This MCU Star Had No Interest in Playing 1 of the Avengers

Avengers: Endgame might have marked the climactic chapter in what Marvel Studios has dubbed “the Infinity Saga.” But there’s a whole lot more story to come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Phase 4 is gearing up with the release of Disney+ series WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Now one Marvel star explains what drew him to the MCU.

Kevin Feige, Anthony Russo, and some of the 'Avengers: Infinity War' cast
Kevin Feige, Anthony Russo, and some of the ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ cast | Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has the Avengers and many other heroes

When the MCU kicked off in 2008, Phase 1 was centered entirely around the formation of the Avengers. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and Captain America (Chris Evans) were the trio who carried the team along. But by the time Avengers: Endgame came along, the MCU had added many more heroes to its ranks.

In that final battle against Thanos (Josh Brolin), everyone from Spider-Man (Tom Holland) to Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) played key roles. And even Marvel heroes not inspired by creepy-crawlers took that last stand. Going forward, Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) will likely rise to fill the void left by Iron Man and Captain America’s exits.

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But Josh Brolin never wanted to play the hero in the MCU

Even though Marvel has a deep roster of heroes, some actors are far less inclined to want to save the day. After all, a compelling villain can steal the spotlight away from even the noblest hero. Just take a look at every time the Joker has gotten the more attention than his corresponding Batman. Such was the case with Brolin’s entry into the MCU.

The actor appeared only twice as Thanos prior to taking center stage in Avengers: Infinity War. And as Brolin told the Team Deakins podcast, he wasn’t interested in playing an Avenger.

“When I said yes to Avengers it was a small thing,” the actor said. “It was basically a cameo. So there wasn’t a lot of money involved. So that wasn’t the reason. If [the role] had been one of the Avengers…I probably wouldn’t have done it. … The fact that it was all of the Avengers against this one guy… I liked that aspect of it.”

In addition to being the Big Bad the entire MCU was leading to, Brolin’s decision was likely driven by a hesitance to commit to a long-term, multi-film contract. Moreover, the actor confessed “it became fun” to find the humanity in such a threatening force as Thanos. The character will certainly be a tough villain for the MCU to top.

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Could Josh Brolin return as either Thanos or Cable in the MCU?

While the victory had a steep price, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes ultimately emerge victorious in Avengers: Endgame. Thanos is “snapped” out of existence during the final battle. But then again, comic book movies have a way of reviving characters long believed dead. So there’s always the chance Thanos — like other MCU heroes and villains — might return someday.

In the meantime, Brolin has another Marvel character who make his MCU debut soon. The same year Thanos rose to power in Avengers: Infinity War, the actor starred as Cable in Deadpool 2. Ever since Disney acquired Fox, fans expect Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool is due for an MCU transfer. Will Brolin make that leap with him? Stay tuned as Marvel figures it all out.