There have been rumours ever since the post-credit reveal in The Avengers that Thanos would be the main antagonist in the second Avengers film or Guardians of the Galaxy. However since this weekend, we’ve learnt that the next Avenger movie is going to be called Avengers: Age of Ultron so we can safely say Ultron will be the main villain in that and it was confirmed The Collector will be the big bad in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Now that’s not saying Thanos won’t appear in those films, if anything I think he will in more cameo sized roles. Probably to be revealed to be pulling the strings behind the scenes, more and more as the films continue through Phase 2 and 3.
So let’s assume the main Avenger films are going to be a trilogy (with Robert Downey Jr only signing on for Avengers 2 and 3 I think that’s a safe assumption) and the other Phase 2 and 3 films all build up to Avengers 3. So it makes sense to have Thanos as a climatic villain in that film.
Now we’ve already learnt that Avengers: Age of Ultron will be more of global threat, so now we have a sense of increasing scale for the trilogy as well. Avengers had a city under threat, Avengers 2 will have a world under threat and therefore Avengers 3 will have a galaxy under threat. And whose better to lead that attack than Thanos.
We’ve also heard Guardians of the Galaxy won’t cross-over into Avengers 2, but it makes sense that they will fit into Avengers 3. So this increases the scale of a third film even further because not only do you have a cross-over with the original team you also have the five leads from another franchise joining.
Now you have 6/7 core members of The Avengers, 5 members from Guardians, probably some of the new Phase 3 characters (Ant-Man, Dr Strange, etc) plus a huge galactic villain. That sounds like a pretty crowded movie, but this is where Marvel are masters of planning and building up to these type of event movies. You see Avengers 3 isn’t due until 2018, by then we’ll have had movies establishing all the main heroes, which means Avengers 3 isn’t going to waste any time having to introduce or build emotional connections to these characters (a feat that helped the original Avengers movie get on and tell it’s story).
Obviously this is all purely my opinion and I have no official connections to Marvel to know if this is true, but I’m willing to bet this is how it’ll play-out (broadly). I guess we’ll find out in just over 5 years…
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