Loki, the latest show to join the Marvel TV-verse is here to take the MCU in an exciting new direction. Starring Tom Hiddleston, the Disney Plus series gives Loki his own time-hopping adventure. After the events of Avengers: Endgame, the God of Mischief is captured by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) for his crimes against the “Sacred Timeline”. He now has to team up with the TVA and fix the problems he created (namely creating an alternative timeline by stealing the Tesseract). Going into the premiere, the show is everything fans expected it to be and more. Loki has indeed found glorious purpose in a time-traveling detective drama. Directed by Kate Herron, written by Michael Waldron, and executive produced by Kevin Feige, the show is more unpredictable than the rest of the Phase 4 titles. And that has a lot to do with how deep Loki intends on going into its titular character’s journey. Head Writer Michael Waldron says he “figured out where to start based on – what have we not seen before?” and “how can we do something that’s totally new?”. It led to an intimate storyline that explores what makes Loki tick.
In our interview, head writer and showrunner Michael Waldron who is also scripting the upcoming Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (in case you didn’t know), talked about a new side of Loki, his bond with MCU newcomer Owen Wilson’s agent Mobius and of course, setting up Marvel’s multiverse. I tried to get something spoilery and failed.
Loki has so many delightful qualities. How did you decide where to begin and what parts were you most keen to explore?
Michael: I think that it was just identifying that there have been all these movies that this character has been in, 10 years of them. What have we seen before which is a lot, and then what’s new? So yeah, I went back and really tried to explore what’s the story that’s been told and what we’ve already investigated, and now How can we do something that’s totally new. That’s what was most important to me in this show, it was telling a new story with Loki, something that fans hadn’t seen before that felt like it went deeper in the character and that was our jumping-off point.
Marvel is finally getting into the multiverse with Loki. What was the process of figuring out how the multiverse really works?
Michael: Well, it’s fun, it’s exhausting, a lot of headaches, a lot of Advil, and a lot of long walks with my dog thinking about all this stuff. You know, you always got a great team around you, identifying this stuff. We’re building on a great foundation of movies that have come before us and certainly the comics, they’ve dealt with all this stuff as well. And I guess it’s just making sure that we don’t overload audiences with such heavy sci-fi concepts that we lose the emotional core of this stuff because ultimately the multiverse only matters if people care about the characters living in it.
Loki and Mobius develop such a great bond. They have so many conversations and it feels more intimate than any Marvel project. What went into writing in that dynamic?
Michael: Yeah, I knew that was gonna be one of the hearts of the series. And I wanted to put Loki opposite the kind of character that he never really interacted with which is somebody who just has patience for him. Everybody else that we see Loki deal with in the movies, they run out of patience with him really quickly and Loki weaponises that. He uses that to his advantage. And so that was the thing and that’s how I began fleshing that out. That dialogue was a joy to write and you know once we got in the room with Tom and Owen and Kate, they just elevated it that much more with their own input and improvisations.
You mentioned that the show has a heavy David Fincher influence, but it also retains MCU-esque elements like humour. How challenging was combining it all into one show?
Michael: I think the MCU has done a great job, certainly in the last few years, of telling genre stories of identifying – alright this particular movie – Ragnarok’s gonna be a pop comedy, Ant-Man and the Wasp is like What’s up, Doc? So I think there’s doing something that is a blending of the MCU and genre is now something that feels natural to those guys [Marvel] there. So to get to do film noir, kinda sci-fi noir, tech noir I guess blended with the MCU felt really cool and it actually felt really natural.
We know Sophia Di Martino is in the show and we’ve seen the leaked set images. What can you reveal about what her character represents?
Michael: It represents an exciting twist heading into episode *spoiler*
Well, I tried.
Between introducing a Loki “Variant”, the formidable TVA, Owen Wilson’s MCU debut, and taking us into the multiverse, Loki takes on a lot. By the end of episode 1, the character seems to have confronted a lot of his emotions. Marvel is continuing the good work of sending its most complex characters into therapy/intervention-like situations with much success. For a character as layered as the fan-favourite Asgardian, the possibilities are endless. And something tells us, more glorious MCU action lies up ahead.
Here’s my review of Loki based on the first two episodes of the show:
Cover image: Disney Plus