The future of the MCU is a prank. Reaffirming that the streaming series is as important to the ongoing Marvel saga as the movies, LokiThe final episode not only introduced the next great evil of the crossover universe in Jonathan Majors (previously announced to play Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania) but the whole damn multiverse. Season 1 finally ended the way it began: with the God of Mischief (Tom Hiddleston) transported to who knows where to cause who knows how much trouble. (The ending also confirmed Loki will be back for a season 2.)
All of that chaos unfolded under the watchful eye of rock star director and executive producer Kate Herron, who directed each of the first six episodes and brought her special sensitivity to all aspects of the series, including the continuing evolution of Loki himself. . After the season 1 finale, ET spoke with Herron about crafting the Loki arc throughout the season and introducing Majors to the MCU.
ET: I just saw what you said You’re not going to return for season 2, but I can’t imagine this show without you. How can we change our mind?
Kate Herron: For me, I always planned to come and do these six episodes, because when I started, we didn’t know we were going to have a season 2 until much later. And that’s because of the amazing work our team did, and everyone was so excited and it felt like there were so many more road trips with the characters. But I think for me, I’m very proud of the work that I’ve done to set up the TVA and Loki journey, but it’s a huge undertaking because we don’t run them on the showrunner system. It’s like directing a six-hour movie. So, I feel like I gave him everything I had. All my heart, all my soul, and I’m very proud of it. But yeah, I feel like it needs new eyes. And I’m excited to see where the story takes them next. I feel like we’ve left so many interesting questions and things yet to be explored, with Loki and his character and Sylvie and, like, who is B-15? I feel like there are a lot of interesting things to dig into, so I’m excited to see where they take it.
If not you, who is finally going to take Mobius on that jet ski?
I think someone cool. [Laughs]
Do you have a dream director or dream directors that you would like to see continue what you started?
No. Honestly, I think it’s someone who will love Loki, right? And being excited about what we did and want to take it even further. Our show is so weird and fun, and I think there is a lot you could do with it. I’m excited to see what someone does.
Let’s talk about this ending. It feels almost more low-key than most Marvel third acts, but there’s a lot going on here – there’s Loki and Sylvie’s relationship, you’re answering questions about TVA, you’re making Miss Minutes creepy ooky. What were the most important things for you to accomplish with this final episode?
Well, I think what was always important to us in the first place, was that our Loki, it’s his journey that follows, and that’s something we’ve definitely been looking at for a long time. We always knew that they were going to go to the Citadel and they were going to meet Him who remains and that the multiverse would launch. We didn’t necessarily know how they were going to get to that point exactly, but I think something had to go through Loki and Sylvie’s relationship, and it was really powerful in the power that was given to them. That’s what unravels it all. For a character who in episode 1 wants the throne and now in episode 6 he doesn’t want that at all and just wants this other version of him to be okay, I think it felt like a really powerful place to show his journey.
It was very important to me that moment when he landed at the Time Theater and obviously his heart broke, but I always thought along that line, “Lokis always survives.” It was very important to show that he is completely deflated, but he still has a fight in him, because we do that push shot and Tom does that beautiful performance, where it’s like he recovers and says, “I’m not going to break this, because now I’m a stronger Loki. ” And then he realizes that he is in a different reality, so it will be a great challenge for him. But I think that was really important to show that: that he has survived. He loved and lost, but that didn’t end him. And then for Sylvie, she’s obviously in a very different place. I always think of her being where Tom’s Loki was. Thor, because she is so driven by rage and revenge at that moment.
You can also be the one to introduce Kang, or at least his variant, in He Who Remains. Tell me about what was really on the page and then what Jonathan brought in and how to be on set and work with him to create this character.
So something that was always on the page that I liked was that it was always featured in the elevator, and it was very relaxed. He’s like, “Oh hi guys.” That was already written and it was a lot of fun for me. Episode 6, at one point, we had a great action sequence, and we realized while I was cutting episode 1, like, “Oh no, there’s a lot more tension in letting it be a conversation like the first episode.” For me, it was very exciting, because then it is just a great generator of tension. Like, boom, they meet Miss Minutes and she’ll tempt them, and it’s not going well, but she’s still building tension until this big reveal. And then it’s almost like a carpet pull, because it’s just this guy is like, “Hey. Hi. How are you?” And I think it was a lot of fun.
With Jonathan’s performance, it just elevated it. He is an incredible actor. We talk a lot about him, he is this character surrounded by all this chaos of the universe, but he is very isolated and very lonely and what would such a character be like? I think my whole team was inspired by that. Kasra [Farahani], my production designer, said, “I love the idea that maybe your office is the only finished part of the Citadel.” And the rest of the Citadel, I always spoke Sunset Boulevard And these old cobwebbed mansions and stuff. I think they even say, “Is he still alive?” when they get there. And in costume with Christine Wada, I was toying with the Variant character idea of him, obviously with the piece on the chest, but you can’t locate her outfit in time either. He’s got all-time influences, but he’s got a pajama quality too, because he’s just hanging out in his office, I guess like we were all last year, at home in our lounge clothes or whatever. So I think it was a lot of fun doing it with that, but really, with Jonathan, he’s an amazing actor. He’s one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with, and I think with someone like that, it’s just giving them space to play and get that back, really. It was a lot of fun working with him.
Knowing that he will eventually play Kang the Conqueror, do you and Jonathan already have to start figuring out how he will play Kang, so he knows the two will be different in the end?
I would say that for me, we were only focused on the One who abides, because he is the variant that I was dealing with. So, somehow, it took the pressure off that. I guess the closest thing to a promise for that character is when he talks about his other variants. When he says, “If you think I’m evil, well, wait.” And you see that fear in his eyes. I think for me as a fan I’d say, “Oooh great. This is going to be great.” [Laughs] Honestly, we were only focused on The One Who Remains, and then the rest is up to Jonathan and Peyton. [Reed] and the other directors who will work with him. So no, we were only focused on our Variant, basically our story.
Before I let you go, I want to ask about something that happened in episode 1, which was that fans thought they might have seen a Peggy Carter cameo on TVA. Can you explain what was going on there?
I would say– [Laughs] No, I think the conversation should continue.
Season 1 of Loki now airing on Disney +.