Marvel Studios: Assembled (2021) s02e04 Episode Script

The Making of Loki Season 2

Here we are. It's go time.
Day one. Day one of 90.
Monday, June the 13th, 2022.
London, U.K.
Time doesn't exist in the TVA
and it doesn't exist in Loki's world.
And here we are. [CHUCKLES]
Although, it exists in my head.
I woke up this morning full of excitement
and full of gratitude, actually.
I just felt so lucky that I get to do this
and I'm still doing it, and
Yeah, I'm just, I'm excited to be back.
Back in the game, back in the TVA,
back with this amazing team.
KEVIN R. WRIGHT: We were all excited
to explore and unleash
the Multiverse in Season 1
Something terrible is happening.
When you're dealing with time travel,
with the Multiverse,
the plot can get very heavy.
And the only way any of that works
is usually to make it
as simple as possible
and to lean into your characters.
Mobius, it's me.
I don't know you.
ERIC MARTIN: On the outset,
we have to have all those conversations
about where this is gonna fit
into the MCU,
where this will fit
within all the other stories,
and how it will impact
all the other characters.
But as much as we could,
after we had those conversations,
we tried to step back
and just look at this as,
"Okay, now let's tell our story."
You were a villain and now you're not.
I thought we were good guys.
Now I'm not so sure.
At the very least, you've made us
ask some appropriate questions.
Our approach was
really, really doubling down
on who Loki cares about,
who we care about.
And then even trying
to personalize the stakes of,
"What is a timeline?
What is on a timeline?
"What does that mean
to people?"
Our job just really became helping steer
these characters into the vulnerability
that brought their humanity
to the surface.
I know it's hard to turn your back
on everything you have believed in.
But the TVA has to change
and it has to change now.
It's almost like a snow globe.
You know,
the TVA was a kind of snow globe
and the glass has been cracked
and the whole thing has been shaken up,
and so, the TVA
is in a process quite similar
to the process Loki went through
in Season 1,
which is a process of soul searching
and institutional analysis.
That's who built this place!
That's who stole your lives!
I think one of the things
we talked about is,
he always struggled with family
in the MCU,
but he's found a new family in the TVA.
Let me ask you, the Time Door
somehow sent you into the past
- and that's what started all this?
- Well, it was
Which way are we going?
The chemistry between the actors
is something we wanted to continue
to explore in Season 2.
They just really
got along, right,
they kind of clicked from the moment
that they were on set together
and had so much fun.
And we wanted to take that further.
- We did it!
- We did it!
We won!
It's a really special group of people.
Series 1 was full of challenges,
you know.
There was a global pandemic and I think
that actually brought us together.
And I think it shows onscreen.
- Wow, wow, wow.
- Very nice, very nice, very nice.
WUNMI MOSAKU: It was great coming back.
It had been a long time
since we'd seen each other.
It's tricky thinking about, like,
who B-15 is in Season 1
and who she evolves into
in Season 2.
I had to rewatch Season 1.
And you go, "I remember what happened
but who was she again?
"And how does she sound?
How does she move?"
And then, you put on the costume
and you go, "Yeah, I remember this."
Hey, O.B., this is Casey.
I thought he could help.
There's a lot of performers that
I didn't get to play with in Season 1.
And this season, I got to
play with everybody else,
and I mean everybody.
And there is a chemistry there
that is amazing.
And I think by introducing
a bunch of new characters,
you got to see more
of the world of the TVA.
You're Ouroboros?
- Yes.
- You wrote the TVA Handbook.
- You've read it?
- Read it? I practically memorized it.
- Would you sign it for me?
- Happy to.
KE HUY QUAN: It's really exciting
because I've been a fan
of the Marvel Universe
for a long, long time.
Oh, hey, welcome to R&A.
And I always fantasized
about joining the MCU family.
But I didn't think
it would ever come true
because it wasn't until recently
that I got back into acting.
And one day, my agent told me that,
"Kevin Feige is going
to give you a call."
And he told me between a certain time,
between 5:00 and 7:00.
And I was so nervous.
At the same time,
I was also very, very excited.
And I remember,
I was in a meeting at that time,
and I told the person
I was having a meeting with,
and I said, "I'm so sorry,
"but at 4:50,
I'm gonna have to leave."
And I didn't tell them why.
So I set my alarm clock at 4:50.
And when it rang, I got out of there,
expecting this important call
from Mr. Kevin Feige.
And I was just driving home,
and all of a sudden, my phone rang.
And I picked it up,
and on the other end,
you know, I heard this voice,
"Hello. Hi. I'm Kevin Feige.
Hello, Ke."
And he was telling me
about how much he enjoyed
Everything Everywhere All At Once.
And I was driving, and
he was just praising my performance
and praising the movie.
And I started getting teary-eyed.
And I was driving and I couldn't see.
And I had to pull off
to the side of the road.
And And we're talking and then,
then he said, you know,
"Would you like to join the MCU family?"
I was I was ecstatic.
I was so happy.
And to get that call from him
meant the world to me.
It's great being part of a team.
And sure enough,
couple of months later,
I was on a flight to London.
There you go.
That's everything you need to know.
WRIGHT: O.B. was a character
who was a really fun introduction
to the Repairs and Advancements world,
and another interesting kind of leaf
to kind of uncover at the TVA.
Everything you need to know about this,
I wrote about it in here.
WRIGHT: Similarly, we wanted to tell
more stories with our Minutemen.
So we will meet General Dox
who is played by Kate Dickie,
or Hunter X-5, who also becomes
Brad Wolfe, by Rafael Casal.
Oh, good. Welcome back.
Why don't you take off this Time Collar
and treat me like somebody
who outranks you?
Oh, I don't work here.
Oh, I'm glad that you know that.
You should stop talking now.
RAFAEL CASAL:
X-5 Brad Wolfe is an antagonist for Season 2.
It's a weird phrase on a show
that's about an antagonist.
You know, we're all in a show
that is about exposing the duality
and humanity of the antagonist.
And so, in a lot of ways,
the way we talked about
X-5 and Brad Wolfe
was as Loki's sort of
mirror for Season 2
of another person who feels wronged
and is trying to find the justice
of themselves,
and is also trying to figure out
what the goodness in them means.
You could do with a little perspective
on yourself, so let me help you here.
It's you. You're the problem.
Every single time we've come across
one of you, it's you.
A lot of my job
was get under Loki's skin.
And so, I think Tom and I
got to have so much fun with that.
[BOTH LAUGHING, SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY]
And what's great is that
the character X-5 of Brad Wolfe
has worked at the TVA so long
that he's read his file so many times.
He knows him so well.
Earlier, I said some
really hurtful things,
even brought up your mom.
I'm very, very sorry about that.
What does this one do?
CASAL: Tom is the person
who's setting the tone for everything.
And he and I would talk a lot
about setting the floor
and setting the ceiling for the show.
And what you do is you look at Tom to know
how big to go and how small to go.
- And now we know what the numbers are.
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Yeah.
CASAL: And he's a veteran
in this world, he knows,
you know, what a scene needs.
So it's amazing to sort of watch him
set those markers in a scene,
like, "All right, let's
"Let's play this one this way
or play this one really big."
You wanna be, ideally, chasing the bike
and I'm chasing
Exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
A lot of us haven't ever acted
in something this big before.
We go, "All right, yeah, this is a world
where people teleport
"and blow out walls, and like,
fly through space and time."
I need a little help adjusting,
you know, you gotta help me get there.
MOORHEAD: Tom is way beyond
just the lead performer.
He is in the writers room,
he is in the visual effects meetings,
he is right there with us.
He is very much the author
of all things Loki.
A group of people
who have a collective aura,
unique to that moment in time.
Does that make sense?
Sort of like you're drawing the
RICHARD GRAVES: Tom is fabulous.
He will always want
to give that extra take.
The extra The extra 20 percent.
And he comes in wanting to give,
wanting to perform.
PAUL ZUCKER: There's something
that he's working towards.
And my job as an editor
is to listen to his performance.
For Tom, there are shades to it.
He may adjust his pace,
he may adjust his intensity.
But by and large,
he's very, very focused.
It's not about where or when.
It's about who. Who I care about.
I can rewrite the story.
- And, scene.
- [ALL LAUGH]
QUAN: What's really interesting,
every morning,
the way we began the day,
Tom would walk onto the stage,
but before you see him,
you would hear him,
because he always comes to set
with a little, you know,
portable speaker.
And you would hear him enter the stage,
make his way to the set,
and when he arrives,
it just wakes everybody up
and lifts everybody's spirit up.
And that's how
we start the day every day.
CORDERO: It's amazing
just having him there,
leading the way as Loki,
and then, everybody else just having,
like, a fun ensemble.
And it's a great ensemble that will save,
you know, humanity.
I mean, honestly,
that's what we do here at the TVA.
LOKI: We should be dealing
with the bigger problem here.
- He Who Remains.
- I understand and we'll get to that.
In order to do that,
I need a Loki Who Remains.
We need to address you disappearing.
WRIGHT: We knew we wanted
to embrace the idea
of time looping
throughout this season.
We talked a lot about Slaughterhouse-Five,
the Kurt Vonnegut novel,
where there's somebody who's slipping
through time, uncontrollably,
trying to figure out how to make sense
of their life and the narrative
because they're
experiencing it all out of order.
And there was something in that
that was really compelling with Loki.
He desperately is trying
to get back to our TVA
and let them know
something terrible is coming.
And yet, Loki can't even just stay
in a single place.
Something had happened
to the nature of time.
Once He Who Remains
is killed by Sylvie,
the timelines start to branch.
And essentially,
Loki's anchor in the dimension of time
becomes unstable.
It's real, Mobius.
I'll be in the past TVA
and suddenly I'll feel it all grow thin
and I'll be torn apart,
pulled through time,
ripped from there to here.
- How is that possible?
- I don't know.
But I don't know how long I have
until it happens again.
HIDDLESTON: His physical presence
doesn't have a secure grip
on temporal reality.
You know, even right now, I think,
I am here now.
I'm here in space, but I'm here now.
And Loki's having a problem,
which is that he's rooted in space
but he's not rooted in time.
And so, he's essentially glitching
Damn it!
between the past, present
and the future.
He's in one place, and then,
suddenly he's in the same place
but at a different time.
It's incredibly destabilizing for him
and for everybody
who's in his presence
because it looks like
he keeps disappearing.
- You just disappeared.
- I know.
And I can't keep looking at it
'cause it's horrible.
What? I thought you said
it didn't look that bad.
I was lying.
CHRISTOPHER TOWNSEND: It's sort of evolved
as we've been discussing this
on a script level and also
a character level and a visual level.
And realizing that one of the things
that could be very interesting
is making it a very painful experience.
And Tom has really embraced this.
So it's kind of
a windmill and down.
And he has given us
these incredible performances
that we in visual effects will be
joining up these various elements of him
as he goes through and flickers
through these different time periods.
HIDDLESTON: Loki's body is being
molecularly ripped apart.
Ripped Every
Every atom, every cell in his body
is being ripped
and pulled apart, disassembled,
and then reassembled very quickly
and kind of re-ripping in another time.
TOWNSEND: There's a line
about looking like
he's being born and dying
all at the same time.
And that idea of
how do you visualize that,
how do you actually make it feel
gruesome and almost like a horror movie.
But not in a bloody guts and gore way,
but something that's a little bit more
stylish and elegant.
This is where I'm embarrassed
to say that in my
limited carpet bag of physical abilities,
I can't, in fact, time slip.
So we've had to find a way.
Obviously, I knew at some point,
I was going to be
brilliantly assisted
by our visual effects department.
And I wanted to give them
enough to work with,
so we tried to film different variations
of being spun into or spun out of,
or ripped away from,
or pulled into, reality.
TOWNSEND: And then can you do one
where you're lunging right at the camera?
So you come back at camera,
twist around and come
right back at the camera.
He's giving us all these things
and he's throwing himself
into the, sort of, performances
absolutely brilliantly.
You couldn't have asked
for a better performer
and a better partner
in this sort of endeavor.
Maybe I'll do one this way too?
And then spin around, yeah.
In the edit, we basically brought
all those elements together.
We picked out, you know, the
The craziest swinging of arms,
and we created an effect
in the edit for that.
And then with that,
we played with sounds.
We had stretching sounds
and bone crunching sounds
and all kinds of things
that would really enhance
the visuals for the time slip.
And then,
we're taking those performances
and then creating this sort of meld
between them all
and then stretching
between each performance.
And in 3D, on the computer,
we're simulating,
we're joining up these performances
and we're using simulation software
and modeling software
to stretch one performance to another
and make it feel like
he's being ripped through time,
and being born and dying
all at the same time.
I take my hat off already
to the visual effects team
for helping me out.
But it has been a really physical thing.
More physical than I thought
it was going to be.
London School of Contemporary Dance.
It allowed us to play a fun game
of letting Loki slip
through various moments
across all these branches
of the Sacred Timeline.
But he's always being pulled
to people that he knows,
or places that he's been before.
And then we start to realize
that maybe in some way,
Loki is the glue that's holding
all of these things together.
Every one of your friends
has a temporal aura, right?
Right.
Well, that means a group of people
would have a collective aura
unique to that moment in time.
MARTIN: With each person in the TVA,
we wanted to go further
into who they are,
what's driving them
to do everything.
And they're all existing
in this sea change moment.
Tell the TVA to stop pruning,
effective immediately.
[GRUNTS]
MARTIN: Everybody at the TVA,
they lived one path,
and now they're suddenly told that, like,
that path was foisted upon them,
that they had other lives,
that they are all Variants.
I'm not a hunter,
you're not an analyst.
None of this is real.
You know, it's really hard
to keep an eye on the whole story.
Because there's just,
there's time slipping,
there's past Loki, present Loki,
past B-15, present B-15,
B-15 Variant on the timeline,
and you know, there was,
even just the other day, we were like,
"Oh, this is the first time
we've seen Loki time-slip."
And I was like,
"No, we've seen it before."
And they're like, "No actually,
"we just shot out of sequence,
you haven't seen it.
"And that wasn't you,
that was B-15 of the timeline,
"that wasn't B-15 in the TVA."
I was like, "Ahh!"
MARTIN: There were many conversations had
about how is everybody gonna respond,
knowing that they had lives
on the timeline.
B-15, she had a different experience
because she was shown by Sylvie
what her life was on the timeline.
I looked happy.
What now?
MARTIN: So when she comes in,
she has kind of
a resolute feeling about that.
And she wants to get back to that,
but she also has to kind of fight
for that to exist for other people.
People have lives on the timeline, Mobius.
They have to have the chance
to live those lives.
The beauty of the writing
is that everyone has a journey.
And, like, for me personally,
I start off in my full armor
and Time Stick and bringing down gods.
I end with a crooked tie and no armor.
She becomes softer and softer
and she's moving towards
who she once was on the timeline
rather than what the TVA made her.
MOBIUS: No turning back now.
Who said anything about turning back?
OWEN WILSON: The scene today is,
Loki is returning to the timeline
to find Mobius,
who is living his original life
where he is working
Actually, right here, yeah.
It's called "Piranha."
Piranha Powersports.
And they offer, you know,
things like this.
Well, they say the personal watercraft
is kind of the thinking man's dirt bike.
Come on,
you ready for your Poseidon moment?
Jump up on this bad boy.
How do I create a persona between Don
that's different from Mobius?
Well, Don is a salesman.
And so, it kind of has a bit of that
personality in trying to make a sale.
Hey, you know the Hawaiian word "mana"?
It means "spiritual life force
that permeates the whole universe."
You ready to jump up on this bad boy
and start sucking up the mana?
And Mobius is a little bit more
of a cynical detective type.
You gotta be careful when you've been
doing this as long as I have
because you can start to phone it in
if you're not careful.
Because it all gets
a little bit predictable, stale.
But you are breathing new life
into this song.
WRIGHT: The situation is funny,
the world is funny.
The characters have
have character to them.
Like, Mobius can be eccentric
because Loki is eccentric, he just is.
But, like, they don't
see themselves that way.
They're the straight man
in this absurd world.
Wind in the hair,
little mist slapping you in the face.
And nothing but open water
in front of you.
Man, I feel
like I'm shredding glass today.
On the timeline,
O.B. is a sci-fi writer.
QUAN: His name is A.D. Doug.
PhD, extremely smart guy.
But he's a passionate writer.
And he writes these amazing
science-fiction novels
that nobody wants to read.
Hey, look! You're lucky.
You should really give this a try.
And right now,
we are in his garage, his workshop.
And it is one of the coolest sets
I've ever seen.
What's so surprising on this series
is that a lot of the sets are practical.
And it's something that I'm used to
because back in the '80s,
that's how we made movies.
And it's really a sight to behold.
Is this room safe?
Yeah, this whole area
is totally abandoned.
No one's around for miles.
CORDERO: Knowing that you were plucked
from a timeline
to work at the TVA
just gives you a lot to wonder
about who this person was before this.
Casey. Thank God you're here.
How'd you get here?
How did I get where? Where's here?
Alcatraz.
Being able to see Casey as a Variant
and doing these Alcatraz scenes
was awesome.
The fact that Casey was this prisoner,
I thought that was the coolest turn.
I remember when looking
at the script, going like,
"This is not what you really want me
to do. This is amazing."
You gotta find your own way off this rock.
Sorry, pal.
We meet Brad Wolfe in Episode 1,
and he's looking
at Mobius's jet ski magazine.
And part of that is him
just realizing, like,
"Wait a second,
there is a greater world out there
"that I haven't really experienced."
WRIGHT: He's gone back in time,
he sort of gamed the system.
He can't go back
and make Star Wars,
he can't do something giant that's going
to change the course of history.
But he could go, "Well, what if I
start making comic book movies?
"What if I start doing these things
before they got really big?"
X-5 is an actor now?
Or he's undercover.
Looks pretty real to me.
Behind us is the Zaniac premiere
in the 1970s.
There's a big crowd here ready
to see movie superstar Brad Wolfe
in his leading role as the Zaniac.
And Loki and Mobius have shown up
to try to figure out why X-5's tracker
is leading them here.
And they're astonished to find that
he's this completely different person now
and they need to get
to the bottom of it.
How do you feel about
your meteoric rise to fame?
I don't know how I feel, but I look good.
Come on, look at this.
Pretty darn good.
I think Brad's movie is probably
not going to stand the test of time.
Come on, Mobius.
You're gonna ruin my life here.
Your life here?
You know, getting to burst through doors
and, you know, run down alleyways
and jump down staircases
and go underground at times,
and do this crazy maze
getting chased by a god,
is always an adventure in itself.
You're doing your own stunts now?
Real cute.
DI MARTINO: I remember
having a conversation
with Kevin Wright, the producer,
after we shot that scene
where Sylvie kills He Who Remains.
And it was the last scene that we shot
in Atlanta, on Series 1.
And he said to me,
"Where do you think Sylvie goes next?"
And I was like,
"Where do you think she goes next?
"I think she'd be really hungry."
[CHUCKLES]
And that was my lesson in being careful
what you say to producers.
Because next thing I know,
I'm in a McDonald's uniform.
Ordering everything on the menu.
How do I do this?
What would you like?
Not squirrel, not possum, not rats.
Something that's already dead,
and nothing with a face.
Please.
It's just a metaphor, really,
for Sylvie wanting
to experience what it's like
to be in the world.
And not to have to be
on the run the whole time,
not to be hiding out
in these apocalyptic places
where she's constantly in danger,
but to experience
what it's like to be normal.
HIDDLESTON: She is on
a branch of a timeline,
essentially, for the first time,
inhabiting free will.
She's never had it.
Sylvie wasn't supposed to exist.
She's not part of the Sacred Timeline
so she's been on the run from the TVA
since she was a child.
And And this is her first chance
to experiment with freedom, with choice.
Look, Loki, as much as I'd love to see
the TVA burnt down,
I have no intention of going back there.
My life's here now.
Sylvie realizes how much
she's missed out on
and she begins to make connections
with just a few human beings.
And she starts to realize
how important that is to her.
Your friends are back where they belong.
But without them
Where do I belong?
We're all writing our own stories now.
BROUSSARD: We had a really
amazing team on Season 1
and we wanted to retain
as much of that crew as possible,
so production designer
Kasra Farahani
is production designing
Season 2 as well.
He stepped into the director's chair
for one episode.
Same for visual effects supervisor
Dan DeLeeuw,
who we made a bunch of movies with
in the visual effects department.
Multiple Academy Award nominee
for that work.
And it's been fun to watch people
step into new roles and really deliver.
Similarly, we had an amazing experience
on Moon Knight with Aaron and Justin.
And they've stepped in
to kind of be the anchor director role
on this one,
directing four of the six episodes.
All four of our directors, you know,
Aaron and Justin, Dan, and Kasra,
have been so sympathetic
to what we created in the first series.
They know that it's already
a sort of live, big beast.
So they haven't come in
and just tried to change everything.
But they've each subtly put their mark
on their episodes.
A greater portion of our body of work
is characters who grow in such a way
that they become less the villain
of their own story
and more the hero
of their own story.
This is where it all started.
MOORHEAD: There's a sci-fi aspect of Loki
that dovetails very nicely
with all of our work,
and in the same way that Moon Knight
had a lot of permission to be weird,
one of the first things
that Kevin Feige ever said to us
when he was asking
if we wanted to do Season 2 was,
"We don't want you to do it
if it's not gonna be something different."
And I think that really got us
engaged with the whole thing,
that it can be as weird
as we would want it to be.
So it's not like you're going
Like that.
It's because he's still jumping,
so it's more like you're here, down.
They come from a sort of
horror background
and I can tell when they're shooting
that they love, like,
a slow zoom-in on the face,
they love a bit of symmetry,
they like creating atmosphere.
That's really fun to do as an actor,
especially because you know
that it's gonna translate well onscreen.
BENSON: When we are preparing
our shot list, or storyboards,
or whatever it is we're preparing for
in pre-production,
we literally work
with blueprints, photographs,
and sometimes models of these sets.
So there's not huge surprises
when you walk in.
MOORHEAD: When we were
developing our shots
and doing the shot list and the planning,
we wrote, you know, a dense,
roughly 12-page document
about general visual approach.
And then an hour-long video cut together
of different examples
of things that work,
things that don't,
here's what we're gonna do
and not do,
'cause the visual style
is different from Season 1.
And then, our cinematographer,
Isaac Bauman,
took that and made a 700-page book
of not just references,
typed out book,
of the entire visual language of the show
down to the smallest lights.
ISAAC BAUMAN: When you're designing
the look of a project,
the way to make it look
stylish and stylized
and have integrity, is actually to do
as little range as possible.
Create as little diversity as possible
in the amount of looks you're doing
so that the project
takes on a cohesive whole.
However, you want it
to do something different
with all these different time periods
we're visiting
because it was motivated, you know.
We couldn't ignore that motivation.
So, before we started shooting
the first episode,
we mapped all this out,
every single time period, every set.
Everything was calibrated to stand out
and be specific and motivated
by the environment that it was in.
But also by prepping so far in advance,
we made sure that every single thing
felt like a cohesive slice of the pie.
First season of Loki,
they asked me to come in and help out
in post-production
on the visual effects.
I fell in love with the show.
So when the opportunity came up,
and said, "Hey, how do you feel about
doing an episode on Season 2?"
I'm like,
I jumped at the chance.
The irony is that Episode 2
has the least amount of visual effects
in the entire season.
And the number of times
a lot of the crew came up, it's like,
"You know, it's weird
you're doing the show
"that has the least amount
of visual effects."
It's like, "Yeah, that occurred to me."
Episode 2 is very much
a kind of a conspiracy
and kind of a, like a thriller-esque thing
where they have to find Sylvie,
they need answers,
what happened at the End of Time.
When I first read the script,
it kind of felt something, you know,
plays out like The French Connection,
from a lot of the '70s movies where you
stay in the perspective of the characters
as they work
to solve the puzzle.
Dan will say, "I saw this thing
that you did in Episode 1,
"I remember this thing you did
in the table read for Episode 2.
"I don't want you to forget it.
Let's do it in take three.
"Let's do two straight,
"then that curveball one
where you're playing around."
- Zaniac.
- What about it?
- I wanna know about it.
- Oh, come on.
- Please.
- You don't care about my movie.
Brad, I saw the poster.
It looked scary.
It's not. It's not.
It's not scary.
It's elevated thriller, all right?
- It is?
- It's cinema.
Like you would know anything
about that.
DELEEUW: Even though it's,
conceptually, it's, you know,
it's like TV,
in the sense
that you have showrunners,
the studio is guiding the scripts,
but when you're brought in,
you're instantaneously brought
into the room with everyone else,
where the scripts
are being developed,
the writers and the producers
are there,
and our other directors on this season,
you're all collaborating
on everybody's episode.
We workshop the script,
and we'll have Tom there
and we'll have Owen come in
and Sophia come in,
everybody gives their perspective
on the characters,
and it keeps elevating the script
and elevating the script
And it's always the idea,
you know, that the best idea wins.
A little over the top, don't you think,
all the shadow play?
I thought it was spot on.
I've been on this team,
on this Loki ride, for quite a while now.
Since fall of 2019.
That's when we started prep
on Season 1.
And so, when this season came about,
started back up,
they asked me if I wanted
to participate in the writers' room,
which was a huge honor
and a lot of fun, and
In some ways, it made sense
because so much of the show
comes out of the world
in which it's set.
Out of that opportunity
came this even cooler opportunity
to direct Episode 3,
which is very different than the rest
of the season, I can say.
DI MARTINO: Kasra is doing these,
like, huge long takes
of really intricate scenes,
where he's doing just, like,
these big swooping, like, oners almost,
which is really cool to do
because it's a challenge.
You can really get into the flow of it
when you're not cutting all the time.
So we have different styles, okay?
I'm not sightseeing.
You're a man of action, which is fine.
I take a more slow, deliberate,
cerebral approach
because I see everything.
FARAHANI: The decision for this episode
to be set in the World's Fair
predates my involvement with the project,
but I think it's sort of a very distinct
and iconoclastic setting.
Also, it's just a very unlikely place
to find the next Variant of Kang.
I mean, if they're here, we'll find 'em.
If they're here.
Only one way to find out.
FARAHANI: So this is
the Midway Plaisance.
Some people refer to it almost
as the amusement park
or the gift shop of the World's Fair.
And the Midway was sort of
the more recreational part of it
where there were exhibitions
from different parts of the world
with a more accessible format
to working-class people.
How great is this Ferris wheel?
[CHUCKLES] Cut.
As you can see, there's blue screens
on both ends of the set.
There will be set extension.
But we were able to create
quite a good size chunk of it.
And you'll see
there's Cairo, Egyptian exhibition,
and there's a Chinese village,
and a Norwegian longhouse structure,
where there are the important statues
of the Norse gods,
from which Loki
has been excluded.
You know, sometimes I forget
that you're one of them.
You are one of them. Blows my mind.
MARTIN: Coming into Season 2,
we knew we wanted
to use He Who Remains
and a Variant of He Who Remains
in some form.
But we wanted
to subvert expectations with that
and not have that be the straight line
that people might expect.
So when we see Jonathan there
on that stage,
there is He Who Remains
and it's a totally different version
of him.
Don't be shocked
when I tell you
that time is the future of
energy.
He's a brilliant scientist,
but he's kind of born
into the wrong time.
And, so, maybe someday,
he'll become He Who Remains.
He'll become
that dangerous, formidable person.
But right now,
he's kind of this likeable character.
We're doing really great here.
We are here in great Chicago.
My name is Victor Timely.
Time is everything.
FARAHANI: In terms
of the Loom itself,
this is essentially the prototype
of the Temporal Loom that ultimately
is at the core of the TVA.
And the idea
is that Victor Timely's innovation
in concert with the information he got
from the TVA Handbook,
which was filled with O.B.'s writings,
and it's through that process
that he arrived at this prototype Loom.
My Temporal Loom
inverts the temporal decay
of the electricity flowing through it,
lowering its entropy and gathering it
into fine, organized threads of
power!
FARAHANI: And in the case
of this Victorian-era one,
the idea is that
it's weaving strands of energy
because this one is focused
on refining the efficiency
of electrical output.
Whereas the one in the TVA
applies the same sort of idea
to strands of time.
So there's a similar kind
of visual language
between this Loom
and the one in the TVA,
but this one is rendered in materials
and construction methods
from the Victorian era.
All science is fiction
until it's fact!
Mr. Timely. A moment, please.
[STAMMERS] Of course.
We need to talk about your future.
MOORHEAD: Gugu completely understood
where we were trying to bring Renslayer.
She could've easily fallen into villain
status and instead is a human being.
You're the one who sided
with a Loki over me.
Don't play the teamwork card on me now.
There is a really easy way
to take Renslayer that is one-dimensional,
which is, she wants power,
and that's it.
We just pretty strongly felt
like what it really was is,
she has been done wrong
and she genuinely has a desire
to bring stability to the TVA,
which is important.
So she is an antagonist,
but I don't think she's a villain.
- Miss Minutes?
- MISS MINUTES: Yeah?
- This is your moment.
- ROBBER BARON: Get him!
- Boo! [LAUGHS]
- [CROWD SCREAMING]
TOWNSEND: Miss Minutes is coming back
so we're gonna be seeing her quite a bit,
which is gonna be lovely,
to work with her.
When we can get her out of her trailer.
She can be quite temperamental.
Well, even before the TVA
or her, you created me.
And we worked together at the End of Time.
I'm here because I know
what a great man you can become.
EMMA MCCLEAVE: On set, they shoot
Miss Minutes with a lamp.
And we have an on-set reader
who does a really great job
working with the actors
to create the scene.
We then go away,
myself and the director Kasra,
and we cut a version
of the scene that works.
My assistant editors go in
and do their best
to comp in a version of Miss Minutes.
And then we recorded Tara's ADR.
So then you refine the scene again.
And you hope that the animation
is all going to come together.
Rising Sun Pictures did Miss Minutes
this season, she's phenomenal.
So, original orange Miss Minutes,
they revamped her a little bit
to give her a bit
of a different rig
so that she had more expression
and all that stuff.
Just watch.
PAUL: Then there's black and white
Miss Minutes that we see in Episode 3,
and initially, Kasra,
who directed that episode,
wanted her to be fully 2D cel-animated.
And we could have done it but it
would've been prohibitively expensive.
So we asked,
"Is there any way that you can rig this
"so it looks like
a 2D cel-animated figure?"
Better?
PAUL: And they were able to do it
and she looks fantastic.
With all your powers
and all your abilities,
you just kept me as your thing.
Your computer, your toy.
Instead of what I could have been.
Your girl.
FARAHANI: This is
the Temporal Core control room.
So, this set is very much influenced
by mid-century European
and Eastern European power plants,
along with some kind
of NORAD-type environments.
As you walk through
the containment corridor,
you're walking through a series
of three to four-foot thick doors.
And then ultimately, when you get
to the main door into the control room,
you know, the threshold
for that door is about nine feet.
And then you get in here,
and as you go
into the control room airlock
and you go through the airlock door,
there's another 8-foot deep
concrete threshold
that you have to move through.
The idea is that
what is outside this window
is the most awesome force,
something akin to a nuclear blast
or a volcano.
Suit up, get down the gangway
as fast as you can,
load the Multiplier, hit the green button,
launch it and get back.
DI MARTINO: It was actually really great
shooting in here with everyone,
that we did a lot of days in this room.
We did a lot of different versions
of the same events
over and over again,
almost like Groundhog Day.
Hit the green button.
Hit the green button.
That's right. Now launch it.
That's it, you've done it.
Get back, get back. Go, go!
There were some really fun times
when we were all going
a little bit stir-crazy.
Cabin fever, sort of, you know,
on the edge.
Yes.
I've spent so many days in this room.
We shot this scene,
A version, B version, C, D, E, F, G, H,
I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P
And I would go home
and I would dream about it
and have to come to set
and do it all over again.
And then go home and dream about it.
[CHUCKLES]
And then come to set and do it all over again.
I mean, I will always remember
the Temporal Core.
With the Loom,
there was quite a bit of R&D.
It was more to make sure
the thing looked real.
Art department was incredible.
They were the ones
that started the concept work.
And then we handed it off
in pre-production
to a vendor called Trixter,
who works out of Germany.
And they started to try
and make this thing function.
Initially, it was supposed to be
the size of a moon.
But the distance for it to be
how big we see it in screen
would've had to have been
so extremely far away
that it wouldn't have been functional
in a way for us to try and fix it.
Benson and Moorhead were really big on us
having a lot of color in there.
They wanted to see, like,
the full spectrum.
That Temporal Core lighting setup
was absolutely massive, it was
the biggest we did in the whole season.
You'll see as the characters
move through that space,
rainbow patterns slide over them.
You've got about five minutes.
BAUMAN: And that was actually
incredibly difficult to figure out.
The first issue is,
no existing LED unit is capable
of making a rainbow
with delineated sections of color.
So, the lighting department,
my gaffer Mark Taylor,
worked with Chris Townsend,
the VFX supervisor,
to develop with VFX tools,
a graphic design rainbow
that we had printed
on these tiny little plates,
it looks like a petri dish
microscope slide-sized little plate.
And then those,
we slid into these units
that are designed mostly
for theatrical, like,
moving LED, point source, spotlight
type of units.
And the light pushed
through the plate
and projected, in effect,
a rainbow on the scene.
However, what we discovered was,
what we put in the computer
and what was printed on the plate
and what it looked like
when the light was shining through it
were all completely different things.
So we kind of
had to work backwards from,
"All right, well,
this design looks like this
"when it's actually
being projected."
It looks nothing like the design.
So we had to make the designs
look all weird
to get it to where it looked normal
in real life, on set.
So it took all
It not only took all ten weeks of prep,
but it took, you know,
the first ten weeks of shooting
before we had moved
into the Temporal Core control room set,
to trial-and-error this thing.
Trust me. If you stop, you die.
All right.
Here we go.
CHRISTINE WADA:
The main objective with that suit was,
"Just how cumbersome
can we possibly make this thing?"
Believe it or not, that is not
an easy thing to accomplish in this scale.
You're good.
You're good.
WADA: Just getting
the materials to work out,
for instance, I R&D'd many different
treatments to the fabric
to get sort of a retro look
to this canvas,
but yet, a protective quality.
And I thought I found it with a latex
that we would spray onto this canvas.
And about three weeks in,
we discovered that it was turning pink
because the latex was reacting to UV.
Then we had to try
to find UV-protective
Anyhow, the whole thing
had to get ditched.
We had to do another, we had already
R&D'd this whole process.
But for the Temporal Core suit,
it peels away under temporal energy
and there was a
A layer underneath that was
had this reflective quilted quality.
Just figuring out how to get the,
you know,
hundreds of yards of quilting
through these machines,
we had to build
these special stretchers for it,
so it's just endless amount
of engineering feats for that.
And then also, just how does somebody
wear that much weight and scale
and not look like a walkabout costume?
You think it's gonna be really easy
to make something cumbersome for an actor,
and then you realize it's actually
not that easy. [CHUCKLES]
BENSON: There were definitely certain
trips out to the Loom launcher
that were meant to be comedic
in how darkly funny they were.
Then there was other ones
where we're just
drawing out the tension
as much as we could.
MOORHEAD: We knew that
the more cumbersome the journey,
the more painful it would be.
Kind of thinking about when,
like in Gravity,
when someone's reaching for something
and because they don't have the inertia,
it's physically impossible
for them to try harder
to reach something,
it was like that.
[GRUNTS]
Be brave. You're being so brave.
TOWNSEND: We've got several scenes
where we have characters
that walk out along the gangway
towards the Temporal Loom
in order to fix it,
or solve a certain problem,
and as a consequence,
one of the things that happens
when characters walk out there
is that they get affected
by the temporal energy.
And if they're not careful,
and if the temporal energy
is too strong,
they will start, their suits
will start degrading and spaghettifying.
So, almost all the shots you see
have got some visual effects
on the suit itself.
And we are destroying them,
degrading them in-camera,
and we're pulling threads out in this
sort of a spaghettification manner
in a similar way that we've used in
other temporal, sort of, visualizations.
So it's something that's been
a really interesting process,
trying to find that language
that sort of fits in
with the idea of it decaying.
We shot everyone
at 40 frames a second
so that they move
just a little bit more slowly.
We got great performances
from Owen and from Jonathan,
who were all in the suits.
Push the green button!
Sometimes, the suits are all CG
in some of the shots,
but we tried to use the real suits
as much as possible.
Yes!
Pumpkins.
What do I do?
It's the Sacred Timeline, or nothing.
It's not enough
to protect the Sacred Timeline, Loki.
Even down there,
it's full of death and destruction
and injustice.
Do you really wanna be the god
who takes away everyone's free will
so you can protect that?
But what good is free will
if everyone's dead?
And who are you to say
we can't die trying?
Who are you to decide
we can't die fighting?
The thing that Tom said to me
very, very early in Season 2
was if this is about Loki
becoming the best version of himself,
you can't become
the best version of yourself
without accepting your past.
Which means accepting all of it,
warts and all.
And there was an interesting thing of,
like, to become a true, true, true hero,
a guy who is never going to benefit
from any of these choices he makes
He's gonna get that throne
he always wanted,
but it's not in the way
that he ever anticipated.
He wants to be with his friends, he can't.
To make a true sacrificial play,
he has got to truly understand who he is.
Loki, what are you doing?
I know what I want.
I know what kind of god I need to be
for you.
For all of us.
WRIGHT: And when he steps into
the Temporal Loom and sacrifices himself,
I think that's a moment
that's been coming for Loki,
that we haven't seen.
We wanted to truly have him step up
from lowercase-G god,
to capital-G God.
There was a draft of the script
of the very end, the very end.
Something wasn't sitting right
with both of us about it.
And the issue was, this draft
didn't have Loki destroying the Loom.
He saved the Loom from imploding
and then ascended the throne.
We all knew something was up,
we didn't know what.
'Cause it was like,
he's trying to save the Loom,
he gets the throne, all of this.
But the problem was,
is that he didn't have the sacrifice
and we realized,
why doesn't he destroy the Loom
and then have to take over
the Loom's massive responsibility?
He doesn't get anything out of it.
It seems so obvious now,
it seems like exactly the right choice.
But that was a watershed moment
in the development of it,
when we realized Loki needs
to destroy and become the Loom.
TOWNSEND: We see
his normal clothes shed off
and reveal his final Loki costume
and his horns begin to grow back.
We've already shot Tom
climbing these stairs
and ascending to what will become,
effectively, his throne,
as he then holds onto time
and holds it all together.
That was a pretty epic sort of moment.
WADA: Tonally, that was
a very tough costume to land on
because it needed
to have a monastic quality,
but he also has a history
of wanting the throne, to be a king.
And he's kind of
positioning himself to be
looking over everything
in the manner of a king, but humble.
And humbled by the weight
of that responsibility,
so it's just figuring out how that costume
could say all those things.
- The grand finale.
- The grand finale of Loki.
- Yeah.
- Seasons 1 and 2.
It's resonant, it's moving,
'cause he's been through so much.
And so much struggle
and so much suffering, and
So many questions.
And to sort of come back,
it feels like it's
a reacceptance of something.
Or a redefinition of himself, somehow.
And I think it's interesting
that from the beginning,
we always talked,
I mean, from November,
- we talked about it being organic.
- Yeah.
- And it is that organic part of Loki.
- Yeah.
- It's real. It's a toss-up.
- It's very real.
It's an inter
It's the inside on the outside.
WADA: It is. Yes.
HIDDLESTON: So, what I love about it is,
it's familiar in its colors
and in its shape,
but it's new in its humility.
- So, gone are the
- WADA: Armors.
HIDDLESTON: the armor and the metal
and the breastplates.
- It's kind of a hybrid.
- It's more vulnerable.
It is. And it's a hybrid of, like,
sort of a king and a monk.
- Right?
- Yeah. Yeah.
These are
These are the robes of someone
who might be dedicated to a purpose
- beyond the self.
- WADA: Right.
HIDDLESTON: And these are
the garments of purpose and practice.
WADA: And weight.
HIDDLESTON: And weight.
- Yeah.
- WADA: Yeah.
HIDDLESTON: Was it Mobius
who says in Episode 6,
"Sometimes purpose
is more burden than glory.
"You choose your burden."
And so, this is him
accepting that mantle.
WRIGHT: The first ten years of movies
with Loki was about the glory.
He was a villain,
he was chasing a throne.
This season is about him learning
that his glorious purpose
is to carry the burden
of everyone else.
He's embracing the caring person
that he's turned into
through these two seasons,
but he's also embracing his past
and his status as an Asgardian god
to hold everything together
and to save his friends.
He's giving us a chance.
His magical power as a demigod
is enhanced because he realizes
that this
this authority he has
over coordinating and managing time
is, in fact, where the story ends.
And it's his only resistance
against the grand plan of He Who Remains.
There was a huge opportunity here
to show a character evolve
from being petty to being
someone who sacrifices for others
and feels the value of that.
And to tell that story,
especially today, was a gift.
I think what was also really important
is that the sacrifice
weren't just a superhero sacrifice,
it was one where he never even
gets to see the benefits of it.
He doesn't get to save his friends
and then hang out with them.
It is a pure sacrifice.
He is Atlas at the End of Time
holding it all together.
And then that came from wanting
to tell a story
that had, like, a mythic weight to it,
that's befitting the Norse mythology
that all of this is built on.
I remember,
over two years ago,
I put this on for Season 1.
And Season 1 felt like a new beginning
because we were stripping Loki
of everything that was familiar to him,
it was taking him away from Asgard
and Thor and Odin.
A new beginning,
a new story, a new chapter.
And wearing this jumpsuit and hoping
that the audience would accept
and be inspired by our new story.
No matter how hard you work,
there's always that sense of uncertainty.
You think, "Well, I hope they love it,
"and I hope they are as excited
and interested in this new idea as I am."
And I feel so fortunate
and so grateful to the audience
'cause people really
seem to be interested
in the ideas and the characters
and the world and the TVA
and the performances and all these
great new actors in the MCU.
So, my feeling
is one of immense gratitude and,
to be completely honest,
profound excitement.
Previous Episode