Josh Brolin has been set to play Thanos as Marvel starts the push towards ‘Avengers 3’

Thanos is coming.

We've known that since the end of “The Avengers,” and it's a very exciting prospect. When he showed up for that one shot at the end of that film, it was meant to be a giant tease, and Marvel didn't bother casting the role in the same way they would if he were an actual character in a film. The guy in the suit, Damien Potier, was never expected to be the long-term choice for the role. They put that off for the future, knowing there would come a time where they would finally put Thanos front and center.

That time is getting closer now. This summer's “Guardians Of The Galaxy” takes place in the end of the universe where Thanos is a threat, and his children are a major part of the movie. According to today's report, Josh Brolin has now signed on to voice Thanos, which makes me wonder if they're going to be doing him as a fully CG creation, or if they shot someone else in a suit and make-up while trying to find the right actor to give him his voice. If it is a suit and a make-up, then at some point, one presumes Brolin is going to have to wear it. I remember interviewing him on the set of “Jonah Hex,” and he was not especially in love with the process that gave him a disturbingly real hole in his cheek each day, but Thanos would be a whole different kind of make-up for him to wear.

The one thing that doesn't add up in the story that was broken by Latino Review today is the assertion that Thanos is going to be in “Avengers: Age Of Ultron.” That is not, unless my sources are way off-base, accurate. Maybe they're talking about a post-credits tag or a single image, but Thanos has nothing to do with the events of “Age Of Ultron” at all, and the film is already top-heavy with new characters. I think even stating that he has a “role” in “Guardians” is a little bit of a jump. Yes, he will appear in some form in the film, but he's not the bad guy of the movie, and he's not a major onscreen presence in it, either. He's more of a presence at the edge of things. It won't be until the Phase 3 films kick in that we start getting more of a sense of where he fits into the big picture, and if you want to see him face off against the Avengers, you'll have to wait for the third films before that's even possible.

There are some major building blocks that still have to be dropped into place for that to happen, including a “Guardians” sequel provided the first film connects with audiences. But knowing that Josh Brolin is going to play the part is exciting, because I think Brolin is at his best when he plays characters whose moral compass is deeply skewed. It'll be exciting to see how he ends up interpreting the role, and if Marvel wants to really see some onscreen sparks fly, maybe they should find out how Diane Lane would feel about playing Death.

“Guardians Of The Galaxy” lands in theaters on August 1st.