Who's in charge of the Loki show coming to Disney+ next month? If you said Michael Waldron, you'd only be half-correct. Because behind every great leader is a Norse god of mischief pulling the strings from within the shadows.
During a recent conversation with Entertainment Weekly, series director Kate Herron revealed that she asked star Tom Hiddleston to brief the creative team on Loki's journey throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe before the cameras started rolling. "I got him to do a thing called 'Loki School' when we first started," Herron recalled. "I asked him to basically talk through his 10 years of the MCU — from costumes to stunts, to emotionally how he felt in each movie. It was fantastic."
Co-star Owen Wilson (who plays Mobius, an employee of the Time Variance Authority and an expert on Loki), graduated from the "Loki School" with honors after constantly pelting Hiddelston with questions about what he loved most when it came to the titular role.
"I think it's because he has so much range,'" Hiddleston told EW. "I remember saying this to him: 'On the 88 keys on the piano, he can play the twinkly light keys at the top. He can keep it witty and light, and he's the God of Mischief, but he can also go down to the other side and play the heavy keys. And he can play some really profound chords down there, which are about grief and betrayal and loss and heartbreak and jealousy and pride.'""
Class is now in session. Watch below as Hiddleston recaps Loki's entire MCU story in the span of 30 seconds:
Of course, the version of Loki that we'll get to know in this project is not the one we knew at the end of Thor:Ragnarok/beginning of Avengers: Infinity War. This is the iteration of Loki who absconded with the Space Stone during the now-famous Time Heist in Avengers: Endgame and as such, he's got a lot to learn in the way of character development. Hiddleston explained that Marvel Studios Kevin Feige wanted Loki's solo outing to stand apart from the Thor franchise (set to continue next year in Love and Thunder).
Feige's guiding principle was to "'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 said. "So the Odinson saga, that trilogy of films, still has its integrity, and we don't have to reopen it and retell it."
Given his penchant for taking things that don't belong to him, Loki is forcibly recruited by the TVA to fix the fabric of space-time he damaged aftermaking off with the Infinity Stone. It seems like Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely's Endgame screenplay was perfectly setting up this chain of events, but according to Feige, that wasn't always the plan.
"[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. He went on to say that the idea for a set of Loki-centric adventures began to take shape after ex-Disney CEO Bob Iger asked him to start formulating ideas for the company's streaming platform. "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."
Loki premieres on Disney+ two days earlier than originally planned on Wednesday, June 9.