The Loki series on Disney+ just ended its first season, but the interviews are still rolling out after that spectacular finale.
Speaking with Rolling Stone, head writer Michael Waldon spilled some secrets from the multiversal time-travel romance adventure, including how he pitched the the show, the rules of time travel, and the secret origin of Alligator Loki.
To prepare his writer’s pitch, Waldron was given a 20-page creative brief from Marvel, dictating that Loki would encounter the TVA (Time Variance Authority, a multiverse management organization) with potential ideas. Waldon took that basic idea and outlined the entire show in his first pitch:
“[I] really worked on the idea of Loki being brought in to hunt another Loki, and that becoming the heart of the show, and the Loki/Sylvie relationship…I really walked through the six episodes…I knew I wanted Episode 3, for instance, to be a little bit of a Before Sunrise, with Loki and this character walking across this apocalyptic moon.”
Introducing a female Loki variant was entirely Waldon’s idea, saying “[I] knew from the get-go that it was going to be Loki falling for another version of himself.” This appealed to Waldon because of his love for romance, which he felt hadn’t really been done in the MCU.
“There’s an obviously self-reflective quality to [the Loki/Sylvie relationship]. And a show that’s quite literally about self-love; it is Loki getting to see parts of himself. At the start of the show, he kind of hates himself. He assesses himself to Mobius as a villain. And then he meets Sylvie, and he sees her as someone on a heroic crusade. He sees the good in her, and is able to see the good in himself.
Considering the narcissism of Loki’s love for Sylvie (a female Loki variant), Waldon even admitted that it might have been challenging for Loki love anyone other than a Loki. Variancest is just self-love!
THE RULES OF TIME TRAVEL
Shifting gears to time travel, the secret to not confusing the audience was making sure the writers understood what was happening. They created an internal TVA encyclopedia of time travel rules, but in the show they only included “the absolute bare minimum to understand the story” so that the audience could focus on the emotion arcs of the characters.
“If the sci-fi of it all, if the time travel logic of this show did not hold up week to week, then that would have distracted from the emotional journeys of the characters.”
Waldon compared Loki‘s time travel rules to that of Avengers: Endgame, saying the TVA “understands time travel on a deeper level”.
“We wanted to make sure we were staying true to any rules that [Endgame] laid out, but sort of establishing our own rules. It’s a time travel show.”
THE SECRET ORIGIN OF ALLIGATOR LOKI
Discussing the development of the Loki variants, Waldron teased that they had considered “hundreds” of Loki variations.
“There was one Loki, actually maybe it was a version of Mobius, that took off his glasses, and he just had really tiny eagle eyes, like he could see everything.”
Regarding the instantly-beloved Alligator Loki, Waldron explained the inception of the idea and why Alligator Loki was actually important to the show’s development. Starting with his first meeting with the producers at Marvel, Waldron used Alligator Loki as an example of what tone the show would have.
“[During the first producers meeting, I said] ‘When we’re doing this, you can encounter lots of different Lokis. You could have an alligator Loki. Why? Cause he’s green.’ And us all laughing about how stupid that was…It’s that energy of what we can do with the show. We can have something like that, but let’s play it straight…That was the fun tonal balance that we tried to strike in the show.”
Michael Waldron’s upcoming projects include Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022) and an untitled Star Wars movie produced by Kevin Feige. His return for Loki season two has yet to be confirmed.
Loki is available to stream now on Disney+. What do you think of Alligator Loki? Are you excited for what Waldron has planned for the future? Who was your favorite Loki variant? Where should Alligator Loki pop up next? Let us know all of your thoughts in the comment section below or over on our social media!
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Source: Rolling Stone