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Thanos Payoff is Still ‘Years’ Away, Marvel’s Kevin Feige Says

The grin seen ’round the world in Marvel’s The Avengers was just the beginning. An appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy is the next step. But after that? It could be quite a while before moviegoers feel the full force of Thanos.

Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige spoke with The Huffington Post about plans for the Mad Titan as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand. Asked if Thanos is something like “the end boss in a video game,” Feige said, “That’s a fair analogy, yes.”

“It’s also, you look at some classic story lines in the comics and they tease out characters like that — big bads like that — for sometimes years,” he continued. “I think Walter Simonson was teasing Surter for years before he popped up. It’s fun to have the luxury to build somebody up like that.”

In other words, settle in for a long ride, Marvel fans: don’t expect Thanos as the lead villain in any of these movies for another few years at least.


  • EVH

    It makes sense. Marvel is putting out all theses movies starting from Phase 1 all the way to Phase 3 which looks to be sometime around 2015, as a way to introduce the fans to these characters and in the end rounding up all of them for the huge fight vs Thanos in Marvel’s The Infinity Gauntlet. I hope they’ve got RDJr, Evans, Hemsworth and the rest signed up for that one, they’re gonna need to save some $$ because it’s gonna be a HUGE cast and the FX will play a huge part.

  • Mike

    Avengers 3 obviously.

  • JMoney

    lame….Why tease Thanos if he wasn’t going to be in Avengers 2? Also since RDJ is done as Iron Man (or close to it), by the time they get to a 3rd movie, it might be hard to keep the cast together…

  • JMoney

    I think RDJ made more than most of the rest of the Avengers cast combined. He would be the most expensive part, and would probably want 50 mil to do it. From A screen rant article: The rest of the cast aren’t so lucky. Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson are said to be scoring an estimated $4 – 6 million apiece – once their upfront fee and box office bonus is combined. It’s still a lot of cash, but nothing compared to that of Robert Downey Jr. Meanwhile, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo will probably bank around $2 – 3 million each for their work onThe Avengers. Again this is serious money – but not much when you take into account the billions of dollars the film will make once other ancillaries are added.

  • patrickdemers

    RDJ is under contract for Avengers 2 and Avengers 3. Nothing yet for Iron Man 4.

  • Happily LS

    Well, like the article said, he will make an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy.

  • JMoney

    Wonder what they’re paying him for Avengers 2 and 3. Also contracts don’t mean much when an actor can just hold out for more, RDJ will be paid huge amounts of money for both of those pictures.

  • JMoney

    Off topic, but I’m surprised the DC franchise is so far behind the 8 ball on a Justice League movie. They can’t seem to get their stuff togther like Marvel has. Supes, and Batman are pretty well established, but that’s about it.

  • patrickdemers

    They’re paying him a lot. I don’t know the exact figure, but if it’s anywhere close to the $50 million he made for the first Avengers, then he is in for some big money.
    Also, contracts actually do mean a lot. Natalie Portman was forced to return in Thor 2 because of her contract, even though she wanted no part of it since Patty Jenkins quit the film as its original director.

  • JMoney

    Portman doesn’t have the star power RDJ has. I’m pretty sure he could probably holdout on a contract for more money if he wanted to. Granted he might get sued, etc, but I don’t know if they could force him to do anything. Let’s be honest, he’s probably the best actor among the cast and was one of the most entertaining things about he avengers (other than the Hulk, who was CGI but Ruffalo did a good job). I think the Iron Man franchise is over though, I would not want to see an IM4 after the terrible way they handled IM3.

  • DarthTigris

    They’re approaching things like movie studios always have instead of the way Marvel Studios has. That’s why Green Lantern popped up with no relation to any other movie or even a plan in place for universe building while Batman is off doing his own thing. Different producers and no plan in place.

    Even what they seem to be attempting now with the Man of Steel sequel is ridiculously short sighted. Older, more seasoned Batman at the beginning of a universe build? Everything they do is so short sighted that I believe they’re a good decade away from getting it together if at all. Shame, but I’m more of a Marvel guy anyway so I’m glad at least they’re doing it right.

  • JMoney

    Well I can’t blame them because at the beginning (Batman Begins) the reboot wasn’t even taking a Justice League movie into consideration, Nolan was just trying to make the best possible Batman trilogy. You’re right about Green Lantern, that was a green turd of a movie, and embarassingly bad. I dont’ think anyone wants Ryan Reynolds back as GL. I heard something about a Wonder Woman movie, but historically (for whatever reason) superheroine movies with a female lead have done poorly at the box office. They should have built her up in other movies, probably the Supes film would have been a good choice.

  • gamedemon24

    2015 is two YEARS away. Dual villains anyone?

  • demoncat_4

    it makes sense for a badie like thanos needs a big build up plus also the longer they work towards him the more characters maybe marvel will have the rights back to use. like the x-men and the fantastic four.

  • hammer

    First, Guardians of the Galaxy is my favorite!!! Star-Lord & Thanos have quite a history as well, so Thanos playing the “puppet master” in the GOTG Film is AWESOME! …and Thanos is such a badass, a nice long build up through multiple films really suit him. So far, Disney (Marvel) is doing a wonderful job rolling out a Universe, and yes, Warner Bros. (DC) hasn’t figured that out yet. It’s actually quite strange considering, but it does take “Direction.” Someone at the top who sees a “universe” rather than a bunch of stories and characters.
    Basically, Disney gets it and Warner Bros. does not. – Hey, don’t get me wrong, Nolan’s Batman Trilogy was WICKED COOL, but for JLA to take off, They’ve got to figure out 3 things. Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman… Superman? I liked Man of Steel, Henry Cavill was a great casting choice, Louis, not so much… My only complaint about the film really, was it felt like they told too much, I had trouble getting “into” the characters. And Batman, well, Ben is taking over the role ()reminds me of Clooney as batman for some reason) and they are doing super-bat-man thing… (I’ve never read this story… kinda sounds like a parody) – but… Wonder Woman…. only rumors, web chanting, and a strangely odd fear in the comic book movie industry about a lead actress… & she has such a GREAT story! I guess, WB has no puppet master eyeing a universe yet… Just a bunch of execs with piles of stories and no thread.
    BTW: Expect BIG THINGS from Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, could be the best casting since RDJ as Iron Man.

  • Wellman

    Historically? Female super hero movies have blown chunks.

    Not even counting Barb Wire or Tank Girl, all you have are butchered spin offs Catwoman, Supergirl and Elektra. One would hope they aren’t basing potential success off the results those films had as to whether there is a audience for a female superhero. That is like basing all the non Batman turds that came between the Raimi Spider-Man film and Superman 2 for solo hero films.

  • Nope

    RDJ held out on signing the current contract because he wanted more money…. for his fellow Avengers. It’s a well-documented story. But he didn’t want to sacrifice his own pay to do it. It seems hypocritical at a glance, but when you realize that would look like him taking pity on his co-stars, it makes you realize how awesome it actually was. Turning down $100mil+ just to make the company recognize the other guys’ value = heroic

  • Tophman

    Looks like Avengers 3 will be “The Infinity Gauntlet” (this will become apparent once you see the “Guardians of the Galaxy” tie-in scene at the end of “Thor: The Dark World”s trailer –don’t forget to wait for the end-end credits to see the second bonus scene that ties into “Thor 3″).

    It looks like Marvel’s playing the long game and I applaud their guts for doing so (considering they have to deal with logistics and actors). So “Iron Man”, “Thor”, & “Captain America: The First Avenger” led to “Avengers Assemble” which leads neatly into “Thor: The Dark World”, which segways into “Guardians of the Galaxy” and coming back to “Avengers: The Infinity Gauntlet”.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they make Thanos the ultimate architect of Ultron’s rise in “Avengers: The Age of Ultron”.

    That said, although I wouldn’t mind them hiring other actors to fill in the Avengers’ shoes if salary issues become insurmountable, it would be nice to see all of them (at least to round out the first Avengers movie trilogy).

    To Marvel Studios & Disney: pay these fine actors (okay, maybe not Renner) what their due. They got you $1.5B from Avengers alone so you should consider any reasonable pay hike!

  • Sir Legendhead

    They may be going for an introspective, individualized take on their heroes. It would be pretty lame if they just copied Marvel and you can’t really argue with the success of the Dark Knight trilogy.


    It wont even be 2015 that we see Thanos, MARVEL have been very clever in lining things up with their movies. Now we know Loki doesn’t appear in Avenger 2, neither will Thanos, or Thor 3, Avengers 3 will bring Thanos into it and the Loki/Alien/Invasion storyline into play again

  • Mr. Coleman

    Not to be nit-picky, but it’s Surtur, not Surter. The way it’s spelled here it looks like Surfer. Threw me off for a bit trying to figure out what he was talking about.

  • twincast

    Nope, that’s just wrong. WB/DC gave us Superman and Batman films long before Marvel managed to do anything at all, but what brought super-hero movies back were Marvel-based films, particularly X-Men and Spider-Man.

  • Officer Dog

    i like this idea a lot but I realllllly wanna see Joss write Thanos and I don’t know how long he’s going to stick around.

    Either way the idea of this is really fun. hints of him to come for a long time.

  • Sir Legendhead

    You don’t seem to understand cause and effect very well.

  • Tophman

    Actually I can’t blame Reynolds for GL’s failure (just as I can’t blame Routh for “Superman Returns”). In both cases, I liked the actors’ portrayal of the characters. The letdown was the story.

    In the GL movie, if they stuck with the story of Hal, his induction and training in the Corps, friendship with Sinestro & relationship with Carol; it would’ve been a much better movie. Look at Nolan’s successful Batman trilogy… all of them were first and foremost about Bruce Wayne (with only a bit of screen time dedicated to fleshing out the villain; the same can be said about “Man of Steel”). -And seriously? The ridiculous CG costume was a waste of money. They could’ve cut the huge budget for that and made the movie for a lot less with a decent tailored costume & some glowy f/x.

    It’s sad that Warner Bros can’t seem to stop interfering with DCE (at least that’s what it looks like to me). Thanks to Nolan’s grim/gritty vision of Batman (that seems to be DC’s template for their films) it’ll be hard to pull more mainstream audiences to their future projects. Guess time will tell.

  • JMoney

    Indeed, they can’t seem to make a superheroine movie with a female lead that works. Unfortunately most females in superhero movies are relegated to the role of “emotional tacked on love interest for the hero” or “hero sidekick” Even in comics I can’t think of a really strong female lead outside of Wonder Woman.

  • Ronnie James Dio

    love to see a space opera. but without the silver surfer the infinity gauntlet isnt the same.

  • Dan

    I second the Chris Pratt comment. I *love* GotG, and truthfully, I think that film in general has some of the best casting we’ve see yet. Zoe Saldana is PERFECT for Gamora, I can’t think of a better voice for Rocket than Bradley Cooper (and I swear, I will CHEER if we get just one ‘Blam! Murdered you!’ out of him), and since really, you dont need a lot of emotional range for Drax, Dave Bautista at least looks the part, plus he’s a big enough comics fan to really TRY his best. If we could get someone like Ving Rhames to voice Thanos, it’ll be AMAZING.
    Also… if Guardians is the hit I’m hoping it’ll be… I’d LOVE to see Angela in the sequel.

  • Dan

    I love that this is going to take a while. Infinity Gauntlet is one of my three all-time favorite story arcs, and to see them pacing it and really working for it makes me very happy. Plus, the extra time COULD potentially help them get the rights to Silver Surfer back, which would be great because not having him has been one of my only worries about an Infinity Gauntlet movie. I know they’re not going to follow it 100%, but I feel like you need Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock there for it to feel right.

  • JON

    did marvel do an anime of this story back in the 90’s?
    im trying to find it

  • AaronW94

    You are slightly wrong about the 50 mil, as he only got that much due to owning shares in the company meaning he made a lot more money. but he still got like double what everyone else got