Spoiler: The content in this news article has key details about the Loki series on Disney+ and its season finale episode.
The first season of Loki on Disney+ may be over, but the repercussions will be felt in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 installments. One in particular has been strongly hinted at.
According to tidbits dropped by Loki head writer and co-writer of 2022's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief may be making an appearance in the next film featuring both the Sorcerer Supreme and Wanda Maximoff aka the Scarlet Witch!
Alternates and variants
The Loki series revolved around the plot of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) being plucked from his escape in Avengers: Endgame by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) in order to preserve the Sacred Timeline. Aside from meaning that a version of Loki and the Tesseract are returned to ensure the course of events leading to Thanos’s defeat come to pass, that Loki variant is recruited by the TVA in order to hunt another Loki variant that is causing reality to unravel. Charged by the Time Keepers to accomplish this task, Loki instead diverges in order to potentially claim the power to overcome the TVA and reclaim their free will.
Ultimately, the Loki variant teams up with other variants to discover the real power behind the TVA which is He Who Remains (Kang/Immortus played by Jonathan Majors). However, due to the actions of the Lokis, Kang/Immortus is slain and innumerable branching timelines erupt, and now the Sacred Timeline is unraveling. The first major effect has already been revealed with Kang the Conqueror taking over the TVA instead of his previous Immortus/He Who Remains version.
With the announcement that Loki Season 2 is a done deal, this second season will likely explore the consequences of that decision. But that may not be the only place where these after-effects will be expanded upon.
WandaVision and Doctor Strange 2
Prior to the Loki series, another Marvel Studios production played with the concepts of reality alteration. In WandaVision, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) created her own personal make believe world, inspired by sitcoms she watched in her youth. In so doing, she inadvertently took control of citizens in a small neighborhood as well as creating a facsimile of the Vision (Paul Bettany) and dreamed up their twin sons. But due to the machinations of Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), Wanda discovers the extent of her true power of Chaos Magic as the legendary Scarlet Witch.
Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch is confirmed to be playing a major role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But if these two Marvel Cinematic Universe magic-users are exploring the vast tapestry of the multiverse, it stands to reason that the infinite variants and the disruption of the Sacred Timeline would be involved somehow.
Marvel Studios head and chief architect of the MCU Kevin Feige has stated how important the character of Loki and the events of his Disney+ series will be to the future of the franchise. Moreover, in a June 12, 2021 interview with Collider, Loki head writer and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness co-writer Michael Waldron had this to say about the principles and process involved with crafting the stories for the Marvel properties:
Well, I think one of the joys of being a writer in the Marvel world is getting to make terrible messes and leave them for your predecessors. Although, occasionally, you find yourself being your own predecessor. For instance, you write the Loki show and then you end up writing Dr. Strange 2, having to clean up your own mess and that can be a lot of fun. It's certainly important to define the rules, the background, the history of this organization, as much as we can to tell the story.
These statements from Waldron mean that the stories between the two projects may be even more connected than previously thought. It would, of course, make sense given how closely related the plots and themes of the three MCU Phase 4 projects Wandavision, Loki, and the Doctor Strange sequel are. With Loki season 2 likely to come after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it stands to reason that the next stage of Loki’s journey with the TVA would at least be touched on in the Sorcerer Supreme’s upcoming film.
Other Phase 4 connections
The next MCU Phase 4 production that will be released the soonest after Loki is the What If…? animated series which is confirmed to be connected to the overarching plot in both the film and television projects. What If….? will even feature the same actors from the live action projects reprising their roles (or alternate versions of said roles) to voice the animated counterparts. Among them is Tome Hiddleston himself. Could the TVA and Loki variants be making an appearance in the series as well?
And what about the Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Home films? It is certainly not out of the realm of possibility that Hiddleston’s variant Loki appears in these films as a cameo, even if it is only as the now-traditional end credits scene that the Marvel projects have become famous for. In any case, if Loki does appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it might not be a very pleasant encounter, judging by Loki and Strange having a somewhat professional rivalry since Thor: Ragnarok (although it should be noted that the Loki variant running around does not have the personal memory of this first interaction).
The full Loki Season 1 is currently available on Disney+.
Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is scheduled for a March 25, 2022 release date.