Back in 2018, Disney announced that Thor and Avengers foil — and MCU fan favorite — Loki would be getting his own series. Now the series is just around the corner, premiering later this year on the company’s streaming service Disney Plus. The Asgardian God of Mischief is ready to stir up some, well, mischief in the mysterious multiverse.
Without further ado, here’s what we know so far about Marvel’s Loki.
Further reading: Best Marvel shows and movies on Disney Plus
Warning: This story contains a discussion of major plot points from Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, WandaVision, and other Marvel Cinematic Universe titles. Potential spoilers ahead!
Getting from Thor to Loki
There are a few contextual tidbits to keep in mind about Loki before it debuts. First is the fact that the series takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame. This leads to the obvious question: didn’t Loki die in Avengers: Infinity War, before Endgame? He most certainly did! But you’ll also remember that when the Avengers went back in time to 2012 in Endgame, they came across Loki’s younger self. That Loki made off with the Tesseract, which we now know is the Space Stone, opening a portal and taking off, all within that distinct timeline.
So the Loki from that timeline is the Loki we’re dealing with in the show. As Bruce Banner explained in Endgame, “changing the past doesn’t change the future,” so Loki should theoretically still be dead in the main timeline, while this Loki continues to live and get into trouble in a separate timeline in the multiverse. That means the Loki we watched mourn his father and sacrifice himself to save his brother is still dead, and we’re back to the Loki who we last saw at the end of 2012’s original The Avengers.
So, where does that leave our plucky antihero in Loki?
The lowdown on Loki
It looks like Loki’s getting into trouble in his own show, as always. He’s breaking the rules of time and space, traveling through the multiverse with the help of the stolen Space Stone. What we can piece together from trailers and the bits of information revealed by Disney is that Loki makes yet another power play, running for some kind of political office, while jumping through familiar events, leaving his mark throughout history. It’s like Marvel’s take on Forrest Gump.
All of that temporal rule breaking has consequences, though. We see Loki land in the custody of the Time Variance Authority or TVA. In the comics, the TVA is an agency that monitors and polices the multiverse, trying to keep temporal anomalies to a minimum. It’s a lot like Star Trek’s Department of Temporal Investigations. Whether Loki will work with or against the TVA is anyone’s guess.
When and where can you watch Loki?
Loki will be available exclusively on Disney Plus starting in May of 2021.
It’s a safe bet the series will have a weekly rollout, like Marvel’s WandaVision and the upcoming The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, along with other Disney Plus originals like The Mandolorian. The Disney model thus far has seen new episodes drop on the streaming site every Friday, creating a sense of appointment viewing like linear TV programming, and there’s been no hint that Loki will stray from that path.
Disney has yet to reveal the precise premiere date of Loki in May, but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as they do.
The (lo)key players
The official cast list doesn’t point to many familiar faces. Everyone’s new besides Loki himself, played, once again, by Tom Hiddleston.
As revealed by the Loki trailer (and its closed captions), funnyman Owen Wilson joins Hiddleston’s Loki as Mobius M. Mobius, who, in various Marvel comics, is the head bureaucrat at the TVA. The buttoned-down Mobius, or Moby, climbed up the ranks through the years, most notably as a Fantastic Four villain.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw appears to play another one of the higher-ups at the TVA. Mbatha-Raw isn’t new to weird sci-fi, with credits like Doctor Who, Black Mirror, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Jupiter Ascending, The Cloverfield Paradox, A Wrinkle in Time, and the X-Men-esque Fast Color under her belt.
Other confirmed actors rounding out the cast include Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku, and Richard E. Grant.
Behind the camera, Kate Herron, whose credits include Netflix’s Sex Education, is directing all six episodes of Loki, while Michael Waldron is serving as head writer and showrunner. Waldron is best known for writing and producing Rick and Morty, and he’s credited as a screenwriter on the MCU’s upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
How Loki fits into the MCU
Loki is part of an ambitious plan by Marvel to roll out tons of new series on Disney Plus. WandaVision has already been streaming since January 15, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will drop on March 19, just ahead of Loki. Meanwhile, What If…? Is slated for Summer 2021, with Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel heading to the streamer in late 2021. Other upcoming MCU series in earlier stages of pre-production include Armor Wars, Secret Invasion, Moon Knight, She-Hulk, Ironheart, and a show set in Black Panther’s Wakanda.
Loki is part of an ambitious plan by Marvel to roll out tons of new series on Disney Plus. And judging by WandaVision we couldn’t be more excited.
The MCU has traditionally offered a lot of tie-ins and crossovers between titles. Loki himself has already appeared in all three Thor films, as well as The Avengers, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, and he’s set to appear in What If…? too.
Where might Loki go from here?
True to form, Loki appears to tie pretty directly into other Marvel titles. On the one hand, Loki’s very survival hinges on the events of Avengers: Endgame, while the series trailer nods to Thor himself: as Loki falls from a plane, we hear him speak the words “Brother, Heimdall, you’d better be ready” before we see him plucked from the sky by the Asgardian Bifröst. Whether he’s in a timeline in which Heimdall is still alive to summon the Bifröst remains to be seen, as Heimdall died in the main timeline alongside Loki in Infinity War.
Since Thor can now summon the rainbow bridge with his nifty new axe, Stormbreaker, this could also be Loki’s play back into the main timeline to appear in Thor: Love and Thunder, due out in November.
Showrunner Michael Waldron’s involvement in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness could also hint at the trickster making his way into that narrative, which is already tying into the nascent Disney Plus Marvel roster. At San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios president and chief creative officer Kevin Feige revealed that Wanda Maximoff would appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and that the events of WandaVision would lead her there — we’ve already seen Wanda break through to different timelines, including borrowing one character from the non-MCU X-Men universe.
Whether Loki makes his way into either of those films remains to be seen. But the fact that he’s playing in the same multiverse sandbox as Wanda and Doctor Strange ties him to the ever-expanding MCU, even as he drifts off into his own timeline — or timelines.
Loki rumours and easter eggs
As with any Marvel project, let alone one set in the multiverse, Loki has been greeted with plenty of speculation.
One bit of conjecture that has circulated for months is that Loki will be traveling through Earth’s past. There, he’ll be changing historical events. But more specifically, he may in fact prove to be the infamous “D.B. Cooper.” In 1971, D.B. Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727 and made off with $200,000 in ransom money (that’s over $1 million today). Then, the mystery hijacker jumped out mid-flight. After a long manhunt, authorities never recovered a body or parachute. The true identity of D.B. Cooper has remained one of the great mysteries of the 20th century. But the Loki trailer sees Loki in D.B. Cooper cosplay, yanked out of the sky by the Bifröst. That may finally offer the explanation we’ve been looking for these 50 years.
One other possible cameo ties Loki more firmly to the MCU. When the first trailer was released during Disney’s announcement blitz at its “Investors Day” in December, some eagle-eyed observers quickly noticed what looks like Natasha Romanoff, or Black Widow, and her signature red hair in one blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot.
Natasha, like Loki, died trying to stop Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, but Black Widow also has her own film set for release later this year in May, coinciding with Loki. We can’t be sure whether the parallel release dates or the red hair hint at a deeper connection. Or whether we’ll be seeing more of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow in the multiverse. The trail of bread crumbs is certainly inviting, though.
Another cameo rumor strays even closer to home, with unconfirmed reports that Jamie Alexander may reprise her role from the first two Thor films as Lady Siff. While Lady Siff was conspicuously absent from Thor: Ragnorok, Deadline reported, soon after the Disney Investor Day, that she’d be back not only in Thor: Love and Thunder, but also in Loki. Marvel predictably had no comment, so we’ll have to wait and see.
That’s everything we know — and a few things we don’t! — about Loki, coming to Disney Plus in May. We’ll be sure to provide updates as we get them!