When Loki premieres on Disney+ June 9, the main character will not be the Loki you know and love. Yes he’s played by Tom Hiddleston, and yes the series takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But when the story starts, this Loki hasn’t been redeemed yet. He hasn’t lived through Thor: The Dark World or Thor: Ragnarok. He hasn’t sacrificed his life. This Loki went from trying to take over Earth, to losing, to being whisked away by the Tesseract.
That point is one of many that’s made in an excellent new Entertainment Weekly profile of Hiddleston. In it, the actor explains that by making this Loki slightly different, Marvel realised it didn’t have to reevaluate any of what audiences have already seen.
“One of the things [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige led on was, ‘I think we should find a way of exploring the parts of Loki that are independent of his relationship with Thor,’ or see him in a duality or in relationship with others, which I thought was very exciting,” Hiddleston told the magazine. “So the Odinson saga, that trilogy of films, still has its integrity, and we don’t have to reopen it and retell it.”
On the show, Loki is captured by the Time Variance Authority, an operating body that’s new to the MCU (but not Marvel Comics) that wants him to fix problems he’s created in the flow of time by using the Tesseract. So with Loki on his own, without Thor or anyone else, Hiddleston felt he could tap into some new things.
“I love this idea [of] Loki’s chaotic energy somehow being something we need. Even though, for all sorts of reasons, you don’t know whether you can trust him. You don’t know whether he’s going to betray you. You don’t why he’s doing what he’s doing,” Hiddleston said. “If he’s shapeshifting so often, does he even know who he is? And is he even interested in understanding who he is? Underneath all those masks, underneath the charm and the wit, which is kind of a defence anyway, does Loki have an authentic self? Is he introspective enough or brave enough to find out? I think all of those ideas are all in the series — ideas about identity, ideas about self-knowledge, self-acceptance, and the difficulty of it.”
What’s also interesting is that Loki’s Avengers: Endgame exit wasn’t always a setup for this show. According to Feige, the team didn’t know Disney+ shows were going to be a thing when they were filming Endgame. It wasn’t until after that they realised they’d found the perfect way to give the now-deceased character more to do.
“[That scene] was really more of a wrinkle so that one of the missions that the Avengers went on in Endgame could get screwed up and not go well, which is what required Cap and Tony to go further back in time to the ‘70s,” Feige said. “I think the notion that we had left this hanging loose end with Loki gave us the in for what a Loki series could be. So by the time [Endgame] came out, we did know where it was going.”
We’ll find out where it’s going when Loki hits Disney+ on June 9 — but head over to EW to read the rest of the story, which includes some great tidbits on Owen Wilson’s character, Hiddleston’s history, and more. Also, here’s a new featurette.