This might be a spoiler for those who haven't seen the film yet, so if you don't want your screening experience potentially ruined, I suggest you skip this post altogether.
So... word on the street is that the actor who played Thanos in the mid-end-credits sequence of The Avengers is a black dude! Specifically, the black dude you see in the photo above - Damion Poitier, no relation to Sidney Poitier.
But no definite confirmation on that yet; at least nothing I could find. The actor himself has been coy about it, teasing here and there as I saw in 2 Comic-Con interviews with him; both embedded below.
In an article on ComicBookMovie.com (thanks to "Jug" for alerting me to this), they seem to think it's him.
Here's their argument:
The mid-credits teaser features an intergalactic interaction between two beings. One of the characters is listed as "The Other," portrayed by Angel actor Alexis Denisof, who also appears briefly twice during the film's opening sequences. And the other otherworldly character, heavily rumored for months prior, is a Mad Titan that goes by the name of Thanos, who's plum evilly grinning face was believed to be fully CG. However, there seems to be an actor behind the death-obsessed villain, shyly revealed by the actor himself. Despite IMDB listing him as "Man #1," stuntman/actor Damion Poitier could be behind the live-action debut of Thanos, with a little CG boost obviously. Considering the teaser may hint at the villain taking on The Avengers in the guaranteed sequel, it's evidently possible Poitier will reprise the role full-on. This seems to be the case especially with the "Career Milestone" comment on Facebook (print-screened above).
As I said, and as ComicBookMovies.com also states, Poitiet isn't confirming or denying whether he's Thanos or not, while dropping hints that suggest he probably is/was.
The fact that he also has a history with Josh Whedon, appearing in Whedon-created TV series like Firefly, Angel and Dollhouse, although none of the roles he played in those series appear to have been substantial. But the point is, there's a history there between the two of them.
But whether or not he is/was Thanos hasn't been confirmed - except for the aforementioned hints/suggestions/connections.
This could be a big deal (for Poitier anyway) because, as we already know, a sequel to The Avengers is definitely coming; and as the end of the last movie suggested, Thanos could be the villain (or A villain) in that sequel.
And the fact that, in October, Marvel is releasing Thanos: Son of Titan - a five-issue miniseries that reveals the origin of this major galactic threat to civilization - may also add support to the idea that Thanos will be returning to the big screen.
But will Damion Poitier play him? That's why I say this could be big for him, because it'll be a major role (even though we won't see his real face, but rather, Thanos').
I also eventually realized that we have written about Mr Poitier before; in 2010, I profiled a sci-fi indie feature thriller titled Hunter Prey, a sci-fi thriller directed by Sandy Collora, which stars a few black faces you probably won't recognize underneath all that make-up, as shown in the trailer below - Isaac C. Singleton Jr. and... Damion Poitier.
The synopsis reads:
The Prometheus has dropped out of orbit. Communications and life support systems are down. Situation Critical: Status of Crew and Prisoner unknown. With orders to catch their Alien Prisoner alive, the surviving crew of the spaceship Prometheus pursue a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with their escaped prisoner on a deserted and barren planet. But, who is the hunter and who is its prey?
A spaceship named Prometheus huh? The film was made in 2009, and released in 2010, a few years before that other more recent film with a spaceship also called Prometheus, was released.
And, as luck would have it, Hunter Prey is available on Netflix (streaming, so you can watch it right now, if you have a Netflix account), as well as on DVD at your local/online retailer. I'll throw it on my Netflix queue and check it out myself.
But from the interviews below, it's clear that Mr Poitier is a interested it so-called genre movie-making, dropping names like Kevin Grevioux, who he says encouraged him to create a graphic novel based on an idea he (Damion) had.
He also knows his comic books, and seems to be moving in one direction - forward; so he's probablt someone we should have our eyes on from here on, so when his name comes up for that Black Panther movie (wink), you won't be surprised.
And if he is indeed Thanos, I'm sure we'll know with certainty soon enough. A Google search revealed several sites saying that he IS indeed Thanos and he WILL indeed be returning for the sequel; however, as I said, no confirmation from Marvel Studios, or Josh Whedon - nothing I could find anyway.
In the first 2 videos, watch Damion in a Comic-Con interview; he talks about all the projects he's in (including True Blood) and also whether he is or isn't The Avengers character that people are saying he is; and in the third video, you'll find the end-credits sequence from The Avengers in which Thanos is introduced; and finally, in the 4th video is a trailer for Hunter Prey: