Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige Explain the Origin of the Mid-Credits Scene in THE AVENGERS

     May 7, 2012

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With this morning’s announcement that The Avengers scored a $207.1 million opening weekend—$6 million higher than yesterday’s estimate—Marvel’s superhero team-up pic now holds the record for the highest grossing opening weekend in history by nearly $40 million.  Given the massive box office take, I’m assuming most (if not all) of you reading this story saw the film at least once this weekend.  Just to be safe I’m keeping things spoiler-free here on the frontpage, but needless to say a certain character popped up in a mid-credits scene.

Writer/director Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently talked about how that scene came to fruition and whose idea it was.  Hit the jump to see what they had to say.  Obviously, SPOILERS for The Avengers follow after the jump.

thanos-comic-book-imageAlright, if you’re here after the jump I’m assuming you stuck around for both credits scenes after The Avengers.  The final coda was a very well-placed joke, but the mid-credits scene could have major consequences for future Marvel films to come.  As Matt explained in his article about said scene, we saw the character of Thanos, The Mad Titan, turning his head and smiling at the unnamed Chitauri leader’s comment that to face the humans would be “to court Death itself.”

The scene sets up a possible villain for The Avengers 2 and also expands upon Feige’s earlier suggestions that Marvel films may be getting a bit more “cosmic.”  The folks over at /Film asked whose idea it was to include Thanos in The Avengers, and Feige responded “Joss. Joss, Joss, and Joss.”  Asked if he let Whedon include Thanos because Marvel wanted to get more cosmic, Feige responded:

“I wanted to get cosmic and did with Thor and told him that we wanted it to be aliens, that a portal opens in New York and aliens poor out, because the cosmic cube opened a portal. Who they were, what they were, and how they interacted was all Joss and Joss is a huge fan of Thanos.”

the-avengers-mark-ruffalo-joss-whedon-imageAsked why he’s such a big fan of Thanos, Whedon had this to say:

“He for me is the most powerful and fascinating Marvel villain. He’s the great grand daddy of the badasses and he’s in love with death and I just think that’s so cute. For me, the greatest Avengers was The Avengers annual that Jim Starlin did followed by The Thing 2 in 1 that contained the death of Adam Warlock. Those were some of the most important texts and I think underrated milestones in Marvel history and Thanos is all over that, so somebody had to be in control and had to be behind Loki’s work and I was like ‘It’s got to be Thanos.’ And they said ‘Okay’ and I’m like ‘Oh my God!’ “

Though the revelation itself was exciting for fans of the character, it’s definitely fun to see how they settled on Thanos and Whedon’s motivation behind throwing the character into the film.  Though both creatives were tight-lipped on what this means for Marvel going forward, Feige apparently hinted that it won’t come to fruition until a Guardians of the Galaxy film gains traction.  Given that Galaxy has been talked about more and more in the preceding months, I’m willing to bet that a feature film isn’t far off.  Head over to /Film for more from Feige on the Thanos scene.

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