As the television industry slowly attempts to get back to some sense of post-COVID-19 normalcy (even in the face of a new spike in cases), Disney+ and Marvel Studios have two big projects in the pipeline for 2020 that are looking to hit their marks. Reportedly, The Falcon and the Winter Solider still has some filming/production time, while recent comments and postings seem to indicate that WandaVision is looking at July for LA shoots. But what about the Tom Hiddleston-starring Loki? With Michael Waldron (Rick and Morty) serving as Head Writer and executive producing, and Kate Herron (Sex Education) directing and also executive producing, the 2021 series finds Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, and Richard E. Grant joining The God of Mischief on his time-traveling walkabout.
As you'll see below, the series was chugging along nicely production-wise before hitting that pandemic brick wall. But that doesn't mean the news pipeline has run dry. Sitting in as a guest on the Variety and iHeart podcast The Big Ticket earlier this week, Mbatha-Raw discussed what it was like being in Atlanta filming when the wave of production shutdowns began, and revealing that she "can't confess to being a major MCU nerd" and an early run-in she had with Hiddleston. But it was the way she explained Herron's approach to the series that got us feeling some things about the project, that even a series about a time-tossed god can be made to feel intimate: "I feel like even though you're dealing with this big universe, she still makes it feel very intimate. She just brings it back down to character and moments and emotions."
Here's a "Loki" Back at How We Got Here
At San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) 2019, Hiddleston revealed that the series' version of Loki will be an Avengers-era one: the evil and selfish villain, before his "redemption arc" began in Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War. Here's how Hiddleston explained it: "You guys saw Avengers right? So he's still that guy. And just about the last thing that happened to him was he got Hulk-smashed. So there's a lot of psychological evolution that is still yet to happen. Kevin [Feige] has generally shown me what his plans are. I can't tell you any of them, but it is one of the most exciting creative opportunities I think I've ever come across. This is new territory, a new world, new challenges, and I cannot wait to get started."
In August 2019, Hiddleston let fans know when production was beginning on the 2021 series as well as what he's looking forward to:
"Loki will start at the top of next year. He's such a classical character. [Thor and Loki], they're from Norse myths — they have a kind of gravitas to them. Robert in Betrayal is much more earthbound. They're both very complex, but Robert is a publisher and a husband and a father. Loki is the god of mischief. [Laughs] Two quite different figures."
Hiddleston took to Instagram at the end of 2019 to post a photo of himself, Herron, and others out for what looks like the beginning of a pre-holiday meal. Hiddleston confirmed prep work was underway and that they'll be seeing us "in the New Year". In January of this year, Hiddleston posted a video via Instagram showing that the actor was clearly back to stunt training.
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One person who hasn't taken a break from keeping his sights set on next year is Waldron, who discussed the upcoming series on an edition of The Writers Panel podcast, hosted by Ben Blacker. For Waldron, the thing that attracted him the most to the character was his search for his own identity and sense of control, as well as the chance to tell Loki's "semi-redemption" backstory: "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. 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."