Baddies That Need Movie Love: Thanos
I'm back once again with yet another installment in the Baddies That Need Movie Love, and I've had some requests come in for one Marvel Baddie in particular: Thanos. Take a look at the history of this bad-ass as well as my thoughts on how he should be brought to film.
Volume 23 of Baddies That Need Movie Love brings us back to the Marvel Universe, and a character that many speculate may have a role of some sort in the upcoming Avengers film later this year. Thanos is one of the most destructive and powerful beings in the comic book world and it is only fitting that he get a little movie love tossed his direction.
On a Saturn's moon, Titan, a colony of Eternals existed and Thanos was one of the last sons of the first colonists, Mentor and Sui-San. Thanos was born misshapen and as a monstrosity compared to the other Eternals, especially compared to his brother Starfox, which caused him to become a brooding and melancholy individual, enthralled with the idea of death. He made a purpose of seeking individual power and stregnth, and empowered himself with cybernetic implants; a practice that was quite unusual for his people. Eventually, Thanos was banished from his community, though the accounts differ from story to story. After meeting Death, who took on a female form, he established a relationship with the being an in return, she placed quite a bit of trust in him. Now having the command of a massive army, Thanos nearly destroyed his home on Titan and declared himself the ruler of the realm.
Soon after, Thanos sought out the Cosmic Cube and was quickly confronted by a number of heroes from Earth. Now wielding the Cube, Thanos made himself like unto a God and easily dispatched Captain Marvel and the Avengers. But Captain Marvel had convinced Thanos that he drained the Cube of all its power and the tyrant discarded it. This allowed Mar-Vell to snag up the cube and restore its power and drain Thanos of his power and was shamed back to where his journey began. Having fear that Death would be ashamed of his failure with the Cube, Thanos began his search for the six Soul Gems, and once he obtained them all, he combined them to form one giant synthetic Soul Gem. With this new weapon, he began to extinguish the stars in hopes that in doing so, he would rid the Universe of all living things, attempting to please Death. Gamora tried to oppose Thanos, but was killed in doing so. Once again, the Avengers and Captain Marvel were recruited to put a stop to Thanos. Mar-Vell was successful in destroying the synthetic Soul Gem, but the Avengers were captured by Thanos. Spider-Man, along with Lord Chaos and Master Order, was able to rescue the heroes and revive a slain Warlock, who battled Thanos to an ultimate defeat, though Thanos survived and was turned to stone.
Death paid a visit to Thanos yet again and endowed him with even more cosmic powers, and believing the Universe to be out of balance in terms of life and death, restored him to reset that balance. Once again, Thanos gather the Souls Gems, now known as the Infinity Gems, and formed the powerful Infinity Gauntlet. This gauntlet allowed him, with just a single thought, to wipe out the population of half the Universe. Many of Earth's heroes, along with numerous other beings from all over the universe who knew this new weapon would pose a threat to them, assembled to oppose Thanos. He defeated the impressive group, but Death turned on him as his powers had taken him to a new level. This destroyed Thanos emotionally, and the momentary destraction allowed Nebula to gain control of the Infinity Gauntlet. At this point, Thanos was forced to join Warlock and the others to oppose Nebula. Eventually, Warlock ended up with the Gauntlet, who restored the Universe to its previous balance, and he divided the Infinity Gems among the various guardians, who became known as the Infinity Watch.
Fast-forward a bit and the Silver Surfer discovered that Death was looking to turn him in to a new consort and sought out Thanos to discuss the matter. In a rage, Thanos killed Silver Surfer and appeared to offer his body as a sacrifice, but he actually revived Noran Radd as an insult towards Death. She retaliated by making Thanos immortal, thus never allowing him to enter the realm of death. Shortly after, Thanos found his way to Asgard, looking for the "Designate," a being of phenomenal cosmic power that is said to play a major role in the cosmic scheme of eternity. With the assistance of Mangog and Tarakis, he laid waste to the planet Rigel in order to assemble the final pieces needed to find the Designate, whom he eventually found. But, he was ultimately confronted by Thor and his allies and during the battle, the tears of the Designate seemed to destroy Thanos, causing him to burst into an all-consuming flame. By this time, Thanos had rejected death and named himself as a god of death and began to perform acts under his own name, rather that another being.
Later on, Ankhenaten appeared, an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, had gained the power of the Heart of the Universe, a mystical object where all physical and metaphysical energy emanates, giving him infinite power. Several heroes made attempts to stop him but they were unable to do so. In order to put a stop to the powerful foe, some of Marvel's most powerful beings were gathered, including Thanos and Galactus. Via a combination of intellect and power, Thanos was able to gain control of the Heart of the Universe and merged himself with the powerful object, once again making himself god-like. He quickly defeated Ankhenaten and remade the universe to erase the idea that the Egyptian pharaoh ever existed. Yet again, a group of powerful being was assembled, including Galactus, Eternity, the Living Tribunal and the Celestials, to thwart Thanos. But he proved to be too much for them, even destroying a Celestial with a single glance. In a final show of power, Thanos opted to annihilate the entire Universe and become the one true supreme being. But after doing so, he found the role to be rather empty and unnatural, ultimately returning the Universe to its previous state and he demolished the Heart of the Universe, stripping himself of all his powers.
Obviously, I could go on and on about Thanos and his reigns of terror and destruction, for literally pages and pages. Needless to say, this is a character that needs to find his way onto the big screen. Some feel we may see that happen sooner rather than later, as it has been rumored that Thanos will make an appearance in this year's Avengers film later this year. While I am keeping my hopes in check, I'd love to see a character like Thanos take on the Avengers on the big screen; maybe in a sequel if it doesn't happen this go-round. The amount of destruction and awesomeness that could occur with a character like this could make for one of the best CBM's of all time...assuming he is handled the correct way, as with any comic book character.
Now, who should play such a bad ass character? I though about casting a big actor for the role, but I still don't think it would do the character justice, so I ultimately landed on the idea of CGI. Assuming that the CGI work that Mark Ruffallo did for the Hulk in the Avengers turns out well, that is exactly what I'd like to see for Thanos: use a motion-capture style. It would allow for the creators to do more with the look of him as well as in action scenes, instead of bogging down an actor will all sorts of artificial suits, skins, costumes etc. But this doesn't account for a voice. There are many options that came to mind for Thanos: Dennis Haysbert, Ron Perlman and numerous others. But there is one man who has incredible talents when it comes to voice-over work and I think he could do wonders with a role like this. Clancy Brown would be able to add a new dimension of evil to Thanos that only he could. Aside from being a damn fine actor, which he is capable of pulling into his voice work, his voice is unmatched for this type of character.
If you have suggestions or want me to highlight a Baddie you'd like to see, be sure to send me an email! I will see what I can do! Be sure to check out the past installments of "Baddies that Need Movie Love:"
Black Tom Cassidy
Ventriliquist & Scarface
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