When Loki comes to Disney+ later this year, it will be the latest in a long series of appearances for the villain, stretching back to 2011's Thor. From that first installment and on through Marvel's The Avengers, two Thor sequels and more, Loki has been one of the most-loved Marvel characters -- not villains, but characters! -- in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He managed to do that in spite of having been responsible for the murder of Agent Coulson in The Avengers (he got better!) and betraying more or less everyone around him for a decade now. So what is it that makes him so appealing?
Well, as you might expect after ten years of playing the character, Tom Hiddleston has an idea. He thinks it's all about the arc that the character has been on since Thor.
"The arc of Loki in Thor is very poignant and full of pathos," Hiddleston says in the new Empire magazine. "He begins that film as Thor's brother, and Thor is heir to the throne. I think he genuinely loves his brother, but possibly has some deep jealousy or unspoken resentment about the favour that his elder brother has seen from his mother and father. Loki is awakening to his origins and birth, and that's been withheld from him."
"(Loki's) progression to antagonist has a lot of vulnerability and pain inside it, so that even by the end of Thor, when Loki is the villain, the audience could see that it had come from a very poignant well of heartbreak and loneliness and confusion," Hiddleston added.
He'll be taking on a whole new version of Loki -- at least in theory -- in the upcoming TV show, so we'll see how he interacts with the arc and all that nuance in the months to come. Meanwhile, his brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has a whole movie coming up, currently in production in Australia.
"I think it's going to be really good," Thor: LOve and Thunder director Taika Waititi previously teased. "We've finished, we've been writing the script off and on for over a year and I'm just, actually this week, doing another pass on it. It is so insane and also very romantic. I'm into romances now. I just want to make a romance. I want to make something that I've never done or never cared for. I would like to attack something like that."
Last summer, the studio also announced that former Batman Christian Bale will be playing Gorr the God Butcher in the film, which Portman has suggested will draw inspiration from Jane Foster's cancer arc from the comics.
Thor: Love and Thunder is set to be released on May 6, 2022.