One of the complaints levelled against the first phase films of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe was the sometimes awkward squeezing in of elements and setup for “The Avengers” in those standalone films, a process which caused some disruption and issues with the stories which impacted the films – especially the second “Iron Man”.
There has been no such issues with the second phase films, the wider universe elements are now in fact a big part of the appeal. This year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” for example incorporated elements setting up Marvel’s two-part “Avengers: Infinity War” film which is still a while off.
Speaking with Vulture in the wake of the film’s home video release, James Gunn revealed that the hardest scenes to write in the film were the character introductions. In fact the brief appearance by the main antagonist of the ‘Infinity War’ saga, Thanos (Josh Brolin), was the most difficult scene of all to nail:
“That was really difficult. There’s pressure with Thanos because you’re setting up this gigantic character that, in one way, isn’t really a part of your movie. His presence doesn’t really serve being in Guardians, and having Thanos be in that scene was more helpful to the Marvel Universe than it was to Guardians of the Galaxy. I always wanted to have Thanos in there, but from a structural standpoint, you don’t need him.
So that’s part of it, and then part of it is the fact that you’re setting up this incredibly powerful character, but you don’t want to belittle the actual antagonist of the film, which is Ronan. You don’t want him to seem like a big wussy. So how do you make that work? And that’s why Ronan kills the Other.
I thought that was interesting, because we’ve had the Other, who’s obviously very powerful even in comparison to Loki, and then we see Ronan wipe his ass with him. So that I liked, but even that was sort of difficult, because it played as funnier when I first wrote it, and the humor didn’t work so much.
This scene does set up the later scene between Thanos and Ronan – which I like! That scene, to me, makes Ronan kick ass. He tells Thanos, “F— you! I’m coming for you!” That makes Ronan not admirable, but… well, sort of admirable! It’s the one really great Ronan moment in there, along with some of the ritualistic stuff he’s doing at the beginning. So I liked that moment, but the middle scene was one of the tougher things I wrote.”
Thanos isn’t expected to be a part of any of Marvel’s 2015 & 2016 release films, likely not appearing on screen again until either the ‘Guardians’ sequel or “Thor: Ragnarok” in 2017 before dominating much of the action in the two ‘Infinity War’ films in 2018 & 2019.