Loki isn’t low-key about setting up the future of Phase 4: the Marvel Studios original series will have wide-reaching ramifications spanning the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and the Multiverse — when the God of Mischief (Tom Hiddleston) branches out on his own adventure across time and space. After stealing the Tesseract and escaping capture when Earth’s mightiest heroes time travel back to 2012 in Avengers: Endgame, Loki creates a branched timeline and is immediately apprehended by the Time Variance Authority. Arrested for crimes against the “sacred timeline,” a.k.a. the mainstream MCU, Loki will have to work with Agent Mobius M. Mobius (Owen Wilson) to help capture an even greater threat or face deletion from reality.
“All of these stories, in their own way, are interconnected and have ramifications. I think that certainly, our aim with the Loki series was for it to have wide-reaching ramifications across the MCU moving forward,” series head writer Michael Waldron, who also scripted the upcoming feature film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, previously told Total Film about ties between Loki and Doctor Strange 2. “So, you know, was I having to clean up some of the messes that I made [with Loki]? Maybe so.”
As the devious trickster traverses time and space in Loki, here’s how the Marvel Studios series could connect to the Multiverse-focused Phase 4:
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Set after the events of Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, the threequel is rumored to pit an unmasked Spider-Man (Tom Holland) against a Multiverse Sinister Six, villains from other dimensions who have no way home after being thwarted by the Spider-Men (an as-yet-unconfirmed Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield) in their respective universes.
“The title of the next Doctor Strange movie is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so that is our biggest clue that that movie will embrace the Multiverse and the madness therein, very directly,” Marvel Studios president and producer Feige previously told Rotten Tomatoes TV about the connective tissue linking much of Marvel’s Phase 4. “There are, as we always like to do, connections before and after that, which will remain to be seen and discovered. But it seemed appropriate that it would be Doctor Strange that takes that on in the most direct way.”
There are connections to the Multiverse before and after the Doctor Strange sequel releasing in March 2022, meaning it could be the events of Loki that explain how heroes and villains from defunct Spider-Man universes crossover to the MCU.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Feige was the first to reveal the studio’s premiere original series, WandaVision, would form a sort of loose trilogy with Spider-Man: No Way Home and the 2022 Doctor Strange sequel. It’s there that Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) can “travel between universes” as the Scarlet Witch, according to Olsen, who joins Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) as he reportedly continues his research on the Time Stone — the time-rewinding Infinity Stone seemingly destroyed by Thanos (Josh Brolin) between the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.
Because Loki involves time, space, and the Multiverse, does meddling by the God of Mischief cause the madness in Multiverse of Madness? In 2019, Feige revealed Loki does connect to the Doctor Strange sequel from director Sam Raimi.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Hiddleston is not among the known cast members of Thor: Love and Thunder, which reunites Loki’s adoptive brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth) with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) when she becomes the Mjolnir-wielding Goddess of Thunder. Loki appeared in all three Thor films, taking a more heroic turn when he fought to defend Asgard alongside his brother in Thor: Ragnarok before being murdered by Thanos a short time later in Infinity War.
But this “Variant” Loki is not that Loki, and he’s just one of the lots of Lokis who could appear in Loki. As Feige recently hinted to Entertainment Weekly, “Part of the fun of the Multiverse and playing with time is seeing other versions of characters, and other versions of the titular character in particular.”
Might one of these Alternate Lokis somehow appear in Love and Thunder? When director Taika Waititi was asked to reveal if Loki is in the movie, Waititi said he “can’t say” if Hiddleston returns in Thor 4.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Plot details for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania remain under wraps, but superhero duo Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope van Dyne’s (Evangeline Lilly) next adventure into the Quantum Realm involves the time-conquering Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).
Kang is rumored to make his MCU debut in Loki, and the master time traveler could be the “even greater threat” that forces Loki to work with the TVA or be deleted from reality.
In the Marvel comic books, where Kang is sometimes known as Immortus, the cosmic entities known as The Time Keepers once appointed Immortus as the custodian of a time stream spanning a thousand years. During the Darker Than Scarlet storyline — where new divergences to the timeline threaten to “wreak irreversible havoc across uncounted realities already in existence” — Immortus reveals how he was tasked with monitoring all time travel spanning seven millennia while untangling the realities brought about by various Kangs.
When Loki is killed during Marvel Comics’ Siege event and reborn as Kid Loki, a resurrected child version of himself without memories of his villainy, Loki assembles alongside other young heroes in Young Avengers Volume 2: the Kate Bishop Hawkeye, the warlock Wiccan, the shape-shifting Hulkling, alien super-soldier Marvel Boy, and Miss America, who has the power to open portals into other dimensions and traverse the Multiverse.
WandaVision introduced the future Wiccan — Billy Maximoff (Julian Hilliard), the magic-made son of Wanda Maximoff and Vision (Paul Bettany) — while Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) will soon make their live-action debuts in Hawkeye and Multiverse of Madness, respectively.
Because Loki will reveal other versions of its titular anti-hero, might the God of Mischief be reborn as a kid-sized troublemaker and join the Young Avengers? Marvel Studios hasn’t announced a project assembling the young superheroes, but Feige has said that an influx of new characters in Phase 4 could mean the future introduction of the teen super-team.
Loki debuts on Disney+ beginning Wednesday, June 9th.
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