Thanos was the true king of Infinity War. His hard work and single-minded perseverance paid off as he dusted half of the universe with a single snap. He achieved his goal of bringing his version of balance to the universe, but the Avengers weren't going to let him get away with it. However, not many people were expecting the Mad Titan to get decapitated within the first handful of minutes in Avengers: Endgame. As it turns out, it was a bit of a controversial decision behind-the-scenes.
Endgame and Marvel Studios producer Trinh Tran is the one responsible for the early decapitation. After the Mad Titan took over and accomplished what he set out to do, the Russo Brothers, Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely needed to come up with something big and bold to get the Endgame story moving quickly. Tran wasn't sure how everybody was going to react when she pitched her idea. She had this to say.
"He defeated the Avengers in Infinity War. Where does he go from there? How do we continue a story where audiences are going to go, 'Oh, this is new, this is different,' rather than just tell the same story again? And we wanted our heroes to be able to go back in time, like that's the fun of it, right? So I just went, 'Okay, this is a crazy idea. They're probably going to think I'm nuts for saying it, but let's talk about it.'"
In the end, everybody agreed that the early and brutal decapitation was the right way to go. After everybody agreed about her idea, Trinh Tran was kind of shocked. From there, it started an avalanche of ideas of going back and trying to make everything else work within the new story direction. Tran explains.
"It started a conversation and I think that was key. It was that we were able to take that and whether or not we ended up with that, I wanted that conversation to go, 'What if this can happen? What if this crazy idea can happen and what happens with the Avengers if we do that?' And that actually kind of just took a role of its own and we made that happen. I'm like, 'Oh my God, we're going to kill him off in the beginning. Now, how are we going to fix this all?'"
Thor had the opportunity to kill Thanos at the end of Infinity War, but he decided to give a speech instead. The Mad Titan told him what he should have done, which was obviously go for the head, before snapping his fingers. This set everything in motion for the beginning of Endgame in a really interesting way. Even after the Avengers kill Thanos, they're still too late and they know it.
Thor ends up going into a deep depression after decapitating Thanos in Endgame. On the opposite side of things, the Mad Titan from the past is happy to learn that he accomplishes his goal in the future, even if he knows he'll get his head chopped off. Whatever the case may be, it all worked out since Endgame is now the highest grossing movie of all time. The interview with Trinh Tran was originally conducted by Comic Book.