Although Josh Brolin's Thanos looms large in Avengers: Infinity War, the actor was on the set of the Marvel Studios sequel in spirit if not always in person.
In an interview with Radio Times, Doctor Strange actor Benedict Cumberbatch revealed that Brolin was absent for much of filming because of an overlap with the production schedule for Deadpool 2, in which he co-stars as Cable.
"They used a stand-in for Josh," explained Cumberbatch, who was also absent for some of the Infinity War production to film The Current War and the British TV miniseries, Patrick Melrose. "Josh wasn't in there for much," he recalled. "He did his bit and then a lot of stuff with a lot of us and him was missing because, I guess, he was doing Deadpool 2 and I was doing Melrose and The Current War."
"But we made it work," Cumberbatch continued. "It's often the case you can act with other actors anyways, in certain scenarios because of the amount of additional stuff you have to fit in with the environment or the magic or whatever it is that's coming out of your hands or your ass."
It was originally rumored that directors Joe and Anthony Russo would employ stand-ins for significant portions of Cumberbatch's performance, and then add the actor during reshoots. However, Cumberbatch himself assured fans he was on set for much of the production.
Although Thanos debuted in 2012 in a silent cameo in The Avengers, Brolin made his debut as the Mad Titan in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, and briefly reprised the role for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Tom Hiddleston, and Josh Brolin. The film arrives April 27.