In the original Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos was motivated by his love for the Goddess of Death. This time around he’s driven by something a bit more altruistic, at least in his own mind. In a new interview, the Russo Bros have finally dished some dirt on the big bad’s backstory.

“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 madman, 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 realizes that if he can get hold of all of the Infinity Stones he can control the entire universe,” they added. “With the snap of his fingers, he could correct the universe permanently by removing 50 percent of life from it. So, these are incredible stakes for our characters. If the Avengers were built for anything, it’s stopping Thanos from completing his goal.”