What’s more fun than one Loki? A multiverse of them.
Previewing the upcoming Disney+ series, showrunner Michael Waldron hinted that there might be more than one version of Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief showing up in the new series.
The new Loki
It can be easy to overlook that the Loki starring in this new show is not the one fans have come to enjoy in the movies.
That Loki went from the pure villain of Thor and The Avengers to redeeming himself as a conniving yet oddly heroic figure aiding Thor against Hela in Ragnarok.
That particular Loki met his end at the hands of Thanos in the opening scene of Avengers: Infinity War.
However, this Loki comes from an alternate timeline accessed by the Avengers in Endgame but is still the same arrogant Loki who thinks he deserves to rule and loves to cheat people.
Loki steals the Tesseract to escape into unknown regions. He’s captured by the Time Variance Authority, a group that supervises time and wants him to be their agent.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, Waldron brought up the complexities of time travel on the show. “We had to create an insane institutional knowledge of how time travel would work within the TVA, so the audience never has to think about it again. It was a lot of drawings of squiggly timelines.”
Those timelines indicate there could be more than one Loki popping up.
Waldron used as a key example the classic film Back to the Future, in how characters can cross into other timelines and interact with past or alternate versions of themselves.
“You can literally hold up a mirror to your characters. Perhaps they can encounter other versions of themselves at different points in their lives. In the case of Back to the Future’s Marty McFly, he can encounter versions of his parents and then he understands himself better.”
This makes it possible that Loki runs into other counterparts. The comic books have played with how Loki does have other personas and not just in the vast Marvel Multiverse.
At one point, Loki was transformed into a woman and put up with that for a while. There was also a time he was changed into a child but still with a conniving mind.
Waldron brought up the child version as an inspiration for this new Loki.
“Not necessarily because our show is about a child version of Loki, but because it excavates his humanity in a more vulnerable space in a way that you only can with a child. A child version of Loki is still burdened by the sins of his past self, which is very much what our version of Loki is running up against in the TVA. Can a tiger change its stripes?”
Time travel movies weren’t the only inspiration Waldron drew on for this series.
Among the films he mentions are the wild World War II film Inglourious Basterds; the drama Catch Me If You Can (for the cat-and-mouse game Loki plays with TVA agent Mobius); the sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner; and even the romance Before Sunrise.
Besides Loki, Waldron is also writing the upcoming Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. This indicates Loki lays the groundwork for the multiverse coming into the MCU.
Waldron is no stranger to mixing time travel and odd material. He was one of the key creators of the beloved animated series Rick & Morty, which used both to the utmost. He hopes to bring that same care and fun spirit to this show.
“I was always very acutely aware of the fact that there’s a week between each of our episodes and these fans are going to do exactly what I would do, which is pick this apart,” he admitted. “We wanted to create a time-travel logic that was so airtight it could sustain over six hours. There’s some time-travel sci-fi concepts here that I’m eager for my Rick and Morty colleagues to see.”
If one Loki is already fun, the idea of meeting multiple versions of him can make this a series to watch several times.
Loki premieres on Disney+ June 9.