Shortly following the release of the season one finale of Loki in "For All Time: Always", Marvel.com spoke to head writer Michael Waldron, director Kate Herron, and stars Tom Hiddleston and Sophia Di Martino on who Loki (Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Di Martino) find beyond the Void and pulling the strings of the Time Variance Authority. Consider this us throwing on the "MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!" sign for what's possibly to come in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The major reveal is that "He Who Remains", played by Jonathan Majors is the one behind the TVA. When confronted by both Lokis, he tells them a story about how the organization is formed and he and his variants discover the secrets of the multiverse. Some are more ambitious than others until he alone emerged to keep order. He warned the two that if he should die, whatever hold keeping his variants at bay would be vanquished as well. Majors was already previously revealed to be playing the MCU villain Kang the Conqueror in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Suffice it to say, it's not a stretch to say that variant will play a role in not only the third Ant-Man film but possibly also the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
"We knew that we wanted this show to be huge, and we wanted it to really end with a bang and have a huge impact on the MCU moving forward," Waldron said. "Knowing that Kang was probably going to be the next big cross-movie villain, and because he is a time-traveling, multiversal adversary, it just always made so much sense. I came up with that big multiversal war mythology and pitched it out in the room one day to our producers. And they said, yeah, let's go for it. We knew we were going to end up meeting the man behind the curtain. And then it was just on us to make sure that that meeting really delivered."
Laying all his chips to the table, Sylvie overcomes Loki's attempt to become her better angel distracting him long enough before sending him back to a TVA and finishing off the Kang variant with her blade. "You had to leave a lot of meat on the bone in terms of how evil he could be, because that's He Who Remains' whole thing, that it's not me who you should be afraid of," Waldron continues. "'It's the other versions of me that are going to come.' It was trying to really hint at that terrifying evil within without going all the way there."
Waldon was more than pleased with how Majors' monologue came out. " [It's] so exciting and humbling. You have such an astounding actor who is that much more of a cool thing," he explained. "You had to write him in a way that he felt worthy of being the villain at the end of our show. I knew I could always breathe a sigh of relief knowing we had Majors in that finale. We hung a lot of our hopes on [the character]. This guy is laying out, 'Here's the deal,' and it's one final test between our two Lokis. Are you going to have somebody charismatic and magnetic as you imagine? Loki and Sylvie, they fought so hard to get to this point and they're not going to be able to take their eyes off him. Getting Jonathan, hopefully [the audiences] is going to feel the same way."
Herron described how the series is built on its moral ambiguity. "I was quite excited that we got to show [Majors] because he is the one that brings it all [together]," she said. "[He's] the theme of our show. No one is completely good or completely bad, and people do fall into that gray area. I thought his reasoning with [Loki and Sylvie] that you can take me out, but I'll be back here anyway…you're going to awaken all these versions of me. And they are much scarier than me. I really believe him when he says that."
"I just want to salute Jonathan Majors," Hiddleston said. "He came in the last lap of this series and made an extraordinary impact. And it's quite something to do that for a story, to get to its final chapter and to introduce the character of such breadth, and depth, and charisma, and intelligence. He was dazzling. It was our final week of filming, literally. He came in and blew us all away. It was so exciting for me to watch because I knew that for Jonathan, as an actor, it's his entry point into the MCU. To watch him come in, be so ready, agile, prepared, and surprising. Sophia and I sat and watched him deliver this extraordinary performance of such wit and with such intelligence. It was a real thrill to watch him do that."
"He was so much fun and he absolutely blew it out of the park," Di Martino said. "As soon as he was on set, he was phenomenal. Like, no one could take their eyes off him. You knew something magical was happening and it was like, 'Oh my god, are you watching this? This is going to be amazing.'" Loki, which also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Owen Wilson, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero, and Tara Strong is available to stream on Disney+.
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