Josh Brolin Admits Why Playing Thanos in the MCU Wasn't as Hard as Playing Deadpool's Cable

By John Ross Bradford Updated:
Cable on left, Thanos on right

2019 was a monumental year for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it brought the Infinity Saga to a close. But, what also came in the same calendar year was the finalization of Disney's purchase of 20th Century Fox, which brought many familiar Marvel faces back under the Marvel Studios umbrella, such as the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool.

While these franchises were under Fox's control, though, there were a few actors that had the opportunity to experience how Marvel properties are handled under both Fox and Marvel Studios, including big names like Chris Evans and Michael B. Jordan.

One actor specifically who has been praised for his interpretation of a certain Mad Titan also made a splash in a different Marvel arena as a time-traveling cyborg, and has recently shared how different the two experiences were for him.


As reported by IndieWire , Josh Brolin recently joined James and Roger Deakins' podcast, Team Deakins , and opened up about his experience working as Thanos for Marvel Studios and how exactly he came about bringing the character to life:

“I mentioned Brando in ‘Apocalypse Now,’ this guy who is very elusive and insane but what he is saying makes sense and is poetical. I started seeing the parallel which I liked for me. I loved being able to resort to a film like ‘Apocalypse Now’ when I was doing something like ‘Avengers.'”

Brolin also had high praises of Marvel Studios' technology used on the set of Infinity War and Endgame , which brought his interpretation of the Mad Titan to life in real-time, saying that helped the process become "fun" to him:

“The more I watched it, the more I realized this is a real guy. This is not a big purple guy this is a guy with insides and cells and feelings. Then it became fun. To me, it was like going to do 1970s black box theater in New York. You totally resort to your imagination. It is absolutely behavioral, if not more than other movies.”

As many know, the year that Brolin brought the MCU's Thanos to life in his full glory in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War was the same year he appeared as Deadpool 2 's Cable just a month later. He then reprised his role as Thanos for Avengers: Endgame the following year.

Brolin went on to add that he did not have the same experience in the other Marvel franchise he joined in 2018 under Fox, saying that the Deadpool job was "much harder," and that it felt like "more of a business transaction" than anything else compared to his time working with the Russo Brothers and Marvel Studios:

“‘Deadpool’ was hard. Even though it was funny, it was harder. That was more of a business transaction, it was more, ‘We need to make this like this,’ which I didn’t feel that way with ‘Avengers.’ With those directors, they would constantly go back and reference ‘Scarface’ or ‘Dog Day Afternoon.’ Whether or not it was a manipulation, they knew what to throw out there to bring it back into something inspired.”


What deserves the most focus from Brolin's recent words is his consistent praises of Marvel Studios and how they go about piecing together the MCU one character at a time. The fact that Brolin was allowed to take such creative liberties with Thanos over the years and mold him into the character that fans would eventually see decimate the universe says a lot about how Marvel Studios allows their actors to tinker and toy with their roles, despite having such a specific vision for what path they want MCU films to follow.

But what also needs to be remembered is that although Brolin may not have the same kind words for his experience working as Deadpool 2 's Cable, is that he's not done with Cable yet - or, at least, he doesn't want to be. It was reported last summer that Brolin got on the phone with Marvel Studios to discuss Cable's potential in the MCU once Disney's purchase of Fox and all its properties was complete.

So, although Brolin may not have enjoyed the experience of playing Cable as much as he enjoyed playing the MCU's Mad Titan, he hasn't closed the door on returning as the X-Force's Traveler. In fact, Brolin may even be more excited about the role now than before knowing that Marvel Studios will be the ones in charge going forward.

- About The Author: John Ross Bradford
John Ross Bradford is an editor and writer at The Direct. He has contributed to content ideation and development across multiple branches of the company's website since it launched in 2020.