos is indeed after at least one new Infinity Gem in Guardians: the Power Gem, which will apparently be identified by the Collector in the film. Vulture's report reasons that the Tesseract from The Avengers is the Space Gem, Loki's spear from The Avengers (seen again during the coda sequence of Captain America: The Winter Soldier) might represent the Mind Gem, and the Aether from The Dark World is likely the Reality Gem (though some fans speculated it was the Power Gem at first, in part because of its red color). Assuming all that's true, that leaves us with the Soul Gem and the Time Gem, both of which could easily be revealed through coda scenes and other storylines sometime between now and the release of The Avengers 3, which could end up being Marvel's big-screen Infinity Gauntlet story.
So the film will introduce a new Infinity Gem for Thanos to hunt down, but how much of him will we actually see? According to this report, the Mad Titan will pop up via hologram in the film's first act, and apart from a single in-the-flesh scene with Ronan and Nebula, the rest of the film will feature him appearing only "briefly," and always via hologram. However, the report also stresses that "his presence is palpable throughout. Characters reference him often and fearfully, and he has familial ties to Gamora (Zoe Saldana), our green-skinned female lead."
So, while Vulture's report points to Guardians giving Thanos a much bigger role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and signals the plans he has in mind for future films, he will also "retain his aura of mystery for a while longer." If that Infinity Gem stuff is true, though, we'll have plenty to get nerdy about once the flick is over, no matter how often we see Thanos' grinning purple face.