Update: When news hit that Benicio Del Toro had signed on for Guardians of the Galaxy, no one knew who he was actually playing, just that it was likely he would appear in multiple movies. Now ComicBookMovie.com is reporting that it knows exactly who he's playing: Taneleer Tivan, aka the Collector.
In the comics, Tivan is an immortal being who can also see into the future. He knows what a threat to the universe Thanos is, so he goes around the universe collecting special items he feels need to be preserved before Thanos can destroy them. Some of those items are people. So basically, he's a good guy who thinks what he's doing is in the best interest of the universe, it just so happens sometimes that involves kidnapping heroes like Thor and the Wasp (as he has done in the comics).
Obviously we don't know for sure if Del Toro really is playing the Collector, but it's an intriguing enough rumor to share. Feel free to speculate how he'd fit into it all below.
There's been a lot of fantastic casting news for James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy lately, and it just keeps rolling on through. On the heels of news that Doctor Who fan favorite Karen Gillan was joining the film comes word that Benicio Del Toro has hopped on board as well. As with Gillan's, his actual role is still classified, but Deadline's report on the news comes with a very important distinction: "he’s playing a character that is built to be part of future Marvel films, which means he has signed a deal with options that put him into multiple movies."
Obviously any actor in any Marvel movie from here on out is going to have a contract that leaves the door open for them to appear in multiple movies, but it's worth noting that this news also labels Del Toro's as a lead role. We already know that Chris Pratt is playing Star-Lord, the leader of the interplanetary gang that is the Guardians of the Galaxy, so it stands to reason that if Del Toro's role is big enough to be considered a lead as well, he might be the lead bad guy. Might he be Thanos, the big bad we've already seen grinning at the end of The Avengers?
Thanos, like Loki before him, is expected to appear across various movies, not exclusively in Avengers movies, so it would line up with the wording of that news. However, as our marvel expert John Gholson theorizes, the same could be said of the character Adam Warlock. In the comics he's a member of the Guardians and Thanos has long been his arch-nemesis. If that's the case, maybe Del Toro is playing Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy and he'll also be popping up in The Avengers 2.
But what say you? Any guesses on whom Del Toro might be playing?