After Confirming Jonathan Majors Situation, ‘Loki’ Banned From Using Marvel Characters in Season 2

in Entertainment, Marvel

'Loki' Season 2 promotional image

Credit: Marvel Studios

It seems like Marvel Studios is making headlines for all the wrong reasons these days, with the sophomore season of Tom Hiddleston’s smash hit Loki series being its only saving grace. And amid a slew of reported firings, creative differences, Disney interference, and a massive overhaul of the MCU’s TV business, another accusation has come to light, this time regarding Loki‘s head writer, Eric Martin.

President Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Credit: Marvel Studios
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Erases Thor, Loki to Have “New Family” in Disney+ Show

The MCU has been in hot water since their critically acclaimed Infinity Saga came to a triumphant end in 2019 with Avengers: Endgame, which still holds the record for being one of the top-grossing films of all time. Since then, the franchise has struggled to get back on its feet, with Disney steering the company in a vastly different direction — one focused on streaming.

Now, after a string of less-than-impressive Disney+ originals like She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and the more recent Secret Invasion, it seems like Marvel’s golden era of television has officially come to an end. Even Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger flat-out admitted that Marvel “diluted focus and attention” from fans by offering so many TV shows.

Nick Fury shocked in Marvel's 'Secret Invasion'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Ditches Disney+ Format Amid Studio Overhaul

Yes, Phase Four was essentially a trial and error period for the MCU, with the studio releasing misfire after misfire in an attempt to recapture some of that same magic the Infinity Saga first conjured up back in 2008. Unfortunately, some of that bad luck seems to have carried over into Phase Five, with Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) getting the Multiverse Saga off to a rocky start.

Enter Loki Season 2, which premiered on Disney’s streamer last Thursday. It’s a well-known fact that the God of Mischief’s solo series still holds the crown for Marvel’s most-watched show today, and so far, the new batch of episodes is pulling in equally impressive numbers.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius (Owen Wilson) in 'Loki' S2
Credit: Marvel Studios

Starring Hiddleston as the titular Asgardian trickster, Season 2 picks up immediately after the events of Season 1 and sees Loki time-slipping through the TVA following his last confrontation with Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) as he attempts to expose the secrets of He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors).

Owen Wilson reprises his role as TVA Agent Mobius M. Mobius, along with Wunmi Mosaku’s Hunter B-15, Eugene Cordero’s Casey, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Ravonna Renslayer. Franchise newcomers like Oscar-winner Ke Huy Quan, who plays the TVA’s quirky repairs and maintenance guru, O.B., and Rafael Casal’s hardheaded Hunter X-5 round out the cast.

Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) in 'Loki' Season 2
Credit: Marvel Studios

But despite Loki‘s unprecedented streaming success, according to head writer Eric Martin, Disney and Marvel prevented him from bringing certain characters into the mix, seemingly with the intention of using them in other projects down the line.

When asked about the level of creative freedom he had in writing for Loki‘s second season by the New York Times, Martin noted that while the team “really have [their] own little sandbox here where [they are] able to be really creative,” they had to “pivot” from including certain characters that were “being used by another [MCU] project,” though he failed to specify which heroes (or villains) he meant:

We’re fortunate that we really have our own little sandbox here where we’re able to be really creative and branch off into other directions without stepping on other projects. And some of that’s by design, while some of that is just what we found along the way. In terms of actual marching orders, there have been certain points where it’s like, ‘Oh, you know what, this character is being used by another project,’ and you just have to pivot. But in terms of our drama and our story and where we’re taking our characters, it really is just following them and their needs and proving them on the page. And if we can prove that then nobody steps in and says you need to do something different.

Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) in 'Loki' 2.01
Credit: Marvel Studios

Given Marvel’s usual level of secrecy when it comes to their upcoming projects, it’s not surprising that Martin was pretty hush-hush about which characters he was referring to in this interview. By the sounds of it, these characters are on hold for the Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2026) team-up movie, which will see Jonathan Majors‘ Kang as the central antagonist — so long as he’s not found guilty of assault.

Furthermore, the writer’s statements also point to a troubling trend currently plaguing the MCU behind the scenes. Marvel Studios executes a great deal of creative control over the use of its characters, which makes sense considering that the MCU is a very thought-out and planned endeavor with a specific end goal in mind for each Phase.

Jonathan Majors as He Who Remains in Loki Season 1
Credit: Marvel Studios

However, with the territory also comes a concerning amount of studio interference on Disney and Marvel’s behalf, which has historically driven writers and directors away from certain projects — even after the scripts were finished and the cameras started rolling.

Still, in Martin and Loki Season 2’s case, Marvel barring the production from using certain characters seems more justified. With the new episodes setting up some significant plot points for the remainder of Phase Five and into Phase Six, creators, in a sense, have to walk on eggshells to preserve the long-term story.

O.B. (Ke Huy Quan) in Marvel's 'Loki' Season 2
Credit: Marvel Studios

So, while the notion of Loki needing extra care compared to more isolated MCU entries like, say, Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight may seem strange when talking about such an interconnected universe, it should be understood that there needs to be limits on flashy character cameos and superhero introduction, which, if not done correctly, can do more harm than good — as exemplified by She-Hulk. 

If key figures in the MCU get sidelined to short appearances or cameos in shows like Loki, showrunners could very easily prevent those characters from receiving fully fleshed-out arcs in their own projects. And with Marvel essentially hitting the reset button on TV entries like Daredevil: Born Again and Ironheart, it’s better for creators to be safe than sorry.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and crew in 'Loki' 2.01
Credit: Marvel Studios

With Loki Season 2 building to something truly exciting for the MCU, it only makes sense that the studio would want to make sure everything is in order when it comes to the characters who will play a pivotal role in the Multiverse Saga. While many of these details remain kept under wraps, we’ll hopefully learn which heroes Eric Martin wanted to bring into Loki in the coming monthsand his vision was for their respective stories.

New episodes of Loki land on Disney+ every Thursday at 6 p.m. PT.

Who do you think Eric Martin wanted to include in Loki Season 2? Does it make sense for Marvel to prohibit showrunners from using certain heroes? Let us know in the comments below.

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