Thanos' appearance changed significantly from his 2012 debut in the mid-credits sequence The Avengers, and his cameos in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy and 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, to now, in the blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War. His skin and eye color are different, as is the design of his armor. But those alterations weren't mere whims; Marvel Studios realized early on that the Mad Titan would need to evolve to suit the longer story.
“Those sequences in Guardians is where we see him most clearly in the previous MCU films," Matt Aiken, Weta's VFX supervisor for Infinity War, told Screen Rant. "It was a wonderful freedom to not have to match that exactly. I think it’s one thing to have a Thanos who in those scenes was definitely more stylized, holed up for those short beats that he was in those films."
"But when he had to be the lead character and hold film and appear in hundreds and hundreds of shots, it was great to have the latitude to refine his look, to make his facial appearance more natural, so he’s definitely more detailed and has a more natural shape to his face, to his lips, to his brow, his nose, and all those details we’re talking about in terms of the blemishes and the pores and the stubble," Aiken added.
"If we’d been confined to those earlier iterations, it would have been too much of a limitation, I think, so that was never an issue," he said. "Right from the start, Marvel recognized the need to go to the next version of Thanos, and we were never asked to match that earlier version at all.”
In theaters now, 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.
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