(This story contains spoilers for season two, episode six, “Glorious Purpose.”)
That Loki season two concluded the TVA handbook As for Loki’s story, the question remains whether Tom Hiddleston has said goodbye to the MCU. It’s hard to imagine a better ending for the former God of Mischief, and since Loki‘s potential series finale that aired last week, Hiddleston even called the episode the “conclusion” of his 14-year journey with Loki. However, as he delved further into the topic this week, he created a bit of leeway for himself to return one day.
For Loki executive producer Kevin R. Wright, Hiddleston’s finale performance felt like a farewell of sorts.
“I think his approach to that performance was definitely a departure, and I think we all felt that on set,” Wright says. The Hollywood Reporter.
But like his protagonist, Wright is quick to make his own caveats.
“We wanted this to be a good ending for our show, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be more Loki or stories in this world,” Wright adds. “We just wanted to give this a happy ending in a way that we often can’t do in the MCU.”
Wright, who created many of the series’ foundational elements through his own pitch years ago, says he’s still advocating for more TVA stories in the MCU.
“I would like to continue telling TVA stories. Internally, people pitch everything, and I actively say, ‘I want to do more TVA!’” shares Wright. “It will ultimately be about where it makes sense for them to come in in the future, but we all look at that corner of the MCU and say, ‘God, we’re just scratching the surface.’”
Below, during a recent spoiler conversation with THRWright also discusses a few Mobius fan theories and how he looks forward to developing future TV series in a more traditional way.
So instead of killing Sylvie to save time himself, Loki ultimately makes the ultimate sacrifice for the good of everyone else, and in doing so, gives himself the job of literally holding the fabric of existence together. And for me that is both a tragic and a triumphant ending. 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 would end with Loki on a throne, even in season one, and it was never about where he went. It was always about the feeling we wanted the audience 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 much into the weeds in the last ten minutes of the show, we all feel like the answers and the intentions are on screen.
But what I can say in general is that we’re all very bored by the binary of hero-villain, good guy-villain, good choice-bad choice. In the real world, choices are very complicated. True heroism is often not rewarded at all. It often concerns people who make very difficult decisions and will never benefit from the sacrifices they have to make. And if you can build a superhero comic that delves into the weeds of a more complicated heroism, then that was a challenge worth attempting for us. And Loki is in many ways the best character to do that with.
Technically, Loki became the God of Stories, or a personified version of Yggdrasil, the Norse Tree of Life?
Are they mutually exclusive? It all comes back to questions about free will. Does he write stories, or does he allow stories to continue being told? Is he interweaving them? It’s an interpretation of what exactly he did there at the end, but I think both could potentially be true.
Of course, anything is possible within the comic book genre, but this finale feels like a farewell for Tom Hiddleston as this character. Do you think we’ve seen the last of Tom’s Loki for a while?
I think his approach to that performance was definitely (a farewell), and I think we all felt that on set. We wanted this to be a good ending for our show, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be more Loki or stories in this world. We just wanted to give this a happy ending in a way that we often can’t do in the MCU. But even in Marvel comics and the history of comics, the end of a comic series doesn’t mean the end of that character or those stories. And if there’s another story to be told or more stories to be told about what we’re doing here – and it’s with the right filmmakers, the right writers and the right team – then we’d love to see Tom stay. I said this in season one too, but I honestly think Tom will play Loki until he’s Richard E. Grant’s Classic Loki. It’s about what the right thing is and when we do it, and being very 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 ever appear in the MCU again?
I would like to continue telling TVA stories. Internally, people pitch everything, and I actively say, “I want to do more TVA!” It will ultimately be about where it makes sense for them to come in in the future, but we all look at that corner of the MCU and say, “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 would become more common in other MCU projects. So do you think you’ve successfully made your case to the crested brass of the Marvel Studios Parliament?
We will see. It comes down to the speed at which we create streaming programs, and that’s normal for TV. That’s not Marvel speed. You shoot a lot in small schemes, and there is an advantage in having sets and not having to do a lot of VFX on every shot. It makes practical sense, and there’s a reason people made it into movies for a hundred years. It’s about making sense for our stories, sure, but we’re also telling comics, and sometimes things have to be more fantastic than what you can build. So it’s about being smart and how you do that. I love it, and I know our team loves it. When we were shooting Lokiwe had some filmmakers visit the set, and their reactions were like, “Did they let you build all this?” And it’s like, “Yes! Wait, you’re not? You should do this too.” (Laughs.) So, long answer short: yes, I think people have seen what we’ve done and they see that it’s now an option, and hopefully they’ll embrace it.
Fan theories can be a blessing or a curse, just like your friends WandaVision You know, but did you lose sleep over not turning the McDonald’s kid into a young Mobius (Owen Wilson)?
No, but I like that theory. I also saw that Mobius might be an Odin variant, and that was really imaginative and cool too. So it’s never been talked about and I’ve never lost sleep over it, even though I’ve read all that stuff and love it. Partly why Loki feels more layered than some other projects, because we know people look at it that way and delve into everything. So everyone on the team really embraces that and says, “If it’s in the picture, it has to pass scrutiny.” We unconsciously hide things in them, or we put things in them to misdirect them, so that we can better influence people with something more surprising. But I think it’s great that people are engaging with it this way, and I hope they see us working with them again in the way we build the show.
And how about a medium shot of Loki and Mobius on the tandem? Do you regret not seeing that meme again for the rest of your life?
No, because I can go online and see it in all the amazing fan art. It’s out there. We knew you had to approach that with a very light touch, and the audience will fill in the blanks. And they did it beautifully.
Marvel recently made some release date changes, and we won’t be seeing much of you in 2024. Are you a little relieved that Marvel Studios’ temporary loom won’t be overloaded?
What’s exciting for me – and this is something that Brad Winderbaum (head of streaming at Marvel) has talked about – is what I’ll personally be creating next. We’ll really have time to build it slowly, 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 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 very, very good. And I think Loki is really very 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’ll see more projects of this caliber. It’s about giving creatives the space and resources to do things well. So ultimately this is a very good thing. I know people want more, but I also know that if we take the time, they will appreciate what they get.
The ultimate compliment I can give you all is that I didn’t care much about Loki prior to this series, and not because he was a villain or anything like that. This show fulfilled the original promise of these Marvel Disney+ series by expanding on this character in a way the movies don’t have time for, and I now have nothing but fondness for Loki. So Loki should be the case study for how valuable Disney+ can be to Marvel.
One, thank you. Two, I agree. I know our writers, Justin (Benson), Aaron (Moorhead), Kate (Herron) and everyone else would agree too, and that was the most compelling part of this. You can take your time slowly and build a really satisfying story. We haven’t had much action this season. (Laughs.) There’s a lot of tension and there’s a lot of big stuff, but it was about really taking the time to build a character story that could be really satisfying. I’m looking forward to being able to do more stories in this way.
Loki is now streaming on Disney+. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.