Jim Starlin is a comic book writer and artist, and the man responsible for the creation of a host of iconic comic creations, including the big bad of the MCU, the Mad Titan Thanos. In a recent interview, Starlin revealed that Thanos' journey in the MCU is far from over, and hinted that fans may get another glimpse of the character much sooner than they anticipated.
"Well, I understand that the story's not completely ended. They've already announced that. I think a young Thanos appears in Eternals. I remember reading that somewhere."
In the MCU, Thanos suffered the most definitive death imaginable for a character. First, the Avengers went to his space farm, where Thor lopped off his head with his axe. Then a younger version of Thanos time-jumped into the present, where he was erased from existence by an Infinity Gantlet wielding Tony Stark. But as Starlin pointed out, there are some forces even more powerful than Stormbreaker or the Gauntlet: merchandising sales.
"They made a shit load of money off this guy. So I don't see them retiring him anytime soon. Comic book characters tend to have an extended lifespan beyond the actors who work on them. I'm half expecting to see much more Thanos down the line."
Even though Thanos only got two movies that focussed on his personal journey in the MCU, the writing and acting for the character was so good that he became an instant fan-favorite. The image of Thanos in his golden armor, or wielding the Infinity Gauntlet, has appeared on innumerable t-shirts, mugs and the like. For a franchise that makes a huge chunk of its profits from merchandising rights, it would make no sense to let a measly little double-death getting in the way of a popular character's return.
Fortunately, comics serve up innumerable examples of characters dying, and then coming back from the dead. Younger/older versions can time jump into the present. Clones or duplicates from other dimensions could be revealed. Their death could be an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the character as part of their master plan.
Anyone of those plot lines can be used to bring back the Mad Titan. And Starlin seems to think it will happen sooner rather than later, possibly with the Eternals film. The movie explores the world of cosmic entities The Celestials, and their creations, Eternals and Deviants. It would not be surprising for Thanos to be part of the backstory of the characters, and show up as his younger self in the storyline.
One person who might have mixed feelings about Thanos's return is the guy who played him, Josh Brolin. The actor played Cable in Deadpool 2, a role he is reportedly keen to reprise in the MCU, now that Deadpool and his cohorts are officially set to join Disney's superhero franchise. Continuing to play Thanos in small guest appearances and cameos might get in the way of Brolin getting to play Cable full time. Or he could just play both characters and get paid double his regular fee. This news first appeared at ComicBook.com.