A character bio already indicated that Thanos' motivations in Avengers: Infinity War will differ from his comic book counterpart, but new comments by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige make the Mad Titan's intentions seem almost noble.
"He's from a planet called Titan that's no longer inhabited because of things that he thought he could help prevent, and he was not allowed to do that," he told Entertainment Weekly. "What he feared most happened, and the planet and everybody on it basically went extinct. He vowed not to let that happen again. He thinks he sees the universe going down the tubes. He thinks he sees life expanding outward unchecked. That will bring ruin, he believes, to the universe and to that life."
Feige explained that Thanos understands his mission to be to destroy one-half of the universe to save the other. "That's either genius or horrific, depending on your point of view," he said, "and most of our point of views say it’s pretty horrific."
Marvel Comics' 1991 miniseries Infinity Gauntlet dealt with Thanos’ efforts to woo the physical embodiment of Death. To accomplish that goal, Death encourages Thanos to eliminate half of the life in the universe using the six Infinity Gems and the accompanying Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos hopes that by showing his dedication to Death’s cause, he will gain points along the way. While Thanos’ actions certainly would have re-balanced the Marvel Universe in a grim and significant way, that was never the Mad Titan’s motivation.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie. The film opens April 27.