There’s a Brand New MCU Timeline

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tom hiddleston as king loki cut from season 1

Credit: Marvel Studios

Now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Infinity Saga has officially ended and Marvel Phase 4 is well underway — both with Disney+ series like WandaVision and (finally) films like Black Widow (2021) — the Disney+ streaming platform has revealed a brand new MCU timeline.

scarlett johansson as natasha romanoff (left) and florence pugh as yelena belova (right) black widow on bik
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Since the first season of Loki ended last week, Disney+ has inserted the Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and Owen Wilson (TVA Agent Mobius M. Mobius) series into its place in the MCU timeline, and it’s very clear that the Marvel Multiverse is in full swing.

mcu timeline on disney plus
Credit: Screenshot via Disney+

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Instead of being sandwiched between Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch) and Paul Bettany’s (Vision) WandaVision and Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier) and Anthony Mackie’s (Sam Wilson/Falcon/Captain America) The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, or inserted in the middle of The Avengers (2012) and Thor: The Dark World (2013) when the series is technically set, Loki has somewhat surprisingly been added to the watch order between Avengers: Endgame (2019) and WandaVision.

tom hiddleston as president loki and other loki variants
Credit: Marvel Studios

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As noted, Marvel Studios is absolutely moving in the direction of non-linear storytelling, be it due to necessity thanks to the introduction of the Multiverse or as a form of fan-service, bringing back dead characters in prequel films and series. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige specifically spoke about Scarlett Johansson’s latest Marvel movie, Black Widow, while making his point:

“Certainly this film and this story is a particular case for Natasha [Natasha Romanoff],” the producer said at the time. “But the notion of exploring the past, present, and future of the MCU is certainly in the cards for all of our characters. This particular story of this particular cast is very personal, very specific to Natasha.”

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scarlet johansson as natasha romanoff aka black widow superhero pose in iron man 2
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Loki director Kate Herron also previously spoke to Entertainment Weekly about how Loki’s Sacred Timeline fits into the MCU timeline:

“What happened [between] when [Loki and Sylvie] met him and when the multiverse was born was still on the table, that’s something obviously me, the writers, Michael [Michael Waldron, the head writer], and the studio discussed and worked on. I think honestly, for me and the writing team, we were just like, ‘Okay, we’ll just keep assuming we’re going to get to introduce him until we’re not allowed to.'”

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sylvie (left) and loki (right) in loki season 1 finale
Credit: Marvel Studios

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So, even though Loki‘s new spot in the MCU watch order is a bit surprising to most Marvel fans, it sounds like the powers-that-be at Marvel Studios have a plan firmly in place — just like they always do, even when we’re caught completely off-guard.

loki episode 5 alligator loki
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Alligator Loki, anyone?

What do you think about the new Marvel timeline on Disney+?

You can catch every MCU movie so far — from Robert Downey, Jr.’s Iron Man (2008) to Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther (2018) to Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019) — on Disney+. Next up for the Marvel universe is What If…?, coming in August 2021. 

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