Loki: Gugu Mbatha-Raw Says Series Goes "Other Places," Praises Herron

With all of the recent attention focused on Disney+ and Marvel Studios' now-questionable release schedule for The Falcon and the Winter Solider and WandaVision (with Falcon officially delayed from its once-expected August release window), let's shift our focus to a series we always knew was coming in 2021: the Tom Hiddleston-starring Lok?. 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.

Loki: Why Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Hiddleston Have Some Catching Up to Do
LOS ANGELES – FEB 03: Gugu Mbatha-Raw arrives for the 2018 Director Guild Awards on February 3, 2018 in Beverly Hills, CA (Image: DFree / Shutterstock.com)

While discussing her latest film Summerland with ET, Mbatha-Raw was asked about the highly-anticipated series. Admitting "it's tricky" to describe the series' vibe without giving away too many details, she does say that the six-episode series will put the God of Mischief in situations and environments he hasn't experienced before: "It goes to other places and you get to see that character [Loki] mature in a different way. It's going to be exciting for the fans to really see Tom and that character take the center of the story."

Mbatha-Raw also had high praise for series director Herron ("Kate's obviously earned her stripes to be in that production"), and appreciated having one director helming the entire season: "More than anything I was excited that it was being directed by one director. To be a part of a limited series [that's] not just like episodic television, where you have a different director every week, Kate really was going to direct all of the episodes, which I've never had that experience on TV. I know it's obviously been done, but personally I've not had the experience of doing several episodes with the same director."

Our "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.

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."


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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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