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Although plot details for the upcoming Marvel series Loki are still scarce, the show's head writer has given fans something to ponder as far as what to expect from the Tom Hiddleston-led series. In a recent episode of The Writers Panel, a podcast hosted by Ben Blacker, Loki showrunner Michael Waldron discussed the writing process, along with fellow TV writers Michael Grassi (Katy Keene) and Nico Raineau & Lauren Schacher (Hooking Up).
Around the 28:40 mark, Waldron explained the core concept of the Loki series. And to him, the show is ultimately about Loki’s struggle with who he is and who he wants to be.
"I think it's the struggle with identity, who you are, who you want to be. I'm really drawn to characters who are fighting for control,” said Waldron. “Certainly, you see that with Loki over the first 10 years of movies, he's out of control at pivotal parts of his life, he was adopted and everything and that manifests itself through anger and spite towards his family."
As played by Hiddleston in the MCU, Loki has always been a character struggling with who he is. Is he the son of Odin or an unwanted orphan? The rightful heir to the throne of Asgard or a tyrannical usurper? A malevolent deceiver or merely a mischievous prankster? The hero or the villain?
Heck, that last role changes with each movie. He’s certainly the villain in Thor and The Avengers, but his role is more nebulous in Thor: The Dark World. Loki then becomes one of the heroes in Thor: Ragnarok, and despite some fake outs and double-crosses (hey, he’ll always be the God of Mischief), he essentially dies a hero in Avengers: Infinity War.
Since the series takes place after Loki escaped custody with the Space Stone in Avengers: Endgame, it sounds as though the show will be about Loki’s personal struggle with who stole the Infinity Stone: a villain, or a hero? Or perhaps something in between?
When the series was announced at San Diego Comic-Con last year, Hiddleston said that there’s "a lot of psychological evolution that has to happen” for Loki, and described the project as “one of the most exciting creative opportunities [he’s] ever come upon."
Hiddleston heads a cast that includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Richard E. Grant, Owen Wilson, and Sophia Di Martino. Loki is currently scheduled for an early 2021 release on Disney+, but with production being put on hold due to the coronavirus, that release window may be pushed back.