‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Directors Confirm Why Thanos Wants to Destroy Half the Universe

Marvel Studios

“The entire time I knew him, he only ever had one goal: to wipe out half the universe.”

That’s what Gamora (Zoe Saldana) reveals to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in the big Avengers: Infinity War trailer released last month. And supervillain Thanos (Josh Brolin) confirmed as much in another trailer, saying, “When I’m done, half of humanity will still exist. Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.”

We’ve been given some truly exciting snippets of footage in the trailers and the TV spots have been wise to reveal only a little more of the moments we’ve seen, but the exact reason for why the Marvel baddie wants to destroy half of all life hasn’t been spelt out… until now.

In the comics, Thanos creates the Infinity Gauntlet and takes out half the living things in the universe in order to prove his love to Death. In the upcoming Marvel epic, his motivations come from a more noble-minded place, at least from his point of view.

“He’s from a planet called Titan. Many years prior to the film his planet was experiencing a cataclysmic shift. They were running out of resources, and they were overpopulated,” co-director Joe Russo has explained to The Telegraph India.

“Thanos made a recommendation that they exterminate half the population randomly in order to save the rest of the population. Of course, the Titans rejected his notion, branded him a mad man, exiled him, and the planet ended up dying. So he has taken it upon himself to go planet-by-planet throughout the universe and wipe out half of the population of each planet as a way to correct the planet and bring it back into balance.”

The Russos have referred to Infinity War as Thanos’ film in the past, which makes sense – we’ve been waiting to see him get the spotlight since that mid-credits moment in 2012’s The Avengers. So, Thanos’ film…. how exactly?

“We thought it was fascinating to tell a story from the point of view of a villain,” Joe Russo said. “So when you watch the film, you’ll see that the film is told from Thanos’ perspective. That offers a unique insight into our heroes, but it also offers a unique insight into villains and how they think.”

If it’s done right, following all the mayhem unfold from the bad guy’s corner should make for a different type of chapter in MCU, especially when the baddie legitimately believes they’re responsible for keeping the galaxy alive in the long run.

As Joe Russo puts it: “Every villain is a hero in his own story and believes that what they’re doing is right. They’re just in conflict with the rest of the world.”

Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment

Guillermo, Founder and Manager of ScreenRealm, lives and breathes all things screen and pop culture. He has over eight years' experience in the media landscape in a career that has encompassed television, radio, and the online space. When he's not working hard on ScreenRealm, you can find him at a local Sydney cinema or catching up on his ever-growing list of must-watch TV shows.