It only figures that Loki’s demise in Avengers: Infinity War has been subject of such intense scrutiny and speculation, seeing how the former MCU villain has already had two fake deaths in the Marvel saga. But while Thor: The Dark World famously saw the trickster pull a fast one on his brother, Loki’s sacrifice was originally intended to be completely sincere.
Speaking to the Empire Film Podcast, Tom Hiddleston recalled how Loki was supposed to die in the 2013 film, completing an arc of redemption for the character, but test audiences didn’t take too well to seeing him go.
“Loki’s death on Svartalfheim was written as a death. Chris and I played that scene for real. That was meant to be that he redeemed himself, that he helped save his brother and save Jane Foster but that he in the process sacrificed himself. It was something that was written, it was part of the original pitch. In test screenings, the audience didn’t accept it. There was a very strange and almost unanimous resistance to it.”
Consequently, the ending of The Dark World was changed to reveal that Loki’s death was just another ruse. For years, the twist was singled out by many as a prime example of how Marvel was overly hesitant to kill off its major characters, but if Loki’s comeback was arguably a bit of a cop-out, it at least allowed the subsequent Thor: Ragnarok to bring him into some entertaining new territory before his actual self-sacrifice in last year’s Infinity War.
Of course, now that Thor: The Dark World has given Loki a reputation as the guy who fakes his death, many fans are still skeptical that he’s really gone, despite the Russo Brothers claiming last year that his demise was genuine. Either way, Avengers: Endgame set photos indicate that Hiddleston’s run in the franchise isn’t over quite yet.
In fact, the actor is also set to reprise his role for the Loki series on Disney Plus, though a rumor from last month suggests that he may only serve as narrator. Hopefully we’ll know soon enough if the report has it right, but in the meantime, the trickster will make at least one more trip to theaters when Avengers: Endgame comes out on April 26th, 2019.