“‘Se7en’ has a very heavy influence,” director and executive producer Kate Herron said of the six-part album Tom Hiddleston-led series that debuts on June 9. The stylized show’s lead writer Michael Waldon added, “I definitely think Fincher, I think ‘Zodiac’…had a big influence in the writer’s room.”
Not that it’s all dark shadows in the series, the Emmy-winning “Rick and Morty” writers also said.
“I just thought Loki is DB Cooper, that’s all I thought,” Waldon said of what he thought when he first heard there was a ‘Loki’ series on offer. “Just the opportunity for chaos and fun in there just seemed to be a great time…so I went after it.”
‘Loki’ is the first Marvel streaming series to launch on a Wednesday, and today’s virtual press conference featured the man himself – Hiddleston – MCU newcomers Owen wilson (Agent Mobius) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Judge Ravonna Renslayer) and Wunmi Mosaku (Hunter B-15). Head Writer and EP Waldron Plus Director/EP Herron and Marvel Omniboss Kevin Feige were also on board. The “RADA mafia” aspect of the series was noticed by Mbatha-Raw, who attended the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the UK with Mosaku and Hiddleston.
“You can’t have Loki without the humor,” Herron noted of the fan-favorite villain, who has starred in six Marvel movies since first appearing in 2011’s “Thor.”
“That’s the joy of working with Tom, he can sell the comedy so effortlessly,” added Waldon in what was a sentence-finish back and forth between the director and the writer during the press.
You also can’t have a Marvel project with at least one or two bridges to more. While there was no mention of more Loki on the big or small screen during today’s press conference, there was some sort of shove forward.
“Loki” is clearly focused on finding its own path while playing origin stories and blast radius, a fact that plagued Mbatha-Raw today. There is “potential for her in the future,” the “Morning Show” actor said of the Renslayer character, who appears in the comics.
Beyond the confines of the current MCU timestream, “Loki” finds Thor’s vain sibling employed by the bureaucratically named Time Variance Authority to literally get things back on track. While conforming to previous storylines in which the Hiddleston portrayed God of Mischief was murdered by Thanos at the beginning of “Avengers: Infinity War”, “Loki”, the streaming series kicks off with a potentially endless string of variants as the quest to discover how or what affects TVA fighters.
“Loki has been stripped of all that is known to him… stripped of his status and his power,” an observant Hiddleston said today of the self-described “mercurial shapeshifter” we meet in the TV series. “I just love playing the character, I always have,” exclaims the Night Manager alumnus of the role that has become career-defining for him in many ways. “I think he’s a character with a huge reach, so it never feels the same.”
But as much as an obvious choice as “Loki” seems for Marvel’s presence on the Disney streamer, a TV series wasn’t a foregone conclusion when Loki met his seemingly last of many goals in the 2018 blockbuster.
“We didn’t know it when we shot Infinity War, but we did know it when we shot ‘Endgame,'” said Feige of the timeline for a green light for a Loki series. “It became very exciting to make people wait,” laughed the director.
After “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Solider”, “Loki” is embarking on a busy year for Marvel with the Covid-delayed “Black Widow” finally hitting screens big and small next month and “Shang-Chi” and the “Legend of the Ten Rings” will premiere in September. The Chloé Zhao-clad “Eternals” comes out in November, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” comes out in December, the post-“Endgame” set “Doctor Strange” in the “Multiverse of Madness” comes out in March, and the just-wrapped “Thor: Love and Thunder” on May 6. Unfortunately without late Chadwick Boseman, sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” arrives on July 8, 2022.
“Logan” alum Richard E. Grant also appears in “Loki,” but the Oscar-nominated actor did not attend Monday’s press conference.