Last month in Entertainment Weekly, Marvel Studios’ head Kevin Feige explained how they changed Thanos’ motivation in Avengers: Infinity War. In the comics, Thanos was in love with the physical manifestation of Death and wanted to balance the universe to make her happy. For the MCU, Thanos’ motivation is what happened to Titan, which is his home and the home of some of The Eternals.
This is what Feige said in EW last month:
“He’s from a planet called Titan that’s no longer inhabited because of things that he thought he could help prevent, and he was not allowed to do that,” Feige says. “What he feared most happened, and the planet and everybody on it basically went extinct. He vowed not to let that happen again. He thinks he sees the universe going down the tubes. He thinks he sees life expanding outward unchecked. That will bring ruin, he believes, to the universe and to that life.”
Now in an interview in Telegraph India, the Russo Bros detail what happened on Titan:
“Thanos is this virtually indestructible character who’s stronger than the Hulk, and has invincible skin. 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. 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.
Once he hears about the stones, he realises that if he can get hold of all of the Infinity Stones he can control the entire universe. With the snap of his fingers he could correct the universe permanently by removing 50 per cent of life from it. So, these are incredible stakes for our characters. If the Avengers were built for anything, it’s for stopping Thanos from completing his goal.”
That back story was cut from the movie early on, but Marvel was certainly fleshing out Titan’s history. One wonders why they are doing that. Even though the back story of the planet isn’t shown in Infinity War, the movie has a large part set on it.