Memo to Marvel-heads: You don’t have to watch the Season 2 finale of Loki before heading to the theater to see The Marvels. The last episode of the show’s sophomore year drops on Disney+ on Thursday night just as Captain Marvel’s second not-so-solo adventure starts playing in multiplexes. Speaking with Yahoo Entertainment, Loki head writer Eric Martin indicates that the events of the season finale won’t necessarily bleed over into Nia DaCosta’s feature film.
“There were never really conversations about having to sync up in a certain way,” Martin says. “I think we just kind of told our story in the right way that things kind of sync up naturally. We’ve set something up that unfolds and will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward.” (For the record, there is one real-life connection between the show and the film: Loki star Tom Hiddleston is engaged to Zawe Ashton, who plays the villain in The Marvels.)
Loki‘s second season has certainly continued to emphasize the multiversal madness that has formed the spine of the MCU’s current phase. It’s also offered a prominent showcase for Jonathan Majors’s Kang, who made his in-universe debut at the end of the show’s first season, and was intended to be the primary antagonist for the next two Avengers movies. (The actor’s real-life legal troubles reportedly have Marvel Studios contemplating other avenues for Kang’s future.)
Despite those larger tie-ins with Marvel Continuity, Martin says that the Loki team has mostly been able to “live in our own sandbox” in terms of planning out title character’s Season 2 arc. That’s also why he doesn’t think a potential Season 3 would need to exist under Marvel’s just-created “Marvel Spotlight” banner, which is intended to distinguish in-continuity stories from shows and movies that can be enjoyed on their own terms. (The upcoming Hawkeye spin-off Echo will be the first entry in the Marvel Spotlight line when it premieres on Disney+ on Jan. 10.)
“I think we’ve been able to pull the MCU towards us, and also honored where the MCU has been going,” Martin notes. “So we’ve had a fair amount of freedom. I haven’t really given thought to the Spotlight series, and I have no idea what Marvel’s planning on doing with that. But I think it’s a cool idea!”
The writer is similarly sanguine about the reported shake-ups happening Marvel’s television arm, as the studio pivots to more traditional ways of overseeing its various Disney+ series, from recruiting veteran showrunners to creating “show bibles” that keep the storytelling on track. “We’ve had a good experience on Loki, and worked really hard to make something lasting. I’m not sure how everything else [at the studio] works, but whatever needs to be done to make great stuff is what I hope happens.”
As of now, Loki’s future in the larger MCU is uncertain. While it remains the only Marvel series to get a second season, Marvel hasn’t confirmed whether it’ll be returning for a third edition. Martin says that Hiddleston could easily keep playing the part if the opportunity arises. “He’s been Loki for so long that the character filters through his mind and his heart,” says the writer, adding that Hiddleston’s “fingerprints” are all over the way certain key scenes unfolded throughout the second season. “All our conversations are about where Loki’s head and emotions are at and where that’s going to lead him.”
While Martin obviously declines to address where Loki’s head and heart lead him in the Season 2 finale, he does indicate that a popular fan theory likely won’t be made canon as the show wraps up. Newly minted Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan joined the cast this season as a dorky technician named OB, and some have predicted that he’ll ultimately be revealed as a Kang variant.
“I haven’t heard that one,” Martin says, laughing. “That’s great. OB is my favorite new character and one of my favorites across the whole series. I’ve seen some of the [fan theories], but I try not to get too into that. But I like to know that there’s that engagement and that people are talking about the show. You see things a certain way, but then you send it out into the world and people start reading different things into it. I love hearing what those things are.”
Martin would also love it if Loki characters like OB and Sylvie — a fan favorite female variant of Loki, played by Sophia Di Martino — find their way into other MCU projects beyond Loki. “I hope everybody steals our characters! That’s a really special thing in being a part of the MCU, seeing other creators go, ‘Oh wow, I love that character and want to use them in this story.’ It’s a great validation of the work we did to create our own world.”
“But I also don’t want to let any of them go,” Martin adds with a grin. “I want to keep writing them forever.”
Loki is currently streaming on Disney+; The Marvels opens in theaters on Nov. 10.