There's a perfectly good reason Josh Brolin's Thanos is saddled with the epithet "Mad Titan" in Avengers: Infinity War, but it's unlikely to ease the mind of anyone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"He’s from a planet called Titan. Many years prior to the film his planet was experiencing a cataclysmic shift," co-director Joe Russo explained to The Telegraph India. "They were running out of resources, and they were overpopulated. Thanos made a recommendation that they exterminate half the population randomly in order to save the rest of the population. Of course, the Titans rejected his notion, branded him a mad man, exiled him, and the planet ended up dying."
That left this Mad Titan to experiment with his plan on a much larger scale. "So he has taken it upon himself to go planet-by-planet throughout the universe and wipe out half of the population of each planet as a way to correct the planet and bring it back into balance," Russo added.
Inspired by Marvel Comics' Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin and George Perez, Infinity War serves as the culmination of a decade of MCU films that began with 2008's Iron Man. The film marks the third time the Joe and Anthony Russo have directed a Marvel film, following 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier and 2016's Captain America: Civil War. The filmmakers have previously cited Thanos as a primary character in the upcoming blockbuster.
"We thought it was fascinating to tell a story from the point of view of a villain. So when you watch the film, you’ll see that the film is told from Thanos’ perspective. That offers a unique insight into our heroes, but it also offers a unique insight into villains and how they think," Joe Russo said. "Every villain is a hero in his own story and believes that what they’re doing is right. They’re just in conflict with the rest of the world. Thanos happens to believe that what he is doing is right, and he behaves nobly towards that goal. But he will not stop until he achieves the goal because he believes that there is weakness that stands between him and the completion of the goal."
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, 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, among others. The film opens April 27 worldwide.