Fans of Asgardian God of Mischief Loki were devastated when his character was killed by Thanos in Infinity War, but not even death can keep a clever god down. The new streaming channel Disney+ will feature a limited-run TV show with Tom Hiddleston reprising his Marvel role, but what's Disney's Loki TV show about, if he's already dead?
A press release from Disney confirms that their new channel is "assembling a live-action series centered around a fan-favorite character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. [Disney CEO Bob] Iger today confirmed that Marvel Studios is developing a series based on Loki, the god of mischief, to star Tom Hiddleston."
The easiest answer for how to move forward with the character would be to set the show before the events of the Marvel movies. While neither Disney nor Marvel has confirmed this relating to the new TV series, Thor writer Zack Stentz spoke to Screen Junkies back in 2015 about what the higher-ups wanted for Loki's character. "There was a lot of pressure, but they said ‘Guys, if you fail at everything else, give us a villain as good as Magneto.' The thing that made Loki so close to our heart as a villain was that if you looked at the events of Thor from his perspective, he was the hero."
Given that his backstory's so sympathetic, it would make sense to explore it at greater length. The Hollywood Reporter recently reported that "sources say the show will follow Loki as the trickster and shapeshifter pops up throughout human history as unlikely influencer on historical events," which could allow him to actually be the hero in some moments.
Endgame spoilers ahead. In the most recent Marvel film, 2012 Loki gets another shot at freedom when he steals the Tesseract during the Avengers' attempted "time heist" of the Battle of New York and disappears. Presumably, when Steve went back in time to put the stones back where they came from, he put the Tesseract in 1970, not 2012. That may mean that the timeline where Loki gets away from Stark Tower still exists, which could be a jumping off point for the series. That, of course, is yet to be confirmed. End spoilers.
MCU architect and overseer Kevin Feige confirmed to Variety that the Loki and Scarlet Witch spin-offs are planned as limited-run series, not ongoing shows, and that "these episodes will intersect with the movies in a very big way. It’s a totally new form of storytelling that we get to play with and explore." That could mean the show might run parallel with upcoming Marvel movies like The Eternals or Shang-Chi.
Heck, the Eternals are characters who've been around since the start of the universe, so it should be easy to loop Loki in somewhere. Knowing Feige's love of cross-referencing and weaving together disparate stories into one mega-arc, it's probable Loki's show will relate more closely to Marvel's as-yet undefined Phase 5, which based on their and Disney's upcoming release slate has a heavier emphasis on X-Men characters than ever before. And since it's an entirely new phase of films, that doesn't mean they'll need to take place chronologically following the previous phases.
Per THR, Michael Waldron was tapped as show creator, executive producer, and to write the pilot. That's a lot of responsibility on one pair of mostly untested shoulders - Waldron's only writing credit, per IMDB, is on the animated series HarmonQuest.
Still, the choice of Waldron strongly suggests the show could follow the style of Dan Harmon (Community, Rick & Morty): irreverent, sarcastic, nihilistic, featuring rude genius anti-protagonists who get a touch of melancholy at how their intellect ostracizes them. Sounds like it'll suit Loki to a T.