Over the past two weeks, Marvel Studios' Disney+ slate has been making a lot of news, from The Falcon and the Winter Solider back to filming (but moved to 2021) and a WandaVision trailer that was disturbing, surprising, and impressive to Tatiana Maslany landing the lead in She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel finding its directing team. So it's time to shift our focus to a series we haven't heard from in a while: 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 as-of-now-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.
Aside from the fact that they're an amazing screen presence with tons of potential still to show on the big and small screens, the live-action series should be thankful to have Mbatha-Raw on the team for one simple reason: they're a one-person public relations machine with updates that kept the series front-n-center in geek minds. Speaking with Forbes to promote their British comedy-drama Misbehaviour, Mbatha-Raw discussed what the production downtime was like (she's currently back in Atlanta, Georgia, for filming).
"I was in the middle of filming when the pandemic happened, so I had a real break, I've been painting and reading. Like so many others, I was at home for a long time," she explained. "Not to make light of the suffering going on, but in some ways, it has been an opportunity for me to get a fresh perspective on things. It is downtime that perhaps I might not have had, and now I'm thankful to be back to work. It's been a journey for everyone, but it's all for a greater reason and the greater good."
While there wasn't much about the series she could divulge, she wants fans to know that everyone's excited to be back and to produce the best (and safest) series possible. "I'm obviously sworn to secrecy about everything to do with Loki, but it feels great to be back. Everyone is trying to do it as safely as possible under the circumstances, and it feels good. I'm excited. It's a lot of fun, and I can't wait to see it."
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." 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."