Originally Posted by DrCosmic
I don't think Thanos needs to be "saved" for 3, either. I think he should be in 2 and 3, like a sort of Palpatine/Voldemort/Sauron. Me personally, I'd like to see Thanos go from behind the scenes manipulator in Avengers 1, to Conquering General in Avengers 2 to Omnipotent god in Avengers 3. But that's just me.
I don't think the main character(s) of a franchise can be the binding element of a trilogy. Or at least, they can't serve the same role in terms of scope, buildup/payoff and metaphor that a trilogy-wide villain can. And the Avengers existed entirely because of the threat they faced, which is precisely Thanos. The two don't separate, thematically. Imagine if Lucas hadn't dragged out Palpatine and Vader to Return of the Jedi?
No, the Avengers don't exist because of Thanos. They exist because Fury needed a group to face threats that SHIELD couldn't....his own words. And specifically, they were called together to face Loki, *not* Thanos. Nobody in the Avengers even knows Thanos exists at this point.
And no, as The Question said, there's no evidence whatsoever that Thanos is a "trilogy-wide villain," nor any evidence whatsoever that there's a trilogy at all, despite your insistence to the contrary. As soon as you find actual proof that Feige has declared the same limited vision and scope for this franchise that you espouse, feel free to say "I toldja so." Otherwise, you need to just accept the fact that you're just making assumptions and astounding jumps to conclusions.