Josh Brolin Breaks Silence on Thanos’ Possible MCU Return

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Summary

  • Josh Brolin hints at a possible return of Thanos in the MCU, as he has heard rumors.
  • Thanos continues to have a presence in the MCU through alternate versions in What If…? and references in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
  • While a comeback for Thanos could be nostalgic and crowd-pleasing, it poses the risk of undoing his perfect ending and the endings of other iconic characters.


As Dune: Part Two gears up for its theatrical release next month, bringing back the acclaimed cast of its predecessor, actor Josh Brolin is gearing up to reprise his role as Gurney Halleck. However, during a recent interview ahead of the movie’s release, Brolin found himself discussing another of his iconic roles, that of Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and more precisely, his possible return as the Mad Titan in the future.

Brolin’s appearances as Thanos became one of the highlights of the Infinity Saga. Beyond being the franchise’s first big bad, the character managed to actually justify his actions in the movie in a way that saw fans debating the validity of his philosophical arguments. Since his comic book debut in 1973, Thanos has become a constant in the world of Marvel Comics, so compacting his story into his relatively short MCU stint means that there could still be more stories to be told. Something that Brolin has heard “through the grapevine.” He told Comicbook.com:

“You know, I hear kind of like through the grapevine, that they’re gonna bring him back. And there’s the What If…? series and that’s a different kind of Thanos and all that. But I don’t know in the Marvel world whether they’re going to bring him back, but I didn’t know that he was the most killed-off Marvel villain … You learn something new every day.”

In the MCU, Thanos’ journey concluded in Avengers: Endgame, where he faced death twice—first in the film’s opening scene and then at its climax during the Battle of Earth. However, his presence continues to loom large over the universe, with alternate versions of the character appearing in the animated series What If…? and being referenced in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, where an alternate version of him was mentioned to have been defeated by the Illuminati.

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Should Thanos Return to the MCU?

Thanos holding an infinity gauntlet in What If Zombies
Marvel Studios

Brolin’s recent comments once again hint at a possible return of Thanos to the MCU and, as long as the multiverse is around, then it is always an option. Even outside the current MCU timeline, it could also be possible that Marvel might delve back into some of the previous stories Thanos has been part of that sit outside the continuing narrative of the franchise.

Thanos has already appeared several times in the first seasons of What If…? This is something that could continue in the upcoming third season, with the series looking at alternate scenarios that some of its best-known characters could have been part of in another universe. Additionally, with the upcoming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars, there’s potential for Thanos to make an appearance in some form.

However, as with other iconic characters such as Tony Stark or Steve Rogers, who are respectively by Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, there is always a risk that any kind of comeback, no matter how nostalgic and crowd-pleasing, runs the risk of undoing their perfect endings. However, as Marvel Studios attempts to get the MCU back on track after a rough 2023 slate, it is hard to predict exactly what tricks they could pull in the coming years.

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