Summary

  • Thanos could return in “Eternals 2” as the deceased members of the team are likely to be resurrected using the World Forge, which could be used for the Mad Titan.
  • A solo Starfox project could explore the relationship between Thanos and his brother Eros, potentially featuring flashbacks of Thanos.
  • Thanos could be brought back in projects like the “Nova” series, “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty,” “Avengers: Secret Wars,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy 4” through time travel, alternate realities, or variants.

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Following Josh Brolin’s new tease, there are a few projects that could see Thanos return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thanos was the main villain of Marvel’s Infinity Saga. The foe debuted in 2012’s The Avengers, though Brolin would only get to play the Mad Titan for the first time in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Thanos had some impressive displays of power in the MCU, with the villain being able to defeat some of the universe’s most powerful heroes, including Hulk, Thor, and Captain Marvel.

Thanos essentially being the main star of Avengers: Infinity War was an inspired choice, as it allowed the audience to follow an MCU villain for the first time as Thanos embarked on his quest for the Infinity Stones. 2019’s Avengers: Endgame seemingly brought Thanos’ story to an end; however, the character has since played a small role in episodes of the animated What If…? series. Now, Josh Brolin has teased Thanos’ MCU return, saying, “I hear kind of like through the grapevine, that they’re gonna bring him back. ” There are a few exciting projects for Thanos’ possible MCU future.

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10 Eternals 2 Could Resurrect Thanos

Not Confirmed

While the status of Eternals 2 is up in the air after the original movie was heavily criticized, the possible project would be one of the best for Brolin to make his live-action return as Thanos in the MCU. Given how key players of the team died in Eternals, including Richard Madden’s Ikaris, Eternals 2 would likely use the concept of the World Forge — seemingly the MCU’s version of the comics’ Great Machine — to resurrect the deceased characters. Given his connection to the Eternals, Thanos could then come back to life through it, going up against the Eternals.

9 A Starfox Solo Project Could Enrichen Thanos’ Backstory

Not Confirmed

Harry Styles' Eros cameo in Eternals

World-famous singer Harry Styles made his MCU debut as Eros, aka Starfox, in one of Eternals‘ post-credits scenes. The character was introduced to the remaining Eternals by Pip the Troll, who revealed that Eros was none other than Thanos’ brother. Even if Eternals 2 never happens, there is a chance that Styles’ character could star in a solo Starfox project, as Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has teased future plans for the character. Thanos could appear throughout the possible Starfox movie or series through flashbacks, revealing what kind of relationship the half-brothers had in the MCU.

8 The Nova Series Could Show Thanos’ Destruction Of Xandar

Reported

Nova in space in Marvel Comics

Richard Rider’s arrival in the MCU could bring back Thanos, showing a missing moment from the character’s journey. A Nova series has been reported to be in development for some time, though the project has yet to receive new updates following the overhaul of Marvel Studios’ TV side. If Nova is greenlit, the series could feature the deleted 45-minute sequence of Thanos destroying Xandar. The planet’s destruction is what led to Rider becoming Nova in the comics, which makes Nova the perfect project to bring back Avengers: Infinity War‘s Thanos.

The Power Stone from Xandar was the only one of the Infinity Stones that Thanos was not shown getting in Avengers: Infinity War.

7 Avengers: The Kang Dynasty Could Bring Thanos Back Through Time Travel

Announced By Marvel Studios

Kang the Conqueror is the master of time in Marvel Comics, with the Kang variants also being masters of the multiverse in the MCU. While Jonathan Majors might be out as Kang, Marvel is apparently still moving forward with 2026’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. The Council of Kangs should make the new Avengers’ lives very difficult, and if Kang the Conqueror were to use time travel to bring past MCU villains like Thanos or Gorr the God Butcher back into the mix, the Avengers could be in serious trouble.

6 Avengers: Secret Wars Can Feature Multiple Thanos Variants In Live-Action

Announced By Marvel Studios

Sam Wilson Captain America, Captain Marvel, and Doctor Strange

The MCU has already dealt with a few Thanos variants; however, Avengers: Secret Wars could take that up a notch. The Avengers could fight another Earth to stop an incursion, meeting with the Thanos of that reality. Adding to that, if the movie ends up featuring Battleworld like the comics, then there could be an entire land dominated by Thanos variants. That would make Avengers: Secret Wars quite a unique experience, allowing Brolin to go all out as the many Thanos variants.

5 What If…? Season 3 Could Include More Thanos Variants

Announced By Marvel Studios

Some Thanos variants have appeared throughout What If…?‘s two seasons, with Brolin returning to voice the character in a couple of episodes. While Brolin fleshed out a few variants of the Mad Titan, multiple versions of Thanos appeared only to die in the series, which has become a running joke of the show. With What If…? season 3 on the way, more Thanos variants are to be expected, and Brolin could be back so that the villain plays a bigger role in the animated series.

4 Marvel Zombies Should Include Thanos

Announced By Marvel Studios

Zombie Thanos in What If? season 1 episode 5

Marvel Studios’ first TV-MA animated series is the upcoming Marvel Zombies. The show should follow the events of the “What If… Zombies!?” episode, which concluded with a zombified Thanos waiting for the survivors to arrive with the Soul Stone, the only one that he was missing, in Wakanda. That cliffhanger sets up Thanos to play a major role in the animated series; however, due to his zombie nature, it seems unlikely that Brolin will return to voice the Mad Titan.

3 Star-Lord’s Teased Solo Movie Could Bring Back Thanos Over Unfinished Business

Teased By Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill's Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

As the curtains closed on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the screen showed a promising update, saying, “The Legendary Star-Lord Will Return.” In the audio commentary for the film, director James Gunn revealed that he had discussions with Chris Pratt about making a Star-Lord solo movie. Given how Peter Quill has unfinished business with Thanos due to Gamora’s death and Star-Lord messing up the MCU heroes’ plans to take the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos, the villain could return in the film — be it resurrected, through time travel, or a variant — for Star-Lord to beat him and move on.

2 Fantastic Four Could Reveal That The Team Faced Thanos In The Past

Announced By Marvel Studios

The Fantastic Four looking at the reader in Marvel Comics

Marvel’s Fantastic Four movie will arrive in 2025. As the film will not be an origin story, it will have to explain where the Fantastic Four were during all the time that has passed in the MCU since 2008’s Iron Man. If Fantastic Four ends up being a prequel to the present MCU story, then the film could use Thanos from before his death, perhaps even showing what he was doing before the Mad Titan’s first appearance in 2012’s The Avengers. Having the Fantastic Four go up against Thanos would make the excitement for their movie even greater.

1 Guardians Of The Galaxy 4 Could Start A New Trilogy With Thanos Again

Not Confirmed

New Guardians of the Galaxy team at the end of Vol. 3

Besides a tease for Star-Lord’s future adventures, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ended with the reveal of a new version of the team, with Rocket Raccoon as its leader. As Rocket’s popularity in the MCU is at an all-time high, and the members set up for the new Guardians of the Galaxy are exciting, a possible Guardians of the Galaxy 4 would make sense. Even without James Gunn, bringing in a Thanos variant to face the Guardians would make the project a must-see while also serving as a callback Brolin’s debut project as Thanos.

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