Good Guy Thanos in Marvel’s What If episode 2 was inevitable, says producer
In sprawling franchises, and especially the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a fan-favorite villain can often be too perfectly cast to be wasted all at once. Tom Hiddleston’s Loki made his way into the Thor franchise and came out to the other side with his own heroic turn on a Disney Plus show. Bucky’s turn as the Winter Soldier only lasted a few movies before relaxing in Wakanda and Sebastian Stan became the material for the Avengers. In the hands of Elizabeth Olsen, Wanda Maximoff went from villain to hero to somewhere in between WandaVision. And Karen Gillan’s traumatic arc as Nebula hit so hard that Avengers: Endgame depended on his leap to the side of the heroes.
Marvel loves reforming the bad guys, and in What if…? Episode 2, they take on one of the mega-franchise’s biggest reform challenges yet: making Thanos a good guy. In “What if … T’Challa Becomes a Star-Lord,” Josh Brolin voices the Mad Titan, who has gone a little less mad under the influence of an idealistic Wakandan prince.
” There are no rules, [to what we could and couldn’t do with the mythology]Says executive producer Brad Winderbaum. “The biggest ‘rule’ or the biggest benchmark we were looking for was less about the ‘What if? “And more on” And then what? Because that’s really where the story would come from. How can this new situation the character finds himself in really test his courage, and really challenge him as an individual and show us a new dimension for him? It was therefore in a way the most important factor in the choice of the concepts to be developed. There are obviously a lot of stories to tell. And that’s just one way to do it.
Winderbaum describes the Guardians of the Galaxy turn as an “exploration of how a character, an individual, can change the galaxy just by their very influence.” The Thanos of this alternate timeline, in which T’Challa is kidnapped by the Ravagers, still have a desire to wipe out half of the universe’s population. But he’s cold. T’Challa convinced him that there might be better ways to balance the scales between consumption and resources, such as redistributing existing resources. The Ravagers who follow the Wakandan Star-Lord are more Robin and his Merry Men than Captain Jack and the Pirates of the Caribbean – they live to save and serve. T’Challa got to Thanos from this timeline early enough to steer him away from his master plan, and every time he talks about it he’s rightly criticized for saying genocidal nonsense.
“Josh was so excited to play this version of Thanos – the recording session was so much fun,” Winderbaum said. “And at least for the duration of this story we’re telling, Thanos seems to have a different outlook on life in the universe. But part of Ravaging Thanos’ fun is that he’s always on the verge of falling back into his plan. genocidal maniac. Some of the funniest parts are when he tries to justify it to the people around him. And everyone is able to put him down again.
Throughout the punch of Avengers: Infinity War and End of Game, Thanos’ plans for the Infinity Gauntlet and his desire to effect change through violent means have made him one of the most questionable and memorable villains in Marvel history (and up there with the Joker as a villain who a few too many people on Facebook seem to agree with). His transformation into a nice guy is a bold move, and one that will soon be followed by an episode involving T’Challa’s opponent in the first one. Black Panther movie, Killmonger. The Michael B. Jordan antagonist had his own defenders, and a chance to get the character back into action, potentially without the baggage, seems like a silent agenda for What if…?.
Winderbaum pushes back criticism a bit: in his opinion, the creators of the animated series aren’t so keen on hearing discussions and fan interests, but are responding to their own personal fandom.
“It’s just born out of that same excitement of loving the thing you watch and then wondering what it would be like to do it differently, whether it’s to imagine other ways of doing franchises – if you made these movies – or [to explore] the past has not traveled. There are just endlessly funny things to tell. And we have a room full of geeks.