After 10 years and 18 movies, we're finally about to witness the superhero war to end all wars. Pretty much every single hero we've met so far in the expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) comes together for Avengers: Infinity War. With upwards of 30 characters involved, quite simply, it is going to be one of the biggest movie events of the year.
It would take a pretty spectacular bad guy to take on this cast of heroes, and an equally accomplished actor to play them. Stepping into those rather big shoes, and playing the nefarious Thanos, is Josh Brolin. While we've seen glimpses of Thanos in previous MCU movies, we're about to become very well acquainted with this famous villain, as he takes on the Avengers in Infinity War.
Here's why we think this Oscar-nominated actor is the perfect person to bring this classic bad guy to life...
He's established a formidable screen presence
Beginning his acting career at the age of 17, Josh Brolin rose to fame in family classic, The Goonies (1985), playing Brandon 'Brand' Walsh, the older brother of Mikey (played by Sean Astin, pre-Lord of the Rings fame).
Since then, he has established a diverse filmography. This includes a brooding outlaw in the Coen brothers' Western remake True Grit (2010), a tenacious Vietnam War veteran in their acclaimed, Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men (2007), and even American President George W. Bush in Oliver Stone's W. (2008).
He's been a silver screen staple for over 30 years, and has established the requisite screen presence to invest Thanos with imposing life. Brolin's acting history is itself honoured in the following Deadpool 2 publicity shot (in which he plays cyborg mercenary Cable – yes, we're getting a double dose of Brolin in 2018).
He's no stranger to this kind of movie
You may think Infinity War and Deadpool 2 mark Brolin's first forays into the realm of comic book movies. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In 2010, Brolin dabbled in DC (this being before their extended universe officially began), playing the titular hero in Western-inspired comic book adaptation, Jonah Hex. While a commercial and critical failure (Brolin himself said he "hates it"), he went on to appear in 2014's Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For. Both of these movies played with the more dangerous and edgy aspects of Brolin's screen presence, no doubt paving the way for a suitably hissable performance as Thanos. Every great blockbuster needs a sadistic villain to provide tension, and Brolin more than has the right credentials to make him ideal for the role.
We've already had a glimpse of how great he'll be as Thanos
Not only is Thanos held in high regard by comic book fans, he has already cropped up in post-credit teases and other films throughout the MCU. All roads in the MCU have been leading to Infinity War, and Thanos first appeared in Avengers Assemble (2012) although not played by Brolin at this stage.
Also appearing briefly in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Thanos has been brooding in the background, hunting down the Infinity Stones and waiting to unleash his full wrath on our cast of heroes. With little more than a sonic rumble for a voice and an imposing physical stature (rendered through CGI motion capture technology, as is the case in Infinity War), Brolin has already established the character's malevolent persona.
Brolin is particularly accomplished at playing brooding characters (his conflicted, murderous politician seen in 2008's Milk, for which he was Oscar nominated, is noteworthy), so we're convinced he is absolutely the right choice to bring this classic super-villain to life.
Sarah Buddery is an Unlimited card holder who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.