How Loki Director Kate Herron’s Love For X-Men: The Animated Series Led to a Marvel Show

Before her love for Loki, it was a childhood love for X-Men: The Animated Series that introduced Loki director Kate Herron to the Marvel universe. The latest original series from Marvel Studios, about the consequences of a "Variant" Loki's (Tom Hiddleston) meddling with the Sacred Timeline that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is the Five by Five and Sex Education director's biggest project yet — and Herron's first time playing in the sandbox from producer and Marvel chief creative officer Kevin Feige. In a new interview, Herron explains how her X-Men fandom put her on a path toward the Disney+ series Loki:

"Basically, my first introduction to Marvel was I used to love the X-Men cartoon growing up. I was a little obsessed with it," Herron told Trey Mangum of the animated series that aired five seasons between 1992 and 1997. "I remember trying to turn one of my dolls into Storm and melted her hair off, but I'd always play X-Men with my toys. I think I loved it because they were outsiders and I connected with that, and I just was really drawn in by that story."

In recent years, it was Hiddleston's decade-spanning performance as Loki that ultimately brought Herron to the character's first solo series independent of his hated (and sometimes loved) adoptive brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth).

"But like everyone, I watched Kevin Feige build this amazing universe through all the movies over the last decade. I met Loki through Thor, and I also loved him in the comics, and for me, I've really enjoyed what they've done with his arc over the last ten years like so many people," Herron said. "I enjoyed him going from villain to anti-hero and seeing that growth and room for change, and I just loved Tom's performance."

The six-episode series gave Herron and head writer Michael Waldron (Rick and Morty, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) the opportunity to explore a character who has been reset — so to speak — to 2012. Loki spins out of Avengers: Endgame and follows a Loki labeled a "Variant" by the Time Variance Authority, who arrest the God of Mischief when he escapes Earth's mightiest heroes during the events of The Avengers.

"Loki hasn't had a lot of screen time [in the MCU] really, when we add it all together … I think it's 79 minutes," Herron pointed out. "You can't help but watch him and get on board with him, and when I found out Marvel were making something about Loki, I was just like, 'I have to be part of this story, or I have to at least see what they're doing with the character and see can I fit into the plans for this.' So I basically stalked them, and here I am (laughs)."

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Starring Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Sophia Di Martino, and Richard E. Grant, new episodes of Marvel's Loki premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.

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