Joss Whedon: Thanos was 'never meant to be the next villain' after 'The Avengers'

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Joss Whedon planted a pretty big tease at the end of "The Avengers" when it was revealed than supervillain Thanos was the mastermind behind Loki's attack on New York City. But fans expecting a payoff for that plot twist in "Iron Man 3" were in for some disappointment, as Thanos' name wasn't even mentioned. It's been rumored that Thanos will make a reappearance in "Guardians of the Galaxy," but won't be dealt with in "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" -- especially since that movie's title implies that that it will be about the Avengers facing Marvel Comics villain Ultron.

In a new interview with Total Film (via /Film), Whedon explains that it was never anyone at Marvel's intention for Thanos to be the villain in the next Marvel Cinematic Universe movie after "The Avengers."

"We have to stay grounded," he says. "It's part of what makes the Marvel universe click -- their relationship to the real world. It's science fiction, and Thanos is not out of the mix, but Thanos was never meant to be the next villain. He's always been the overlord of villainy and darkness."

That makes it seem like he might not even be a villain who is dealt with until something farther down the road like "The Avengers 3," but who knows. It would be interesting if the MCU set up a larger Big Bad who is returned to throughout the course of this film franchise, however long it goes. Still, hopefully he'll be dealt with sooner rather than later.

"Thanos is a cosmic character and he's in the middle of a lot of really bad stuff that's going on in the universe, and our galaxy in particular, and so he's a part of the story," "Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn teased to Zap2it at San Diego Comic-Con.

Photo/Video credit: Marvel Studios
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