Filmmaker James Gunn has been a big part of the MCU, with his take on the Guardians of the Galaxy widely considered one of the high points of the Marvel universe. Recently, Gunn hosted a Q&A on Instagram where fans were free to ask him all kinds of questions relating to the various projects he's working on. When a fan asked whether Gunn would like to see Thanos make a return to the MCU, the filmmaker had a firm response.
"No. There's plenty of other stories to tell."
Thanos was the main antagonist of the Infinity War saga within the MCU, spanning 22 movies. The character, played by Josh Brolin, was a huge fan favorite despite only getting two films to truly dig deep into his psyche and explore his motivations. Thanos met his demise at the hands of Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame. But this is the comics universe, where characters make a habit of repeatedly dying and getting resurrected in fresh story arcs.
Many fans have been demanding that Thanos get the same treatment, and even behind-the-scenes chatter at Disney has revealed the company may be mulling bringing back the Mad Titan in future movies because of his popularity. But Gunn's response makes it unlikely that Thanos would be coming back in any of the MCU projects he is involved with.
This is not the first time that Gunn has gone against fans' wishes for seeing favorite comic book characters return from the dead. Yondu from Guaridans of the Galaxy, sacrificed his life in the second film to save Starlord. Many fans asked for Gunn to bring the character back, but he stayed firm in insisting that doing so would cheapen the storyline and Yondu's sacrifice.
Comic book movies have always walked a fine line between having a singular vision and becoming a patchwork of fans and studio expectations. This goes back to the very nature of the comics industry itself, which needs to pander to its fan base pretty heavily in order to have readers continue to buy new installments of a series on a monthly basis. Or watch a new movie like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
One of the biggest complaints about superhero comics is that they rarely feature any lasting consequences, with the deaths and losses incurred during a major storyline getting rebooted and done away with the next time a new writer takes over the series.
Now, Comic book movies are starting to suffer from the same storytelling issue. There have been only a handful of major deaths in the MCU across 22 movies, and the pressure is always on filmmakers to reverse what few deaths actually manage to stick, like Yondu or Thanos.
On his part, Gunn has made his stance on Thanos's resurrection clear, and he makes a valid point about the many new stories the MCU can explore once they move away from the shadow cast by the Mad Titan. After all, Doctor Doom is still waiting in the wings, while Galactus is also out there somewhere, biding his time until he can come to Earth and begin to feast. This news was originally reported on ComicBook.com.