After just a single episode, Loki has set tongues wagging around the world with theories as to where the story will go and what it’ll mean for the MCU. The first outing focused on exposition, giving us the antihero’s history and explaining the Time Variance Authority. It’s looking like they’re going to use a Loki to catch a Loki, though the TVA’s mission to preserve the “sacred timeline” is likely doomed as we have Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness coming soon.
One of the coolest things about the debut was how it used reworked clips from across the MCU to recap Loki’s story. Particularly impressive was the opening scene, which showed us his escape during the time heist in Avengers: Endgame. This sequence features most of the major stars, yet the version of Loki that we got wasn’t identical to what we saw in the 2019 movie. So, how did they pull it off?
Series director Kate Herron broke down the scene in an interview with THR, revealing how they combined new material with Endgame alternate takes and existing footage.
“So basically, there are some new shots that we filmed. So with the Endgame moment, we deliberately used footage, takes and angles that hadn’t been in that film, mixed in with the structure of the scene that people recognize. We wanted to put it more into Loki’s POV, so I filmed the shot in the elevator where he waves. I almost think of it a bit like Rashomon; it’s a scene we’ve seen before, but now we’re putting it through a different lens. So we did film some of it, as it’s a mixture of both [new and old footage].”
It’s a neat technique, with the ensuing whistle-stop tour through the MCU showing this Variant Loki what happened in our universe. Theoretically, this should accelerate his character development to roughly where we left him when being killed by Thanos, though I’m sure there are betrayals and backstabbings to come.
My thinking is that while the TVA and the Time-Keepers are incredibly powerful, they won’t be around forever and may have bitten off more than they can chew with the God of Mischief. It’ll also be fun to see various Lokis interacting with one another, potentially realizing they have more in common with each other than with the bureaucratic agency that wants to manipulate or kill them.