TV & Movies

11 Surprising Movies & TV Shows That Inspired Loki

If you love sci-fi and holiday movies, you’re in for a treat.

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As early as Episode 1, Loki defined itself as a show comfortable in many genres and aesthetics — from retrofuturist sci-fi to shadowy noir and beyond. Here are 11 films and TV shows the Loki creators used as inspiration for the God of Mischief’s Disney+ debut.

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For director and executive producer Kate Herron, Guardians of the Galaxy was an important reference. “It set up a completely new part of MCU very successfully,” she tells Bustle, also praising the way its "spectacular, epic" elements are grounded by themes of family.

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The mid-century office environment made famous on Mad Men was another source of inspiration for Herron and the creative team. From the Time Variance Authority’s wood-paneled walls to clunky, warm-toned tech, touches of the prestige drama can be seen throughout.

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As head writer Michael Waldron told IGN, the scene where Loki watches his life play out on-screen was similar to Toy Story. “Buzz Lightyear finally learns and comes to grips with the fact that he is, in fact, a toy ... and just what a humbling experience that is,” he explained.

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The children’s show Teletubbies inspired Loki, too — but fans will have to wait and see how. “It's a stylistic [reference] that comes a bit later in the show,” Herron tells Bustle. “I do think when people see, if they're a follower of the Teletubbies, they'll know when they see it.”

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Even Christmas classics made the list of Loki influences. Herron compares the scene where Loki views pieces of his life — the good and the bad — to the reflective journeys depicted in It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol.

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The “brutalist architecture” of A Clockwork Orange also informed Herron’s approach to the world of Loki. The filmmaker actually grew up near Thamesmead in Southeast London, where Stanley Kubrick’s famous work was filmed.

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A Minority Report scene in which Tom Cruise’s character sees a projection of his wife inspired the shots of Loki seeing his family on screen. “If that person isn't in your life anymore and you stumble on a photograph, there's something very immediately emotional about that,” Herron says.

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From Queen to Lady Gaga to Star Wars, the 1927 German sci-fi film Metropolis has inspired enormous swaths of pop culture — and Loki is no exception, according to Herron, who approached the series as a “love letter to sci-fi.”

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

As early as Episode 1, comedy and sci-fi mingle with TVA bureaucracy in Loki — so, too, do these elements come together in 1985’s Brazil, which Herron cites as an influence.

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As Herron tells Bustle, the mysterious time crimes of Loki also provided a chance to bring a “noir aspect to the MCU,” pointing to films like David Fincher’s Seven as a source of influence.

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