Given that the character was first introduced in a post-credits scene, it’s no surprise that Thanos has changed as much as he has over the years. When we first saw him, he was just a normal dude with a practical animatronic-like head. That’s right, if you can believe it, when we first saw him…THIS was supposed to be his hand.
Of course, as he became more of an integral player in the overall story, it became clear that he would need to be a motion-performed character. We saw him again in Guardians of the Galaxy, and later in the post-credits scene for Avengers: Age of Ultron, but most fans will notice that he changes ever so slightly every time we see him. But why?
Speaking with Screen Rant, VFX supervisor Matt Aitken said:
“Those sequences in Guardians is where we see him most clearly in the previous MCU films. It was a wonderful freedom to not have to match that exactly. I think it’s one thing to have a Thanos who in those scenes was definitely more stylized, holed up for those short beats that he was in those films. But when he had to be the lead character and hold film and appear in hundreds and hundreds of shots, it was great to have the latitude to refine his look, to make his facial appearance more natural, so he’s definitely more detailed and has a more natural shape to his face, to his lips, to his brow, his nose, and all those details we’re talking about in terms of the blemishes and the pores and the stubble. If we’d been confined to those earlier iterations, it would have been too much of a limitation, I think, so that was never an issue. Right from the start, Marvel recognized the need to go to the next version of Thanos, and we were never asked to match that earlier version at all.”
That makes sense. Given the restrictions of filmmaking, why would they do anything else other than optimize the character for their own purposes? Plus, we know that visual technology tends to increase exponentially over time, so by the time it’s time to do the next one, the old one is already outdated.
Sure, my OCD wishes they could have just continued on with the version in The Avengers, but that would have resulted in a balls-looking Thanos. Probably for the best.
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SOURCE: Screen Rant