I typically swell with pride regarding my abundunt knowledge of useless information, but when I heard Benecio Del Toro was going to play The Collector in a comic book film my first assumption was that he got cast as Braniac in Superman vs. Batman. Nope, apparently Marvel also has a character referred to as The Collector and when discussing the role Del Toro admits he had no idea who he was:
“When someone calls you and says ‘I need you in my movie’, it’s exciting. I like comic-book movies, and it’s totally new for me. My character is The Collector, I’ve never heard of him so I just started some researches about him… A blockbuster can be really tiring to do, but it’s fun to shoot one occasionally. You have many people around you who bombard you with many information… You can not go wrong.”
See how he quickly changed the subject? They do that in politics when asked questions they know they can’t answer positively. Even the most dedicated of comic book nerds flowed en masse to several wiki’s to learn more about the villain and for the shameful uninformed we’ve done the legwork for you:
For millions of years, the Collector lived on an unknown world with his wife and child, spending his days in thought and contemplation. Over three billion years ago, when his wife Matani lost the will to live and relinquished her immortality, the Collector realized he would need a hobby to maintain his own sanity, and began collecting interesting artifacts and life forms from around the universe. Eventually, his obsession reached such heights he collected anything he considered rare or valuable often just for the sake of collecting. As such, he has a wide variety of rare or unique items at his disposal.
The Collector also had the power of prophecy, allowing him to foresee the rise of a being powerful enough to pose a threat to the Elders: Thanos. To protect life in the universe, the Collector created a massive museum of countless life forms to keep them safe from Thanos. For a time, he even possessed one of the six Infinity Gems, unaware of its true power, until Thanos took it.
At some point over his billions of years of life he came into contact with other beings who like him are the sole survivors of the first species in the universe. He often refers to these fellow elders as brothers though they usually only work together if they have a common goal.
And now this all makes sense and lends itself to Marvel expanding on the Cosmic side of their shared universe. Del Toro is expected to appear in both Thor the Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy and my expectation is that the Avengers/GoG won’t confront Thanos until the 3rd Avengers film. I’ll keep you guys posted if I find any more info, that’s all for now…