Thanos creator Jim Starlin recently opened up about Avengers: Infinity War, explaining why J0ss Whedon and Zack Snyder's DC film Justice League made him nervous for the Marvel Cinematic Universe's 19th movie.
Seeing as how Starlin created Thanos, Infinity War's main antagonist, it's easy to see why he'd be protective over the Mad Titan's handling in the MCU.
While speaking with CinemaBlend, Starlin confessed Justice League's critical panning left him a bit on edge as Infinity War -- which was essentially Thanos' own movie -- approached release. "[Co-director] Joe Russo called me up like about a month before Infinity War came out and said, ‘Well, we gotta talk about all that stuff, how there was a Thanos backstory, because the movie was gonna be two and a half hours long, and they only want two hours on this one,'" Starlin revealed.
"I had made the mistake of watching the Justice League movie about a week before," he continued. "When he told me this, I started thinking, ‘It’s going to be just like the Justice League [movie], where Thanos comes in...’ and I’m going, oh my goodness.” Despite his fears, Starlin admitted that he had "good faith" in Infinity War after seeing the Russo Brothers tackle Captain America: Civil War.
IStarlin's worries implicitly came from Justice League's handling of its own villain, and worries Thanos would be equally shortchanged. In the DC Extended Universe ensemble, Whedon and Snyder were criticized for the development of Ciarán Hinds' Steppenwolf. Even Hinds was vocal about Steppenwolf's involvement and blamed Justice League for cutting his arc.
Pitting Earth's Mightiest Heroes against Josh Brolin's Thanos, Infinity War became a cinematic juggernaut as it broke records around the world, became the highest-grossing movie of 2018, and currently sits as the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time. In contrast, while Justice League's $657.0 worldwide box office haul seems impressive on the surface, it came up short of its estimated break-even point, reportedly losing Warner Bros. $60 million when all was said and done.
Fortunately, the Russos' portrayal of Thanos contributed to Infinity War's status as a runaway success, as well as neatly led into the gigantic Avengers: Endgame -- a movie that even managed to surpass its predecessor.