Avengers 4: Josh Brolin Confirms Return as Thanos

Avengers 4 will arrive in 2019 as a separate production from 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, with Josh Brolin returning as Thanos.


Joseph Baxter

Jul 31, 2017

Avengers 4 (title to be determined,) is a hot topic these days, not only because it represents the presumed culmination towards which the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe itself has been building, but also because the film has undergone an evolution since it was first pitched to the public back in October 2014 simply as “Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2,” with Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo tapped to helm both parts. However, with Avengers 4 now standing as its own project, the latest news confirming the return of a certain big bad of a Mad Titan is a significant revelation.

Avengers 4 Latest News

Josh Brolin has confirmed his return as Thanos for Avengers 4 via his Instagram. While there was little doubt over his continued status as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s tyrannical Mad Titan, the idea of the two upcoming Avengers sequels being separate entities, in the very least, hinted the possibility (unlikely as it was,) that 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War would be a self-contained story. Moreover, Brolin is fielding Marvel movie double duty, since he’ll also make his debut in Fox’s X-Men film universe as the popular, time-travelling, giant-gun-toting ornery badass hero Cable in 2018’s Deadpool 2; a role that realistically could demand a (schedule-conflicting) reprisal in upcoming film properties traditionally connected to the character such as The New Mutants. However, with this latest Instagram post, Brolin has given the definitive word that he’s returning as Thanos for Avengers 4; a revelation that also confirms the four-quel’s plot-continuing connection to Avengers: Infinity War.

Going back for more more MORE! I want it all. #mcu #marvel @marvelstudios @disney @prevailactivewear

A post shared by Josh Brolin (@joshbrolin) on

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Avengers 4 Cast

Tom Holland will, indeed, return as Spider-Man for Avengers 4. While Holland’s new Wall-Crawler already filmed his appearance in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, his status for the subsequent 2019 follow-up was a bit unclear, especially as Sony Pictures continues conjuring plans for Spider-Man spinoff films. However, in April, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige confirmed Holland’s Spidey for Avengers 4, albeit with the caveat, “for now.”

Avengers 4 Details

In July, it was reported that Avengers 4 will reportedly end the MCU’s 22-movie arc, going back to 2008’s original Iron Man. Thus, the film’s status as the colossal climax of the MCU as we know it can be taken as fact. Of course, the MCU will keep going with plenty of projects, including the Sony-collaborated Spider-Man films. However, significant change is nigh.

Back in April, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, talking to Collider, put an official stamp on an idea that seemed to be inevitable: Avengers 4 (whatever it will be called,) will be a completely separate production from 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, with plans to shoot after that film has been completed. Thus, the cinematic divorce between Avengers: Infinity War (née “Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1”) and 2019’s fourth Avengers entry is now official. According to Feige, the reason for this demarcation of mega-movies is simply due to logistics, explaining:

“We’re doing them one right after another… It became too complicated to cross-board them like that, and we found ourselves—again, something would always pay the price. We wanted to be able to focus and shoot one movie and then focus and shoot another movie.”

With that set, Feige also revealed a potent tidbit, stating that Avengers 4 will start shooting in August. Indeed, abandoning a lofty simultaneous sequel production style – exemplified by Back to the Future II/III and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – allows both Avengers follow-ups to gestate technically and artistically in a more refined manner without a nebulous puzzle-making atmosphere. 2018’s Infinity War has intrinsically specific hurdles to be overcome, since it corrals just about every MCU hero from every film franchise, notably the space-trucking team members from Guardians of the Galaxy and Tom Holland’s Sony-held Spider-Man. Thus, the massive exposition endeavor required for Infinity War justifies a slow-burn approach that should dominate that movie.

Of course, that is not to say that Avengers 4 will start a completely new storyline from Avengers: Infinity War. The goal has always been to see a cosmic climax to the spectacular saga inspired by writer Jim Starlin’s 1991 Infinity Gauntlet Marvel Comics event series, centering on the celestial misdeeds of the megalomaniacal Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin), who famously acquires all of the Infinity Stones, allowing him to assemble the omnipotence-granting hand accessory known as the Infinity Gauntlet. Yet, as Feige explained back in October of the altered synergy between the two Avengers follow-ups and their distinct tones:

“There’s a reason we have publicly called the first one Infinity War and the second one ‘untitled’, because the movies we were developing were not – certainly there’s a connection, there are with all our movies – but it’s not a first part and a second part. It’s a whole movie and a whole story, and then a whole movie and a whole story…That’s about all I can say. It’s certainly inspired by everything that has come before and everything that is hinted at before.”

It could be the case that Infinity War will center on Thanos’s quest to complete the gauntlet — hinted in his “Fine, I’ll do it myself” declaration in the Avengers: Age of Ultron mid-credits scene — with Avengers 4 centering on the resolution to the cosmic consequences of his (obviously successful,) evil endeavor. Interestingly, this could prove somewhat similar to the grandiose Avengers-like plans cooking over at Warner Bros. and its DC Comics heroes in this fall’s Justice League, with that team-up film centering on the initial incursion of other-worldly invaders from Apokolips, led by main villain Steppenwolf, with the presumed main event against the iconic Apokolips overlord himself Darkseid set for a sequel that will also manifest down the line as a separate production.

Avengers 4 Release Date

Avengers 4 (title to be determined) is booked for a release on May 3, 2019. Of course, this comes a year after Avengers: Infinity War unleashes cosmic implications for the MCU when it hits theaters on May 4, 2018.

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