Loki TV series release date: How many episodes, cast and guide for Marvel spin-off
Tom Hiddleston is hopping through time for the new Marvel TV series. **WARNING: SPOILERS**
There's only a little Loki left - only the season finale remains now that episode five is available on Disney Plus.
The Time Keepers must have meddled with the timeline as the series has passed by far too quick, but there's no denying we haven't had enough Loki.
Episode five, in particular, featured nothing but Lokis, as several Loki variants managed to avoid double-crossing each other long enough to defeat a monster at the end of time.
All eyes are now on the season finale, where we'll hopefully get some answers about the big bad behind the TVA and the fake Time Keepers - and it's looking more and more likely to be iconic time-travelling villain Kang the Conquerer.
However, Majors is giving nothing away, saying "I have no idea what you're talking about" when quizzed by Variety about his rumoured Loki appearance.
Whether it does turn out to be Kang or yet another Loki variant pulling the strings, we're expecting big things from the rest of the series after episode five proved to be one of the most ambitious and weirdest chapters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet. You can read our latest Loki review for more insights.
Here's all your essential information about Loki's TV series including release date, new trailer and cast. Plus, while you wait why not have a Marvel Cinematic Universe marathon using our Marvel movies order guide.
When is Loki TV series released on Disney Plus?
The first five episodes of Marvel's Loki series are available to stream on Disney Plus now after the show's initial premiere on Wednesday 9th June 2021. One more chapter is left next week - check out our Loki release schedule for more information.
Previously, Tom Hiddleston himself had announced that Loki was moving up two days from its originally set launch date of Friday 11th June, making it the first Marvel Studios original series not to be released on Fridays.
No reason was given for the shift but fans have speculated it could be to avoid a clash with Star Wars: The Bad Batch (releasing Fridays) and Marvel's own Black Widow, which will arrive on Premier Access while Loki is still airing (though its UK cinema release date is on the same day as the fifth Loki episode).
Loki will consist of six episodes in total, each one clocking in at approximately 50 minutes (including that lengthy credits sequence), placing the series at a similar duration to Marvel's recently concluded The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Assuming that the series sticks to its weekly release schedule with no interruptions, this means that the finale will likely air on Wednesday 14th July 2021.
It also seems likely that Loki will return for a second season on Disney Plus, with industry trade Deadline Hollywood recently reporting that writer Michael Waldron will be involved "in some capacity".
Nate Moore, Marvel Studios VP of Production and Development, told IndieWire: "I think there’s a lot of storytelling in Loki that’s really irreverent and clever and cool, but also lends itself to multiple seasons in a way where it’s not a one-off.
"Tom Hiddleston, I think, is doing some of his best work on that show. It really is kind of amazing. I think of all the great stuff he’s done, but this show is going to show such different sides and really the true scope of his range. I think that show is going to surprise a lot of people."
However, since then the creators and stars have been coy and evasive about the series' future, which could cast a follow-up in doubt.
Loki TV series plot: What is Loki about?
Let's just address the elephant in the room: Loki is dead, isn't he? Apparently not! Thanos actually said "no more resurrections" when he snapped Loki's neck in Infinity War, but the God of Mischief has bounced back regardless – although technically, Loki hasn't been resurrected in this new series.
Instead, he's been extracted from an earlier point in the MCU timeline. You'll remember when Iron Man, Captain America and Ant-Man time travelled back to 2012 to get the Infinity Stone in Avengers: Endgame. In doing so, they found themselves in the events of The Avengers and inadvertently allowed Loki to get his hands on the Tesseract and escape arrest. As a result, this younger version of Loki is more villainous than the version seen in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok.
The official Loki synopsis reads: "Picking up immediately after Loki steals the Tesseract (again), he finds himself called before the Time Variance Authority, a bureaucratic organisation that exists outside of time and space, forced to answer for his crimes against the timeline and given a choice: face deletion from reality or assist in catching an even greater threat." The full-length trailer also did a nice job at explaining this premise (which can be found lower down on this page).
With TVA officer Mobius M Mobius keeping a close eye on him, the God of Mischief has no choice but to go along with the missions they plan to send him on – but he's already been part of a few double-crosses and surprise twists as of episode five, when it becomes pretty clear he won't be working for the TVA anymore.
Marvel has released an official clip from Loki introducing the character of Agent Mobius, who is a major player across the six-episode series (and perhaps even beyond that).
While Loki is a bit rougher around the edges than we've seen recently, he could still have redeeming qualities according to head writer Michael Waldron, who told Entertainment Weekly that the Asgardian will toe the line between hero and villain.
"I wanted to explore slightly more complex character questions," he said. "It's not just good versus bad. Is anybody all good? Is anybody all bad? What makes a hero, a hero? A villain, a villain?"
He wasn't wrong - while Loki is yet to fully give up his double-crossing ways, a potential "reality-breaking" romance suggests the trickster has finally found someone he won't betray.
Waldron also teased that we'd see more of Loki's powers also, telling The Hindu: "To have six episodes to explore his power has been so liberating because just from a ‘pure superhero abilities’ perspective, we wanted to explore the awesome stuff he can do, and also dramatically too.”
And he wasn't lying, with episode three showing off a variety of Loki's abilities as he fought off assailants on Lamentis-I.
Loki's activities with the TVA are expected to span a wide timeline, with one previously seen image showing the mischievous antihero in what looks like 1970s America, standing in front of a billboard advertising Steven Spielberg's Jaws.
Much like a Marvel version of Doctor Who, director Kate Herron told The Hindu that the series "wasn’t just about going ‘anywhere’ it was about going ‘anywhen’,” allowing the show to explore far more of the Marvel timeline than Avengers: Endgame.
The series has not limited itself just to Earth around the current MCU timeline either, travelling to places such as the ancient city of Pompeii, 2050 Alabama and moon Lamentis-I in 2077.
Overall, it seems that this show could be even more unpredictable than WandaVision - which is no accident as the writing rooms for the two shows were right next to each other, motivating Waldron and his team to go even further than the reality-warping Marvel series.
"We’ve got to do something crazier! We’ve got to step on the gas, because we know that what they’re doing is so cool," Waldron told Total Film. "We tried to take chances every step of the way."
Having WandaVision as a guide will ensure that Loki will continue to be bafflingly bonkers, but is far from the weirdest influence, as the show's executive producers told Entertainment Weekly that other inspirations included Mad Men, Blade Runner and, um, Teletubbies.
While the crew refused to elaborate how exactly the classic children's show influenced the series, writer Michael Waldron did expand on the Mad Men's impact, which was not just due to Loki seemingly travelling to '60s and '70s America.
"We're going to get to invest six episodes worth of time and get to tell maybe a more complex, layered character-driven story than you'd get to do in a big blockbuster where you've got so many characters to service in just a two-hour runtime," Waldron told EW. "That Mad Men influence as much philosophical and it was aesthetic."
Loki TV series cast
- Tom Hiddleston - Loki
- Owen Wilson - Mobius M. Mobius
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw - Judge Renslayer aka Ravonna
- Wunmi Mosaku - Hunter B-15
- Sophia Di Martino - female version of Loki/Sylvie
- Sasha Lane - Hunter C-20
- Erika Coleman - Flight Attendant
- Richard E.Grant - Classic Loki variant
- Cailey Fleming - young Sylvie
- DeObia Oparei - Warrior Loki variant
- Jack Veal - Kid Loki variant
Of course, Tom Hiddleston reprises his role as the titular god of mischief, who finds himself in his most challenging predicament yet when he finds himself in the custody of the Time Variance Authority (or TVA).
Hiddleston is celebrating a decade of playing the Norse trickster, with the Loki series arriving 10 years after the character first appeared in 2011's Thor.
"Rather than ownership, it's a sense of responsibility I feel to give my best every time and do the best I can because I feel so grateful to be a part of what Marvel Studios has created," Hiddleston told EW. "I just want to make sure I've honored that responsibility with the best that I can give and the most care and thought and energy."
Owen Wilson was also announced as one of the top agents at the fantasy organisation, Mobius M Mobius, a character introduced in the first teaser trailer.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beauty and the Beast, Black Mirror) will star as TVA judge Ravonna Lexus Renslayer and has been featured prominently in the trailers released thus far, while Wunmi Mosaku (Lovecraft Country) will play another member of the organisation.
Rumours circulated that Jaimie Alexander would be returning to her Lady Sif role for the Loki series - which also proved to be true, even though Sif only appeared in a flashback in episode four - while The GWW has reported that the show could introduce Sera as the MCU's first transgender character.
Such cameos and introductions are certainly not out of the question after head writer Michael Waldron told Digital Spy that no characters were off-limits and that viewers should "expect the unexpected".
"If they were within the rights, and legal could clear it, there was no reason we couldn't try and chase them down," he explained.
Learn more about the Loki cast.
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Loki TV series trailer
The first full-length trailer for Marvel's Loki formally introduced the world to the Time Variance Authority, a mysterious organisation that the God of Mischief now finds himself working for.
Disney also unveiled a shorter teaser for the show which saw Loki once again utter a memorable line from 2012's The Avengers, where he was the main villain: "I am Loki and I am burdened with glorious purpose."
Previously, Disney had released an "exclusive clip" – essentially a teaser trailer – which gave a more cryptic look at the upcoming series, spiralling out of a scene from Avengers: Endgame.
Marvel also released a wild Loki poster featuring the show's cast and a cartoon clock with arms and legs called Miss Minutes, who has already built up a fanbase after her appearances in the main series (just in case you hadn't grasped yet that this show is going to be weird).
Time continued to be a theme in the next teaser, with Loki warned that "the clock's always ticking" - and presumably not just the cartoon one.
All that, plus a behind-the-scenes featurette!
Watch below to see the stars and crew of Loki tease twists and turns in the upcoming series, with director Kate Herron saying we can expect "a mixture of tones and genres" while Owen Wilson adds that there will be "real mayhem."
Speaking of Wilson, the American comedy star has discussed joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in another exclusive interview for Marvel's YouTube channel.
Is the Loki TV series connected to Doctor Strange 2?
It was confirmed long ago that the Marvel TV shows on Disney+ would be "entirely interwoven" in the MCU, thus playing an integral role in setting up the blockbusters of Phase Four.
Disney's Bob Iger has already confirmed the Loki TV series will connect to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in the Marvel movies order, an upcoming blockbuster that also has close ties to the events of WandaVision.
Tom Hiddleston is not slated to appear in the Doctor Strange sequel – although a top secret appearance isn't out of the question – but the first episode of Loki has wasted no time planting seeds for Benedict Cumberbatch's much-anticipated return.
It emphasised the importance of the TVA's work in maintaining one linear time-stream, lest a multiverse be created that would leave the MCU vulnerable to all kinds of "madness".
Waldron told Total Film: "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. So, you know, was I having to clean up some of the messes that I made [with Loki]? Maybe so."
Marvel's Loki is streaming exclusively on Disney Plus weekly on Wednesdays until the 14th July. Take a look at our Loki release schedule for the next episode time.
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