Loki returns to Disney+ Hotstar this week, and it’s good news for fans of Marvel’s favourite demi-God villain-turned-hero. Loki’s second solo outing with the TVA (or Time Variance Authority) is the breath of fresh air that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) needed after its recent outings, judging by the first four episodes.
In season two, Loki isn’t holding back. It keeps what made the first season so much fun and runs along with it across timelines, multiverses, characters and high stakes. Film Companion spoke to Kevin R. Wright, executive producer of Loki, on Season 2 and the show’s impact on MCU’s future.
FC: Loki Season 1 obviously had a major impact on what came after in the MCU, introducing variants, multiverses and timelines, which we also saw in the Doctor Strange and Spiderman films. What impact can we expect from Loki Season 2?
KW: Everyone involved in making Season 1 was really proud of what we made – and coming back into season 2 was not taken lightly. Tom (Hiddleston) and I had a lot of conversations about if we’re coming back and doing this. We decided that we can’t just play the hits of Season 1, and we need to push the story. It is a great gift to be able to tell our story because it is so high stakes, and it does have so many implications as to where the MCU story will go.
Now that you’ve seen the first 4 episodes, pretty shocking things happen – and the thing that gets me most excited is that it allows us to do so much more in episode 5 and 6, which are my personal favourites of this season. We wanted to deliver for our fans that loved Season 1!
FC: I’m curious about what drives Loki’s loyalty to the TVA. He’s been in mainstream MCU, he has his family in Asgard, but why is he suddenly so loyal to TVA and Sylvie, Mobius and others?
KW: That’s a good question. Look, this version or variant of Loki is very interesting because he is now blazing a path that the other Loki may not have done. Mobius in season 1 pulls him behind the curtain. There’s an element of brainwashing there — maybe brainwashing isn’t the correct term – but then, how can you see all that played out (your entire life, actions, and consequences) and as a character not be completely changed? I also think that maybe for one of the few times in Loki’s life and his experiences, Mobius is a character who accepts him for who he is.
Mobius knows everything about Loki – he knows the bad, the good and has very blunt, open conversations with him. In a way that this guy (Loki), who has been so guarded all his life, has never had before. So maybe, this has allowed this version of Loki to be more open, reveal more and be more comfortable with himself – in a way he’s never done before. Which is strange, given that it is a weird bureaucratic organisation behind time (TVA), that’s allowed that. However, it is those circumstances that are allowing Loki to show a side of him, things that we haven’t seen before.
FC: One final geeky question before we go. How are you dealing with timelines and multiverses versus this other very popular franchise in the same zone, Doctor Who. How are your approaches different, or same?
KW: Let me start by saying, I love Doctor Who, I’m a huge fan, always have been. I’m sure those influences are clear to anyone who watches Loki.
For us it’s about simplicity. We do have somebody here at Marvel who helps us with that and keeps track of these bigger things and is sort of a resource for us to bounce ideas off. But it is about storytelling simplicity. You can do time loops, you can do branches, you can do all these things. However, the audience should be able to understand it intuitively with a line or two, so that you can focus on the character drama and the character story. For us, that is the sweet spot.
I would love to go crazier, but I think you risk losing people who go “Uh! This feels like homework”. So, it’s about making it digestible, and grounding it in character stakes. We never want it to feel like homework. For us, it’s about clear storytelling.