Marvel’s LOKI series on Disney+ airs June 9, and every Wednesday thereafter on Disney+. Prepare for six episodes of mischievous madness!!!
This is the third Disney+ Marvel series, and looks to be completely different from WANDAVISION and THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER. LOKI is a crime-thriller-adventure series whose starting point begins within AVENGERS: ENDGAME. Our heroes have traveled back in time to 2012’s Battle of New York, trying to collect all the Infinity Stones to save half of all living beings. But Iron Man, Ant-Man and Cap bungle their plan to pick up the Tesseract (which contains the Space Stone) and Loki seizes the opportunity to grab it. He disappears. We never see him again in the film.
However, the LOKI series picks up this moment and follows the titular character as he lands in the hands of the Time Variance Authority (TVA), which is outside of any Marvel timeline. The TVA thrives on bureaucracy and by-the-numbers mentality, and Loki, our God of Mischief, is a total fish-out-of-water. Played ever so brilliantly by Tom Hiddleston, Loki is delightfully arrogant and self-involved. He plays opposite a cast of characters that resonate with each other – the acting is superb. Mobius, played by Owen Wilson (CARS, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS), serves as a TVA detective who needs Loki’s help to solve a timeline crime. Gugu Mbatha-Raw (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) is a TVA judge who reluctantly agrees to pair Loki with Mobius. Sophia Di Martino (FLOWERS, YESTERDAY), Wunmi Mosaku (LOVECRAFT COUNTRY) and Richard E. Grant (STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER) round out the cast.
LOKI is yet another Marvel series with a female director. Kate Herron (SEX EDUCATION, FIVE BY FIVE) directs all six episodes, working closely with head writer Michael Waldron (DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS, RICK AND MORTY). As expected, Kevin Feige is an executive producer. Interestingly, Tom Hiddleston is also an executive producer on the show, along with familiar names – Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Kate Herron and Michael Waldron.
Hiddleston earned his executive producer credit by imparting his knowledge of the character. Besides knowing Loki inside out, he also has intimate knowledge of the MCU and Loki’s place in it as well as his relationships with the other characters. Director Kate Herron jumped on the chance to draw out that knowledge for the benefit of cast and crew in the form of informative talks. She explains, “Tom is very much like a professor, so I started calling it the ‘Loki lecture.’ Tom put the lectures on for the cast and crew, and it was great to ground us all to make sure everyone was on the same page and working from the same angle.”
Expect the tone of the show to be like Loki’s character. Hiddleston explains: “Loki’s character has this extraordinary range. Loki can be fun, light-hearted and witty. He’s always got a good line: he’s the God of Mischief, after all. So, we wanted the show to be imbued with mischief, a sense of fun and a sense of momentum. But we also know that Loki has this very sensitive, damaged, broken heart with an enormous capacity to feel emotion on the biggest scale. And to go to some quite profound places that explore some of the deepest experiences of being alive that are about loneliness and sadness and anger and grief and loss. We wanted the tone of the whole show to have all of it, to have that sense of fun, to have that sense of mischief. And to have that sense of emotional depth and emotional breadth that hopefully could be contained in this epic story, which starts from the things that people are familiar with.”
Like Loki, expect the unexpected. Both writer and director plan to throw curveballs.
For Michael Waldron, the head writer, it was an exciting challenge to showcase Loki as he has never been seen. “How do we take that character and everything we love about him, and tell a whole new story? The big idea from Marvel was the Time Variance Authority. I was like this is the craziest thing in the world, but it was really exciting. My pitch was to do something nobody expects and with every episode let’s blow up what people think the show is and do something totally different. It was always about doing something awesome and totally unexpected with this character.”
Kate Herron adds, “What’s exciting to me about that is that we can now go down a slightly more mature and darker path with this particular story. But we can also subvert expectations, and maybe we don’t give viewers the story they would be expecting. It’s cool and fun to see a studio that wants to play like that and to be part of it.”
“I hope that people will have some entertainment from it, and some warmth and happiness from it, and find it an interesting way to break down this comic book character that we love and see him go on a new path. And I hope we answer the question of what makes Loki, Loki.”
Indeed, the Loki we follow in this series is not the Loki we see in AVENGERS: ENDGAME, sacrificing himself to save his brother, Thor. He has not gone on this path of redemption. We get to see a whole new Loki, who will perhaps learn different lessons.
Watch LOKI Now
LOKI airs June 9, with every other episode airing the following Wednesday on Disney+. Join us for Friday night Zoom chats about each episode! Zoom link will be in the Skywalking Weekly Newsletter (sign up here).