Loki, airing Tuesdays on Disney +, is about the God of Thunder's mischievous brother who has been captured by the Time Variance Authority. Only Loki can set right all of the fractures in the timeline he creates by taking the Tesseract at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Only one episode has aired so far and it is a brilliant deconstruction of a secondary character, rebuilding himself as the main character in his own show. Is Loki truly redeemable? Can he re-write his place in the Avenger's history? Head writer and executive producer Michael Waldron (Heels, Loki) sits down with Bleeding Cool's Jimmy Leszczynski to discuss Loki's gender fluidity, the importance of getting Dan Harmon's approval, and who Mephisto truly is.
Bleeding Cool: So to start, who is Mephisto disguised as and how soon will he be revealed?
Michael Waldron: Mephisto is all of us. Mephisto is the friends we made along the way.
BC: Is it true that Dan Harmon ("Community," "Rick and Morty") offered you the showrunner position on "Rick and Morty' the day you were hired for "Loki"?
MW: Yeah, we had had conversions about that, yes. Mike McMahan was leaving. He created Solar Opposites and Star Trek Lower Decks… So, yeah, Harmon and I had a conversation about me taking over. I'd just come up on the show and everything. That would have been fun in another world. That would have been a blast. But the Loki thing was really, you know, once that came on the radar Dan was very supportive and encouraged me to go after it, once he realized it was live-action. At one point he was like 'Are you really passionate about the character of Loki? It's [Rick and Morty] a is a pretty successful cartoon.' I was like 'This is live-action, he was like 'Oh yeah, go!'
BC: There is a lot of talk on social media about Loki being gender fluid. Wouldn't that actually be a natural fit for the character?
MW: Yeah, I guess as, with all questions pertaining to that stuff, I think those answers, truly, are best experienced in the watching of the show, as opposed to me trying to answer them. Because it's just watching it and the way that's addressed and everything will just be more fulfilling.
BC: Why do you think it's important that Loki is gender fluid?
MW: I think that Loki is a character that a lot of fans see representation in. People that haven't felt represented before, and they see themselves in Loki and everything. So we want to do justice to the character, to who the character is in the comics and in Norse mythology as well. And you also … you know you want folks to feel represented, and everything. That's why it's important. It always has been. It comes from everybody on the creative team.
BC: You mentioned time travel in the "Lego Batman" sequel, and Loki is also into some time mischief. Will the show be following the time travel rules set up in "Avengers: Endgame"?
MW: I mean that is… that's certainly the foundation that we build upon.
BC: The TVA is there to clean everybody up?
MW: Yeah, Avengers: Endgame… that's how The Avengers understand time travel. 'Loki,' episode one, is how the TVA explains time travel to Loki and we're certainly building on what's come before us.
BC: If you had a time twister what would you use it for?
MW: To go back and forth? Geez, what a good question. Maybe to let my dog out, save myself the trouble in the morning. If I could warp him outside I wouldn't have to get out of bed.
BC: What about these Checkov's Infinity Stones in the first episode, are they going to pay off and spill over into "Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness"?
MW: That's a lot of Infinity Stones. That's true but they are useless there in the TVA, so I don't know. Is that gun loaded or not? We'll see…
Keep up with Loki, the TVA, and with Waldron's work on Loki, airing Wednesday nights on Disney +. Make sure you check out Heels, which premieres August 15th on Starz; and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which hits theaters on March 25, 2022
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