In a recent interview with Huffington Post, Tom Hiddleston talked about his experience at ComicCon, where his costumed in-character appearance had the crowd in fits. In an interesting turn, it looks as though that reaction came with its own rewards in regard to the Thor sequel.
But does Loki Fever demand even more of Marvel’s time?
…you’ve probably guessed that the answer I’m looking for is “Very Yes.”
Though Hiddleston claimed he wasn’t sure that his ComicCon appearance was the reason, it turns out that once his little stunt was over, he was called back to film more scenes for Thor: The Dark World. Which makes it likely that seeing the fan reaction to Loki convinced the producers to give him even more screentime. (The trailers already have us all convinced that the title of the movie should probably be changed to Fallen Brother: A Love Story.) And that’s great to hear; the ragged relationship between Thor and Loki is full of big emotions that make for great drama. Frankly, their chemistry is more important to Thor’s story than any love he might have for Jane Foster. She unearthed the god’s tenderness, but it was Loki’s pain and descent into madness that forced Thor to own up to his own flaws.
So extra Loki in the film is exciting enough, but what’s more interesting is that one of the scenes they went back to reshoot was an idea that Hiddleston apparently pitched himself early in filming. We know that Marvel has been great in their collaborative efforts—it’s abundantly clear that most of Tony Stark’s development was just Robert Downey, Jr. doing whatever he thought worked, and Pepper Potts only made it into The Avengers at his request—so their openness could really work for them in this instance. Hiddleston is clearly very invested in the character; he knows that the fervor around Loki is a driving force for his success, and he enjoys the role tremendously. Why not use that?
Why not just go ahead and make a Loki film?
It’s been confirmed that he has no place in Avengers 2, but Hiddleston made comment that he wouldn’t mind showing up the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television show, so we can assume his survival in the upcoming Thor film. (Even without those comments we could assume his survival anyway because, you know, trickster god. Self-preservation is basically their Number One Trick-of-Trade.) But there’s really no reason why they couldn’t up and give Loki his own adventure. The film could be fit into Marvel Phase 3, even if the events were entirely peripheral to the main arc. It would be something that none of these superhero films have attempted before, handing the reigns over to a leading villain, and that would be a great change of pace.
Loki lends himself well to a title role anyway; he’s a bad guy, but he doesn’t have bad roots. There’s a complexity to him that, say, Red Skull does not have in the slightest. He’s funny, charming, mischievous—so many qualities that ideally situate him to carry his own narrative. And as Hall H and Tumblr have proved beyond a doubt, fans are one-hundred percent behind him. He has an army.
Plus, you know, if Thor doesn’t have the pressure to star in the film and be epic in every frame, there are perfect opportunities for him to cameo at the end. He can show up on Loki’s doorstep with microwave popcorn and some hilarious movie that Tony screened at the Avenger’s Tower, and the healing can begin. They can braid each other’s hair, play magic hide-and-seek, get drunk and sing karaoke. Loki probably does an awe-inspiring rendition of Elton John’s “The Bitch is Back.”
I’m not saying that Marvel would even consider this. But it’s really not a bad idea.
Emily Asher-Perrin is one of those small, smiley people whose favorite characters are mostly bouncy megalomaniacs. Everyone should probably be concerned. You can bug her on Twitter and read more of her work here and elsewhere.