We’re currently witnessing Marvel’s final big marketing push for Loki, the next MCU TV series to launch on Disney+. We’ve seen plenty of new ads promoting the God of Mischief’s latest adventures, as well as a few revealing interviews with the cast and crew — including one that leaked online (big spoilers included) before it was intended to be published. The highly-anticipated Marvel TV show will debut on Wednesday, June 9th, and it’ll entertain us for about six weeks leading up to the release of Black Widow.
Loki already promises to be unlike anything else Marvel has done so far, and that’s because the show will offer us an in-depth look at the multiverse as well as the agency that governs time travel. The show will also provide additional explanations about time travel and reality-bending rules so we can fill in all the blanks left behind by Avengers: Endgame. And we need all these details before we go even deeper into the multiverse with projects like Spider-Man 3 and Doctor Strange 2.
Like the previous MCU TV shows that launched on Disney+ earlier this year, Loki might feature a few exciting cameos. For the time being, however, it’s unclear how big these surprises might be.
One thing we learned from Marvel’s TV shows so far this year is to temper our expectations. Not every new MCU project that launches is supposed to be as big in scope as Endgame, especially not the TV series. They’re stories that add more context, and they’re not meant to be mandatory viewing. One should still understand the main storyline in the MCU movies without watching any of the Disney+ series. That means we shouldn’t get any major new character intros, Easter eggs, or storyline developments in the TV series.
With that in mind, we do expect cameos from Loki because of its premise. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) escaped his regular timeline and the Time Variance Authority (TVA) arrested him, making him an offer nobody can refuse. He has to work with the TVA to fix the timeline. We know all that from the trailers — these aren’t spoilers at this point. And we know that we’re dealing with a new Loki character, the Loki we left at the end of The Avengers in 2012. As all Marvel fans will recall, our Loki died early and heroically in Infinity War.
This Loki will travel through time with the TVA to fix whatever inconsistencies he may have caused. And he might explore other realities from the multiverse. He has to. Otherwise, this Loki will never interact with the primary MCU reality where our beloved Avengers reside.
This is a perfect recipe for a few surprising cameos in Loki, which head writer Michael Waldron and director Kate Herron teased in an interview with DigitalSpy. Waldron explained the writing team had a tough job with this series, establishing the rules for the TVA’s governance of time and space:
We had to establish a logical foundational sci-fi reality for the show. It’s the TVA. They police time. That meant that we had to create rules, and build out what do they do? Why do they do it? For the writers’ room, they all had drawings and stuff like this on the whiteboards.
This was a challenging process because the writers had to come up with simple ways to explain complex ideas to the audience while moving the story forward:
And that necessitates really complex explanations and ideas. Then you have to figure out: ‘OK, how can we boil this down into a very simple way so that the audience is going to understand what Loki is going through, but they’re not going to feel like they’re in science class? They’re not going to tune out because they’re bored?’
Waldron and Herron also explained that they’d created a story that’s beyond what Marvel fans have read in the comics. Marvel is in uncharted territory after Endgame, and the studio allowed the Loki team to imagine what comes next and “go [even] weirder” than they thought they could.
All this context is essential when it comes to Waldron’s remark about other characters. Because of the scope of the Loki story, no characters were off-limits:
If they were within the rights, and legal could clear it, there was no reason we couldn’t try and chase them down.
Waldron could not be convinced to name any names, but he teased that we should “expect the unexpected.”
As exciting as that might be, we’ll remind you how awful WandaVision might have felt to some people because of their unrealistic expectations. And how The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was a much better experience knowing that we should not get our hopes up for massive surprises. Keep all that in mind before you start to stream Loki.
That said, there is one rumor that says a major Marvel villain might be introduced in Loki before we see him in a regular MCU movie. While this might seem to contradict Marvel’s prior tempering of expectations, Loki is different precisely because it’s a show that messes with the multiverse. Absolutely anything can happen here, cameos included, without giving away Marvel’s hand.