While one of the biggest advantages of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that characters from other films and shows can pop up in different shows and films, but while this can help boost a film or show’s connection with the larger universe, it does have some drawbacks, especially for creatives, as having access to thousands of characters sounds great in theory, but unlike the comic books, it is much harder to do in live-action.
The latest Marvel Studios series, “Loki” is already pulling in characters from the “Avengers” and “Thor” films, while also developing characters seen in “Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania”, plus it is also helping set up the upcoming “Avengers: Kang Dynasty” film. As the second season sees Loki find himself in a battle for the soul of the Time Variance Authority. Along with Mobius, Hunter B-15 and a team of new and returning characters, Loki navigates an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous multiverse in search of Sylvie, Judge Renslayer, Miss Minutes and the truth of what it means to possess free will and glorious purpose.
According to a recent interview with the New York Times, “Loki’s” showrunner Eric Martin was asked about how much creative freedom he had in writing “Loki”.
We’re fortunate that we really have our own little sandbox here where we’re able to be really creative and branch off into other directions without stepping on other projects. And some of that’s by design, while some of that is just what we found along the way. In terms of actual marching orders, there have been certain points where it’s like, “Oh, you know what, this character is being used by another project,” and you just have to pivot. But in terms of our drama and our story and where we’re taking our characters, it really is just following them and their needs and proving them on the page. And if we can prove that then nobody steps in and says you need to do something different.
With Marvel running productions on so many different films and shows, plus with plans for characters later down the line, it makes sense that some characters or themes are blocked off from being touched upon, so they can be explored in later stories. It also opens up the risk of characters feeling very different from how we’ve seen them in their previous outings, such as how the Guardians of the Galaxy appear in “Thor: Ragnarok”, etc.
As you might expect, the plans for the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe have to be taken into consideration for every project. A show like “Loki”, with the use of the multiverse, has unlimited potential to pull in characters from anywhere within the Marvel comics, plus variants and much more. But as Spider-Man famously said, “With great power, comes great responsibility”, so limiting what the “Loki” show could do, was only natural, plus the budget of the series will also be a huge factor, as bringing in other actors from films or shows, would naturally, boost the price of making a show, which Disney is trying to reduce.
Ultimately, there has to be a balance, but I’m glad there is a little flexibility for Marvel shows to be able to be creative, without stepping on other creators’ toes, and derailing other projects.
The first season of “Loki” is available to stream on Disney+ now, and a new episode of the second season is being released on Disney+ on Thursday evenings at 6pm PT / 9pm ET.
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