After “Retiring” Tom Hiddleston, Marvel Exec All But Confirms ‘Loki’ Season 3

in Entertainment, Marvel

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) gathering branched timelines in 'Loki' 2.06

Credit: Marvel Studios

Over his 14-year-long tenure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief has transformed from textbook villain to self-sacrificial hero, and now, something far more powerful than ever before. With Loki Season 2 ending on what appears to be a pretty final note in regards to his arc, some fans are fearing for the worst, as it might be the end of the road for Hiddleston’s character after all.

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

Related: Marvel Speaks Out on Tom Hiddleston Replacing Jonathan Majors Two Weeks Before Assault Trial

The once-mighty MCU has taken somewhat of a stumble since the conclusion of the critically acclaimed Infinity Saga in Avengers: Endgame (2019), culminating over ten years of storytelling. Phase Four, though not without its moments, is generally remembered as a misfire for the studio, and so far, Phase Five has followed suit, largely failing to recapture some of the same grandeur as its predecessors.

But amid the nonstop sludge of forgettable entries like Secret Invasion, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023), one Disney+ spinoff show shines bright: Loki, which just wrapped up its sophomore season to rave reviews.

Loki, OB, Mobius, and Hunter B-15 in 'Loki'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Studios “Nuked” the Best ‘Loki’ Season 2 Episode

Following a “variant” of the titular Asgardian trickster we all know and love from the Avengers and Thor movies, Loki takes a wildly different approach than the typical superhero flick and sees Loki attempting to unravel the mysterious forces behind the Time Variance Authority (TVA).

Season 1 saw Loki narrowly escaping being “pruned” by Judge Ravonna Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) for his crimes against the Sacred Timeline thanks to analyst Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson), who helps the God of Mischief find his new “glorious purpose” over the course of two seasons. The TVA enlists Loki’s help to track down one of his more dangerous variants known as Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) in exchange for his life, but he quickly becomes sympathetic toward his female alter-ego and betrays the TVA to aid her cause.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Loki series
Credit: Marvel Studios

Along the way, Loki and Sylvie expose the TVA’s many lies, including its “Time Gods,” which are nothing more than animatronics and a front for its actual creator, going to the end of time itself to confront the space bureaucracy’s ever-elusive overlord, He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors). While Sylvie ends up double-crossing Loki to enact her revenge scheme on the TVA, the pair reunite in Season 2, which picks up immediately after Season 1’s bombshell finale.

For its second season, Loki switched up its talent behind the camera, with Eric Martin serving as head writer and Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead leading the directing team. This creative flip-flopping certainly paid off for Marvel, with many fans hailing Loki Season 2 as the best project the MCU has released since Endgame — high praise, especially for a Disney+ original.

Warning! Spoilers ahead for all episodes of Loki Season 2.

This time around, Loki finds himself time-slipping after Sylvie sends him back to the TVA, crashing through various points on the timeline while surrounded by versions of Mobius, Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku), and Casey (Eugene Cordero) who don’t recognize him. After tech guru O.B. (Ke Huy Quan) helps him to fix the TVA’s Temporal Loom (for a moment, at least), Loki gets his time-slipping under control, but things start to spiral when General Dox (Kate Dickie) and her army of Minute Men start pruning entire timelines. Renslayer and rogue AI Miss Minutes (Tara Strong) also have a plan of their own.

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

With Loki trying to protect the Multiverse from He Who Remains/Kang as the TVA descends into chaos and the MCU’s Sacred Timeline starts to disintegrate, the stakes are higher than ever before, with billions of innocent lives at risk of being pruned. To fix the TVA’s Temporal Loom, Loki and Mobius travel back to 1893, with a brilliant inventor named Victor Timely — a Kang variant — being the key to saving reality.

Still, after several attempts to stabilize the fabric of reality in the finale, titled “Glorious Purpose” — a nod to the Season 1 episode of the same name — Loki and Co. are unable to fix the Temporal Loom. After many trials and failures, Loki unlocks new abilities due to his time-traveling adventures that allow him to personally hold the timelines together, and he sacrifices himself to take He Who Remains’ throne, alone with none of his friends.

Tom Hiddleston's Loki hearing the Multiverse
Credit: Marvel Studios

It’s a jaw-dropping finale that sets up some seriously exciting plot points for the MCU as it moves forward into its Multiverse Saga and also seems to serve as somewhat of a goodbye to the titular anti-hero. Keeping the timelines stable is a full-time gig, after all, and the Loki Season 2 finale didn’t include a post-credits scene or “Loki will return” card, hinting that his journey has reached its conclusion.

Speaking to CinemaBlendLoki lead writer Eric Martin confirmed that there aren’t any plans for a third season at the moment, noting that he and the show’s other writers scripted with just two seasons in mind.

“We approached this as like two halves of a book. Season one, first half. Season two, we close the book on Loki and the TVA,” he said. “Where it goes beyond that, I don’t know. I just wanted to tell a full and complete story across those two seasons.”

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

Of course, that’s not to say that the story couldn’t continue because, as longtime Marvel fans know, Loki has a pretty hard time staying dead. However, Hiddleston himself cast doubt on his MCU return while appearing on an episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, where he revealed that his “journey” as Loki had “comes full circle,” adding, “It’s the conclusion of season two. It’s also the conclusion to seasons one and two. It’s also the conclusion to six films and 12 episodes, and 14 years of my life. I was 29 when I was cast, I’m 42 now. It’s been a journey.”

Understandably, many concerned fans interpreted this as Hiddleston announcing his plans to retire the character. While Hiddleston didn’t explicitly confirm his exit from the MCU, he did sound pretty final about Loki’s journey, meaning it truly could be the end of the road for the Asgardian trickster after all. But fans hoping to see the sun shine on Loki again shouldn’t give up hope just yet.

Loki, Sylvie, Mobius, Casey, B-15, and O.B. watching Victor Timely in Loki Season 2.
Credit: Marvel Studios

While speaking to Entertainment Weeklythe series’ executive producer, Kevin Wright, suggested that plans may already be in place for God Loki’s return. Although Wright made sure to clarify that he was “speak[ing] for [him]self and not Marvel,” he did offer a hopeful update on the future of Loki, saying, “there are a lot of stories you can tell at the TVA,” and implying that Hiddleston is in it for the long run:

I speak for myself and not Marvel, but I am certainly pitching ideas of where I could see certain stories going. I think there are a lot of stories you can tell at the TVA, and we are just scratching the surface on that. I would love to see more stories with Loki, and I think Tom would continue to play this character until he is Richard E. Grant’s Classic Loki. But I don’t think that means you need to have this story every year or every two years. It’s about doing it when we have a good story to tell. I would love to keep working with these filmmakers.

Although it sounds like his pitches to Marvel haven’t exactly led to anything yet, the superhero studio and its parent company, Disney, are certainly listening to audiences’ positive responses to Loki Season 2. And if there’s one thing Disney wants, it’s money — if Loki proves to be incredibly lucrative, it seems like a given that it would be green-lit for a third season on Disney+ sooner than later.

Miss Minutes looking smug on a desk
Credit: Marvel Studios

Wright continued, comparing Loki to AMC’s hit show Breaking Bad and its critically acclaimed spinoff, Better Call Saul, explaining that “there’s a way for this team to keep telling stories,” whether that be with Sylvie, God Loki, or the TVA. He finished by teasing this new version of Loki’s future, adding, “You can’t be the God of Stories if you’re not going to tell more stories:”

We built a really awesome team, and if Loki is Breaking Bad, maybe there’s a way for this team to keep telling stories with our version of Better Call Saul — whether that’s with Sylvie, with the TVA, or with a new Loki. But we only want to do that if we have the right story and it can be just as fulfilling as this one. After all, you can’t be the God of Stories if you’re not going to tell more stories.

Based on Wright’s remarks, it seems pretty conclusive that Hiddleston will indeed reprise his beloved role somewhere down the line. There’s been plenty of online speculation that Loki will tie into Deadpool 3 (2024) and, ultimately, Avengers: Secret Wars (2024), which seems likely given rumors of the TVA leading a Multiversal Army against Kang.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius (Owen Wilson) at the Chicago Worlds' Fair in "Loki' 2.03
Credit: Marvel Studios

Exactly what role Loki himself will play in the MCU going forward remains to be seen, but there’s no denying that Marvel left the door wide open for his return. Considering Hiddleston’s popularity within the fanbase and just how important this “God of Stories” could be to the Multiverse Saga’s overarching narrative, his appearance in future Marvel projects seems inevitable — it’s just a matter of when.

All episodes of Loki are now streaming exclusively on Disney+.

Would you like to see Tom Hiddleston return as Loki in future MCU projects, or is it time for Marvel to introduce new characters to the mix? Let us know in the comments below!

View Comment (1)