Loki Season 2 hits Disney+ this Thursday, officially the first MCU series to get a second season, and there’s a lot riding on it. Not only was the first season generally well-received among fans and critics alike, but there’s a lot at stake plot-wise for the MCU in Loki Season 2, in addition to building out all the various relationships we got to know in Season 1.
And that first season ended up a hell of a cliffhanger, with Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) having stabbed He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors), unleashing a multiverse with alternate timelines that cannot be pruned. In the process, she sends Loki (Tom Hiddleston) through a portal back to the TVA headquarters, where Mobius (Owen Wilson) and B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) do not remember him.
In addition to all of that, this season sees the new casting of Ke Huy Quan on the heels of his Oscar-nominated turn in Everything Everywhere All at Once, playing quirky TVA repair guy Ouroboros (or O.B. for short). It also features the return of Majors as Kang variant Victor Timely, although that role is one surrounded by controversy, as Majors awaits trial on domestic violence charges.
IGN talked with Loki executive producer Kevin Wright about all of that, that wild McDonald’s partnership, if Mobius will ever get to ride a jet ski, and more in the below spoiler-free chat. For some extra spoiler goodness, check back on IGN after the premiere.
It’s very funny that I get to say this, but McDonald’s plays a big role in this season, and I’ve actually been very curious about this. I know sometimes you have brand partnerships that you have to write around, but did this start as a creative idea or a brand partnership?
Kevin Wright: We did it backwards. We came up with it in development of this, and a big part of that was we wanted to find a place for Sylvie to go that felt like the opposite of an apocalypse. Like the quiet place in the past in a small town where maybe everyone knows one another. It started there, and then there was the seedling that I kind of forgot about until we all got into the writer’s room. At the end of Season 1 when we were literally on the last day of shooting, we were in the Citadel at the End of Time, and I was sitting there with Sophia [Di Martino, who plays Sylvie] on the steps just talking about, well, hey, what we’re all doing after this, and I said, “Where do you think Sylvie goes after this?”
And she said, “I think she’d be pretty hungry.” I was like, “That’s pretty good.” Of course, she’s just been on this insane revenge mission, the adrenaline’s flowing. So when we got to the room and we were talking about all this, it just naturally merged together and we all just started talking about various things and going to places like McDonald’s for birthday parties. There’s just this nostalgic history to it, I think, for a lot of us as we were making this, that felt really natural. And then I went to brand partnerships and I’m like, “We really want to do McDonald’s. Do you think they would ever even go for this?” And it was just cool because they were very excited about it and fully on board. We’re happy that we were telling this nostalgic story about it.
As for newcomers, we have Ke Huy Quan this season. Can we expect him to have a large role in Season 2?
Kevin Wright: Yeah. He is a really central supporting character through this, and yeah, he’s great. He couldn’t be more excited.
How much of his character, O.B.’s, personality was nailed down before you cast him, and how much comes from Quan?
Kevin Wright: It’s hard to know, it’s never nailed down. Different filmmakers work different ways. In two seasons of Loki now though, the thing that has always been really important to me and always important to Tom, was the scripts are truly the guideline. They are evolving throughout. When you’re doing time travel, there’s a ton of heavy lifting that has to happen on that end. But a lot of times [writer] Eric Martin was tasked with… he really had to crack big structure, “snake eating its tail” kind of structure that we’re building in it, which is difficult. But what it lets us do, is when we all get to London and we’re getting ready to shoot this thing, we put the script up on screen, all the cast joins us, and they’re not rehearsals, they’re not table reads. It’s like we’re literally going through there and sometimes the debates that you’re seeing characters have on screen, we’re having amongst each other to try to figure it out.
“The thing that has always been really important to me and always important to Tom, was the scripts are truly the guideline.
And then oftentimes there’s people going, “No, no, that’s it. That should be what the scene is. Do that.” Similarly, Ke flew in. He joined us in those rooms, and a lot of it we started finding there. He was always a little bit of the odd duck in the script… but you have to give the cast the leeway to find their way into it and define it for their own. We try to do that early. We try to do that while the scripts are still malleable so that then if something really exciting is found, we can chase that and build towards it.
Now for my most important question: will we get to see Mobius ride a jet ski this season?
Kevin Wright: Stay tuned. Listen, we know, we know what people want. There’s a famous quote that if you ask people before the invention of the car what they would want, they would all say faster horses. So sometimes you got to think outside the box, and we want to give people what they want, but if we just do it the way you’re expecting, it probably wouldn’t be fulfilling.
Fair enough. Now that Season 1 introduced Jonathan Majors’ Victor Timely, how much can we expect him to show up throughout Season 2?
Kevin Wright: Timely becomes a really big part of the team, and we’re super excited because we had a very specific Victor Timely story that we wanted to tell this season. I’ve been trying to get him in there since Season 1, and there’s only so much story you could tell. So I’m really excited, because I think he becomes a big part of that. Yeah, I don’t want to say too much without spoiling, but it’s unexpected. I think when you come with the warning that war is coming, you’re expecting a sci-fi villain from the future. The fun of Timely is that he is a very introverted, slightly eccentric inventor from the past, which is going to cause a lot of conflict amongst our characters because he may not be what they were expecting.
“Timely becomes a really big part of the team.
With the assault allegations that came out around Jonathan Majors, were there any conversations about changing his involvement in Season 2?
Kevin Wright: No, and I kind of just started to say it. The story that’s onscreen is the story that we wanted to tell. I think to the point where this is probably the first project at Marvel where we’ve had zero additional photography. So it was like once we landed that story and once we saw it and were excited by it, we’ve put it out into the world.
This is an extremely broad question, but I always like to ask it. What do you think will surprise fans the most about Loki Season 2?
Kevin Wright: I don’t know if this is a surprise, but what I would say I’m most excited about, is Season 1 for all of us involved, cast, crew, all of the filmmakers, was a really high bar, and it was made under a lot of challenges for us and for the world with COVID in the middle. I think we were so excited by how well embraced it was that there was a real sense of responsibility going into Season 2 to nail this, but that we couldn’t just try to play the hitch and repeat ourselves, because even if we do that, it won’t be as fulfilling as Season 1.
So there was a real sense from Tom and I in our early conversations of, if we’re coming back, we have got to push it. We’ve really got to push the storytelling, and that, in our heads, we should think we can make this better than season one. So I think there was a real investment from all of the cast and crew, they’ve really put their hearts and souls into this. I think that comes through in screen. And I think we’re all just really proud of it, and we’re just hoping that everyone else embraces it in that same way. But I can tell you that we set out to put our hearts and souls into this, and I think we feel like we’ve succeeded and that it comes through onscreen.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and spoilers.
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Alex Stedman is a Senior News Editor with IGN, overseeing entertainment reporting. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her reading fantasy novels or playing Dungeons & Dragons.
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