Loki's next trick may be his most surprising. We haven't seen any of the Marvel shows on Disney+ yet, but a second season for one of them is already in the works. A Production Weekly issue seems to confirm Season 2 of Loki is preparing to begin production, despite the fact fans haven't seen the first.
Seriously: Are we in for two whole seasons of Loki?
What Happened? — On November 5, Production Weekly published an issue that listed all the new productions taking place and actively hiring. Among the hundreds of productions listed, including new seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Flash, Ramy, Power Rangers, and The Mandalorian, there is a new season of Loki under the working title "Architect."
You read that right: Loki Season 2, which will star Tom Hiddleston reprising his role from the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, is currently in some stage of pre-production with a target shooting date of January 2022. That's still some time away (and who knows with a pandemic), but there is at least a confirmed date of a whole second season of Loki.
For those unfamiliar, Production Weekly is an online newsletter that provides working professionals in movies and TV "with the most comprehensive production breakdowns available" according to its website. In other words, it's a resource guide for those looking for work in film and TV.
Loki 2? — It's important to point out how different the Marvel shows on Disney+ are structured over "traditional" TV. Unlike broadcast television that fills a season with 20-plus episodes, or streaming which aim for eight to 12 episodes, the Marvel shows on Disney+ are something akin to limited series productions.
The magic number has been six episodes for shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision. They're not movies necessarily, but they're more contained than a typical TV show and not meant to be "renewed" for more. At least not from the get-go.
Back in May, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Clark Gregg was quoted as saying he wished he'd worked in a similar capacity to Loki. Gregg told Variety:
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say boy, that would really be interesting to start the experiment over. Doing 10 episodes or 12 episodes the way Tom Hiddleston told me he was doing on Loki with that kind of budget and that Marvel Cinematic production team.”
What raised flags for fans was the number of episodes Gregg mentioned. Again, it was understood previously that the Marvel shows were meant to go six episodes, but Gregg adding twice that number in his quote got fans buzzing about a possible season renewal.
The Marvel Disney+ shows are a strange in-between, and without having seen them, it's difficult to get a sense of what Marvel is experimenting on its platform. This "second season" of Loki raises plenty of questions. Is Loki the only show getting another season? Will the plot and story change from Season 1? Has Disney secretly made room for more seasons of these expensive Marvel shows (which have the budgets of major movies) all along?
Lastly, we don't know much about the story of Loki. We know enough that the show will star Hiddleston reprising his popular movie role. Set in an alternate timeline seen created in Avengers: Endgame (when Loki escapes captivity using the Tesseract), Loki hops across time and space and changes human history. We've also seen in a Super Bowl commercial that Loki ends up in space prison under custody of the Time Variance Authority.
But other than that? Loki is as mysterious and unknown as the internal monologue of its title character. Which again makes a possible, guaranteed second season not just surprising but intriguing. Just where is Loki going?
In addition to Hiddleston, the show stars Sophia Di Martino, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Richard E. Grant in thus far undisclosed roles.
The Inverse Analysis — What Disney and Marvel plan with the Marvel shows on Disney+ remains a giant question mark. When these shows were first announced, it was made clear they were limited series runs more like serialized movies than television as we know it. But in this era when studios are unwilling to leave money on the table, something must have tipped them off that Loki was the one to renew. (It probably didn't hurt that Disney is refocusing on streaming as the coronavirus pandemic puts the future of movie theaters into question.)
Without more "seasons" of other Marvel shows like WandaVision, one can't help but ask why Loki is getting special treatment. Who did Hiddleston charm? That trickster.
Loki will being streaming on Disney+ sometime in 2021.
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