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What Josh Brolin Has Been Doing Since Avengers: Endgame

It's rare for an actor to have a year like the one Josh Brolin got in 2018. After having a steady presence in Hollywood for over three decades, Brolin managed to appear in huge roles in a pair of Marvel blockbusters — Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2. He followed that feat up the following year by reprising his role of Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, which ended up becoming the biggest film of all-time at the worldwide box office. In the span of 12 months, Brolin had become a fixture of massively lucrative motion pictures. In the wake of such a feat, one can't help but be impressed before wondering the inevitable follow-up question ... what's next?

In the years since Avengers: Endgame, Brolin hasn't let himself be defined by his turns as Thanos and Cable. While he's, understandably, talked at length about his thoughts on those roles and explored ways to reprise them in the future, he's also branched out into a variety of other projects. These have ranged from supporting roles in other big blockbusters to tackling small-scale dramas and TV shows. All the while, Brolin has demonstrated the sort of versatility that made him an actor of note long before he put on the Infinity Gauntlet. 

Josh Brolin had a new kid

While much of Josh Brolin's post-Avengers: Endgame life has been preoccupied with movies, he's also experienced a massive development in his personal life. On Christmas 2020, Brolin and his wife, Kathryn Boyd, welcomed their second child, a girl by the name of Chapel Grace. Brolin and his family were able to end a year ravaged by the destruction of COVID-19 by bringing some new life into the world. This is the duo's second child together, as well as the fourth child for Brolin, who had two kids in a previous marriage during the 1990s.

On Instagram, the arrival of Chapel Grace Brolin was celebrated by both of her parents. For Kathryn Boyd, she referred to her new child as "our little Christmas evening angel." For his part, Brolin also took to Instagram with a lengthier caption that delved into the immense personal significance this child had to her parents. In particular, Josh Brolin saw his newest daughter as being intertwined with his complex spiritual beliefs. "Chapel Grace is, to us, a manifestation of that celestial feeling that was always felt as we meandered and knelt [in various chapels]". Such strong words were an understandable response to the experience of seeing one's own newborn child, an event that serves as one of the momentous developments in Brolin's post-Endgame career.

He's been navigating the future of Cable

When he signed on to play Cable in Deadpool 2, Josh Brolin was in the role for the long haul. "We think about it in four movie terms. We tried to think of Cable as a full arc, not just in this movie, but in the trajectory of four films. That made it a lot more fun for me," Brolin said in April 2018 (via Slash Film) about how long he planned on playing the cyborg assassin. At the time, those plans included reteaming with Ryan Reynolds on an X-Force movie. However, those plans quickly changed once Disney came along and purchased 20th Century Fox and its film properties, including Deadpool.

Suddenly, the original plans for Deadpool 3 were put on pause, as Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige began to incorporate the Merc with a Mouth into the MCU. However, this put the potential X-Force movie in a precarious position, and no one is exactly sure what's happening there. In other words, Brolin's participation in future Deadpool features looked hazy at best. This was cemented by comments made by Brolin in July 2019, just three months after Avengers: Endgame, where he said he'd been taking an active role in figuring out what was next for Cable. "I don't know what's going to happen. I'm actually, I've been calling them, like, 'What's the deal with Cable, man?'" Brolin remarked (via Screen Rant). "Seriously, 100 percent serious. They're figuring it out. It's a big world now, it just got much, much bigger. So who knows." Like the general public, Brolin is unsure of what's next for his version of Cable.

After Endgame, he took on a role in Dune

Fresh off his work in Deadpool 2 and the Avengers movies, Josh Brolin opted to take on another big-budget role, this time in a new film adaptation of the sci-fi novel Dune. It was a natural fit for Brolin since, even before his Marvel movies, he'd dabbled with sci-fi storytelling thanks to his roles in movies like Men in Black 3. However, what made Brolin an even better fit for this project was that it reunited the actor with Sicario director Denis Villeneuve. For Dune, Brolin would be portraying the character of Gurney Halleck, a critical role in the narrative previously inhabited by Patrick Stewart in David Lynch's 1984 version.

Shortly into principal photography of Dune and during a promotional tour for Avengers: Endgame, Brolin commented on the production, with his biggest takeaway being that, "Denis Villeneuve is an amazing director." (He also discussed the unique qualities of filming a movie in Jordan, adding that he even rode a camel.) His loyalty to this auteur was reaffirmed at the end of 2020 when Warner Bros., in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, opted to give Dune a simultaneous launch on HBO Max. This sudden and momentous decision rankled the feathers of Villeneuve to such a degree that he penned a letter denouncing the release strategy. Brolin publicly expressed his support for the Dune filmmaker, in the process demonstrating that his allegiances lie with filmmakers he trusts.

Josh Brolin made a detour into drama with Flag Day

In recent years, Brolin has mostly kept himself busy with major studio projects, such as the Avengers series, Deadpool 2, and Dune. However, in his career, Brolin has done his fair share of smaller films, including working with the Coen brothers on movies like No Country for Old Men, True Grit, and Hail, Caesar! And recently, Brolin decided to head down that trajectory again, returning to the world of dramatic cinema with Sean Penn's Flag Day.

Flag Day is the first time that Penn has stepped behind the camera since the critically reviled 2016 movie The Last Face. And the film sees Brolin joining a cast that includes Dylan Penn, Miles Teller, Dale Dickey, and Eddie Marsan. It's also a reunion for both Brolin and Penn as they worked together as hero and villain, respectively, of the 2013 mobster drama Gangster Squad. 

Flag Day started and finished shooting back in the summer of 2019. However, there have been no further major updates on the production. As of this writing, Flag Day remains without either a release date or a domestic distributor. Though its unclear when audiences will actually get to see it, Flag Day marks not only a welcome low-key departure from Brolin's recent large-scale works as a performer but a return to the kind of movies that have garnered Brolin his most acclaim.

He reunited with the cast of The Goonies

Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, Josh Brolin showed up for a virtual reunion with the cast of one of his most famous movies. As the kick-off installment in Reunited Apart – a series of videos by Josh Gad meant to reunite famous movie casts in order to raise money for charity — Brolin and the rest of his actor buddies from the seminal 1980s movie The Goonies took to Zoom to reunite. This included other big names like Sean Astin, Martha Plimpton, and Corey Feldman, as well as Ke Huy Quan and Jeff Cohen.

During this reunion, Goonies fans got to see the grown-up actors bounce off each other and recreate scenes from the original. They were even treated to special appearances from two of the movie's key crew members — director Richard Donner and producer Steven Spielberg. While talk briefly drifted towards that long-discussed Goonies sequel, the focus of this reunion was firmly on the past. That fixation was cemented with the reunion's closing section, which saw Brolin and the rest of the cast engaging in a reprise of the Cyndi Lauper tune "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough." In the decades since Goonies was released, Brolin has constantly solidified himself as far more than just his role in this particular 1980s kids movie. However, this reunion also reaffirmed just how much of an enduring impact The Goonies has had on pop culture at large.

Could he be returning for Sicario 3?

The same summer that saw Brolin taking on the roles of Thanos and Cable saw him engaging in another sequel, though this one was much tinier compared to Brolin's superhero movie forays. Of course, just because it was smaller than Endgame, that doesn't mean it lacked in excitement. The film in question was Sicario: Day of the Soldado, which saw Brolin reprising his role as Matt Graver from the original Sicario. In fact, there are even hints at some redemption for the manipulative government agent in the sequel, as he opts to save — rather than kill — a young girl. For Matt Graver, that's a big deal.

Years after the film's release, Brolin opened up on his thoughts on this particular sequel. In fact, he expressed his opinion that the original Sicario was the superior project. "But there's something really special about [the first] Sicario," Brolin said (via IndieWire). "There's something quieter, and there's something a little more intelligent in how it unravels." Despite Brolin's misgivings about the Sicario's trajectory as a franchise, it doesn't look like the saga will end with two movies. Right as Day of the Soldado was getting released, news broke that a third Sicario was already on the way. At the start of 2021, it was announced that the third installment would start filming that summer. Given that Brolin is one of the few cast members to make it through both original Sicario films, it's a likely bet he's currently prepping to take another dive into this crime thriller world.

Josh Brolin is headed to TV with Outer Range

Once upon a time, Brolin was pretty busy on the small screen, playing in the detective show Private Eye and the Western series The Young Riders. Of course, the man hasn't done much TV work as of late, save for a pair of Saturday Night Live hosting gigs. But in the modern age of entertainment, everyone from Matthew McConaughey to Chris Pratt to Amy Adams is headlining prestige TV offerings. Given this trend, it was only a matter of time before Brolin took on a major television project. In December 2019, that inevitability came to pass when it was announced that Brolin would be headed to the small screen with an Amazon TV program named Outer Range.

A mystery program hailing from creator Brian Watkins and Brad Pitt's production company Plan B Entertainment, the show sees Brolin playing a rancher who, according to Deadline, "discovers an unfathomable mystery at the edge of Wyoming's wilderness." Outer Range won't just be a one-man show, though. Its cast has expanded to also include Lewis Pullman, Lili Taylor, Tom Pelphrey, and Imogen Poots. Filming for the production kicked off at the start of 2021 but had to come to a halt due to a positive COVID-19 test on the set. Even with that hiccup, Brolin's Outer Range is well on its way to becoming a reality with a projected 2022 release date. Once it arrives, Brolin's career will have come full-circle, returning him to the domain of television where he first got onto many people's radar.

Why did he play Thanos in Infinity War and Endgame?

Josh Brolin has always flirted with the world of comic book movies, like when he took on the titular lead of Jonah Hex or when he a finalist for the role of Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But his biggest jump into this realm came with playing the big baddie of the Avengers franchise — Thanos, the Mad Titan. This multi-film role was a lengthy commitment that began with making a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy before serving as the main antagonist in Infinity War and Endgame. Having to portray this single character for such an extended period of time was an enormous task, especially since he had to deal with all the extra difficulties of portraying a motion-capture figure.

It would be easy to imagine why someone would pass on this part. So why did he accept the role? Well, his reason for accepting this daunting challenge was because he would get to throw down against all of Marvel's biggest superheroes. "When I said yes to Avengers, it was a small thing," Brolin explained (via Screen Rant). "It was basically a cameo. ... But when they came to me, they gave me a big bible. I loved that it was all [of the Avengers]. If it had been one of the Avengers ... I probably wouldn't have done it. But the fact that it was all the Avengers against this one guy, I liked that aspect of it." Getting the chance to duke it out with so many icons at once, Brolin embraced the part, in the process cementing one of his most iconic roles.

He's been doing voicework for Marvel's What If...?

With Thanos dying not once but twice during the course of Avengers: Endgame, it would seem that Josh Brolin's lengthy time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has come to a close. But not so fast, true believers! While there hasn't been word about resurrecting Thanos in a live-action film, audiences will get a chance to see Brolin inhabit the part again. The performer will reprise his role of Thanos thanks to an upcoming Disney+ program! Though it sounds absurd given the definitive nature of how Thanos perished, this reprisal is made possible thanks to the upcoming program What If...?, which uses the character of the Beyonder to examine an alternate scenarios for famous MCU characters.

The production's star-studded cast features the majority of the actors who participated in the movies, including Josh Brolin reprising his role as Thanos. While a handful of storylines for the program (such as Peggy Carter being shown to receive the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers) have been revealed, it's currently unclear what kind of alternative scenario Brolin's Thanos will engage in or how prominently his character will appear in the show. Still, even with the character's specific role still murky, fans can look forward to Brolin providing further voicework as the Mad Titan, despite Thanos perishing in Avengers: Endgame once Tony snapped him out of existence.

Josh Brolin preferred playing Thanos over Cable

You'd think movie roles would be a lot like children for actors in that it'd be impossible to pick a favorite. After all, you put so much work into these roles, how could you possibly pick one that's superior to another? But in the wake of Avengers: Endgame, Brolin has come right out and revealed his personal preference between his two Marvel roles of Thanos and Cable. Apparently, Brolin is much more invested in the part of the Mad Titan compared to the cyborg assassin, with the distinction between the two coming down to the artistic environments of their respective features.

"Deadpool was hard," Brolin explained. "Even though it was funny, it was harder. That was more of a business transaction, it was more, 'We need to make this like this,' which I didn't feel that way with Avengers. With those directors, they would constantly go back and reference Scarface or Dog Day Afternoon. Whether or not it was a manipulation, they knew what to throw out there to bring it back into something inspired." Brolin's comments in countless other interviews makes it clear that he's still got plenty of fondness for the role of Cable, even if it's not as passionate as his affection for Thanos. However, the stark differences between how the two roles were executed is pretty apparent thanks to Brolin's honesty, making it no wonder he's openly expressed more fondness for Thanos than Cable.