[This story contains spoilers for season two, episode six, “Glorious Purpose.”]
Now that Loki season two has closed the TVA Handbook on Loki’s story, the question remains as to whether Tom Hiddleston has bid adieu to the MCU. It’s hard to imagine a better ending for the former God of Mischief, and since Loki‘s potential series finale aired last week, Hiddleston even referred to the episode as the “conclusion” of his 14-year journey with Loki. However, when pressed further on the subject this week, he then created a little bit of wiggle room for himself to return someday.
For Loki executive producer Kevin R. Wright, Hiddleston’s finale performance felt like a goodbye of sorts.
“I think his approach to that performance certainly was [a sendoff], and I think we all felt that on set,” Wright tells The Hollywood Reporter.
But similar to his lead actor, Wright is quick to issue his own caveats.
“We wanted this to feel like a proper ending for our show, but that does not mean that there won’t be more Loki or stories within this world,” Wright adds. “We just wanted to give this a proper ending in a way that we often don’t get to do in the MCU.”
Wright, who originated much of the series’ foundational elements through his own pitch years ago, says that he’s still making the case for more TVA stories in the MCU.
“I would love to keep telling TVA stories. Internally, people pitch everything, and I’m actively like, ‘I want to do more TVA!’” Wright shares. “It will just end up being about where it makes sense for them to come in, in the future, but we all look at that corner of the MCU and go, ‘God, we’re just scratching the surface.’”
Below, during a recent spoiler conversation with THR, Wright also addresses a couple Mobius fan theories and how he’s looking forward to developing future TV series in a more traditional fashion.
So, in the end, instead of killing Sylvie to save time itself, Loki makes the ultimate sacrifice for the good of everyone else, and in doing so, he tasks himself with literally holding the fabric of existence together. And to me, that’s both a tragic and triumphant end. Why was this the right note to end the series on?
I’m glad those are the two feelings, because that’s what we were going for. (Laughs.) I don’t know if I can answer that beyond what you just said; it’s just the right ending to the story. We always knew the show was going to end with Loki on a throne, even in season one, and it was never about where he was going. It was always about the feeling we wanted audiences to feel when he got there, and it was about building the story that led to that feeling. Ultimately, because I don’t want to get too into the weeds on the last 10 minutes of the show, we all feel like the answers and the intentions are there on screen.
But what I can say, generally, is that we are all really bored by the binary of hero-villain, good guy-bad guy, good choice-bad choice. In the real world, choices are really complicated. Real heroism often goes completely unrewarded. It often involves people who are making really tough decisions and will never benefit from the sacrifices that they’re having to make. And if you can build a superhero comic-book story that dives into the weeds of a more complicated heroism, then that was a challenge that was worth it to us to try. And Loki is the best character to do that with in many ways.
Technically, did Loki become the God of Stories, or a personified version of Yggdrasil, the Norse Tree of Life?
Are those mutually exclusive? It all comes back to questions of free will. Is he writing stories, or is he allowing stories to continue to be told? Is he weaving them together? It’s an interpretation of what exactly he did there at the end, but I think both can potentially be true.
Of course, anything is possible within the comic book genre, but this finale feels like a sendoff for Tom Hiddleston as this character. Do you think we’ve seen the last of Tom’s Loki for at least a long while?
I think his approach to that performance certainly was [a sendoff], and I think we all felt that on set. We wanted this to feel like a proper ending for our show, but that does not mean that there won’t be more Loki or stories within this world. We just wanted to give this a proper ending in a way that we often don’t get to do in the MCU. But also, in Marvel comics and the history of comics, the end of a comic run doesn’t mean the end of that character or those stories. And if there’s another story to be told or further stories to be told with what we’re doing here — and it’s with the right filmmakers and the right writers and the right team — then we would love to continue to see Tom. I also said this in season one, but I honestly think Tom will play Loki until he’s Richard E. Grant’s Classic Loki. It’s about the right thing and when we’re doing it, and being really careful about how we build those stories.
The TVA still has some unfinished business, as they have to track Kang variants. So will the TVA appear in the MCU again at some point?
I would love to keep telling TVA stories. Internally, people pitch everything, and I’m actively like, “I want to do more TVA!” It will just end up being about where it makes sense for them to come in, in the future, but we all look at that corner of the MCU and go, “God, we’re just scratching the surface.”
360 sets: You begged and pleaded for them, and they were worth their weight in gold. Kasra Farahani also sounded optimistic that this approach might become more common on other MCU projects. So do you think you’ve successfully made your case to the crested blazers of the Marvel Studios Parliament?
We’ll see. It comes down to the speed at which we make streaming shows, and that’s natural for TV. That’s not a Marvel speed. You’re shooting a lot in small schedules, and it’s benefited by having sets and not having to do a ton of VFX in every shot. It makes good practical sense, and there’s a reason why people did it for a hundred years of moviemaking. It’s about when it makes sense for our stories, certainly, but we’re also telling comic book stories, and sometimes, things have to be more fantastical than what you can build. So it’s about being smart and how you do it. I love it, and I know our team loves it. When we were shooting Loki, we had a number of filmmakers who visited set, and their reactions were like, “They let you build all this?” And it’s like, “Yeah! Wait, you’re not? You should be doing this, too.” (Laughs.) So, long answer short, yeah, I think people have seen what we did and they see that it’s an option now, and will hopefully embrace it.
Fan theories can be both a blessing and a curse, as your friends on WandaVision know, but have you lost any sleep over not making the McDonald’s kid a young Mobius (Owen Wilson)?
No, but I love that theory. I also saw that maybe Mobius is an Odin variant, and that was really imaginative and cool, too. So it was never discussed and I never lost sleep over it, although I read all that stuff and I love it. Partially why Loki feels more densely layered than some other projects is we know that people are looking at it in that way and are digging into everything. So everybody on the team really embraces that and goes, “If it’s in frame, it has to hold up the scrutiny.” We’re either subliminally hiding things in there, or we’re putting things in there to misdirect so that we can better impact people with something more surprising. But I love that people engage with it that way, and I hope that they see that we are engaging back with them in how we build the show.
And what about a medium shot of Loki and Mobius on the tandem bicycle? Do you regret that you won’t see that meme for the rest of your life?
No, because I can go online and I can see it in all of the amazing fan art. It’s out there. We knew you just had to handle that with a very light touch, and the audience will fill in the blanks. And they beautifully have.
Marvel made a bunch of release date moves recently, and we’re not going to see much of you in 2024. Are you a bit relieved since Marvel Studios’ own temporal loom won’t be overloaded?
What’s exciting to me — and this is something [head of streaming at Marvel] Brad Winderbaum has talked about — is what I personally will get to be making next. We’ll really be able to have the time to slowly build it, find the right team for it, find the right people to develop it, build a pilot and build things on a more traditional schedule. It’s a little bit like the sets. It’s good, it’s practical, it’s smart, and when things are done right with the right team, these projects can be really, really good. And I think Loki is really, really good. So, if we give the development and production cycle the right amount of attention and build a calendar in a way that allows us to really do this correctly, you will get to see more projects that are of this caliber. It’s just about giving the creatives the space and the resources to do things properly. So, ultimately, this is a really good thing. I know people want more, but I also know that if we take time with it, they will appreciate what they get.
Well, the ultimate compliment I can pay all of you is that I didn’t care much for Loki prior to this series, and not because he was a bad guy or anything like that. This show fulfilled the original promise of these Marvel Disney+ series by deepening this character in a way that the movies don’t have time for, and I have nothing but fondness for Loki now. So Loki should be the case study for how valuable Disney+ can be for Marvel.
One, thank you. Two, I agree. I know that our writers, Justin [Benson], Aaron [Moorhead], Kate [Herron] and everybody would also agree, and that was the most appealing part of this. You can slowly take your time and build a really fulfilling story. We have very little action this season. (Laughs.) There’s a lot of thrills and there’s a lot of big stuff, but it was about really taking our time to build a character story that can feel truly fulfilling. So I look forward to being able to do more stories this way.
Loki is now streaming on Disney+. This interview was edited for length and clarity.