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Loki TV series release date, cast, and plot

In November of 2019, the Walt Disney Company will launch Disney+, a sprawling new streaming service that will unite the many Disney brands under one umbrella for a variety of both pre-existing films and TV series and all-new original programming. That means we're getting new original streaming series from the likes of Pixar, Lucasfilm, and of course, Marvel Studios. 

Marvel's new Disney+ offerings will take the form of series that directly tie into the events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starring the actors who first brought the characters to life on the big screen. Loki, a new series starring Tom Hiddleston in the title role of Asgard's God of Mischief, was among the first Marvel series announced, and while we have to wait a couple of years to see it, the excitement is already building. So, whether you're a die hard Loki fan just looking for a refresher or a Marvel newbie looking to get all the details for the first time, here's everything we know so far about the upcoming Loki series from Disney+.

What's the release date for Loki on Disney+?

For a few months in 2018, it felt like we might have finally seen the last of Loki, who'd been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for nearly a decade, co-starring in three Thor adventures and two Avengers team-ups along the way. Then, Marvel revealed that while Loki may have actually died in Avengers: Infinity War, there was still more story left to tell. In November of 2018, it was confirmed that Tom Hiddleston would return as Loki for an all-new series on Disney+. 

From there, it became a matter of figuring out just how long we'd have to wait to see Loki's new adventures on the screen. We got to see the character briefly during one of the time travel sequences in Avengers: Endgame, but we'll still have to wait a little while longer to see Hiddleston's Loki fully returned to his former glory. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con that Loki will arrive on Disney+ in the spring of 2021, as part of the fourth phase of the MCU.

How many episodes will Loki have?

Loki is arriving along with a number of other Disney+ series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including The Falcon and the Winter SoldierWandaVision, and Hawkeye. With some of these projects, it might be easy to guess what kind of story we're in for, as our heroes carry after the fallout of Avengers: Endgame. With Loki, however, we have a trickster god who has so far been a major antagonist (or an antihero, in his best moments), and was last seen on the loose in the past with the Tesseract in hand. 

Because of Loki's unique premise, the series has the chance to make its own rules to a certain extent, and that includes exactly how long the story will be. After all, we've spent more time with Loki at this point than we have with certain supporting heroic characters in the MCU, so how long can we expect yet another story with him in the lead to be? 

Marvel finally provided some numbers at the D23 Expo in August 2019, when it was revealed that the series will be composed of six hour-long episodes. Could there be a second season beyond that? Perhaps, but for now the Loki series is set to be at least somewhat brief.

The cast of Loki

The Loki series is still more than two years away from its premiere date, which means there's plenty of time left for Disney and Marvel to announce new and returning cast members. Sadly, that means we don't really know much about the show's cast yet. It's called Loki, of course, and we've known since November 2018 that Tom Hiddleston will indeed be back in the title role. 

The cool thing about this show's premise is the potential for it to go just about anywhere, including to visit characters who have already passed on in the prime MCU timeline. That means some old Asgardian friends could show up, ranging from Odin to Volstagg to even Loki's adoptive mother Frigga. The presence of the Tesseract also means he could end up crossing paths with pretty much anyone from across the Marvel cosmos. The sky seems to be the limit for this show, which is part of what makes it so enticing.

Loki's creative team

We still don't know too much about who will appear in front of the camera in Loki besides the God of Mischief himself, but we're starting to learn a bit more about who'll be doing some of the work behind the scenes. As with all projects under the official umbrella of the MCU, we can expect studio president and superproducer Kevin Feige to have at least one guiding hand on the wheel, but he's not even the most hands-on creative force we know about. 

In February 2019, writer and producer Michael Waldron, whose credits include Rick and Morty and Community, signed on to the series as showrunner, making him the person steering the creative ship for the show. At the D23 Expo in August of 2019, Feige also introduced the series' director, Kate Herron, whose credits include the miniseries Five by Five and the Netflix comedy Sex Education. These are the people responsible for crafting a new direction for the God of Mischief while also tying it all back to the Loki we know and love from the MCU. 

Wow, Owen Wilson joins the cast of Loki

Loki was first announced as a TV series in 2018, months after the character's apparent death in Avengers: Infinity War, and since then the show has come together rather slowly. That's meant that, while we've known about the basic concept at the heart of the show and even the behind-the-camera creative team for a while, it's taken a bit longer for Hiddleston's co-stars on the series to come forward. That changed in a big way in January of 2020, when ComicBook.com reported that Owen Wilson had joined the cast in what will apparently be a "major role." 

Sadly, the rest of the report could only speculate on exactly who Wilson will be playing in the series, but of course the site noted that his presence could represent a comedic tone for the series. Wilson is a veteran of comedy and action-comedy, but he's also no stranger to roles that mix the funny and the dramatic, thanks to his frequent collaboration with director Wes Anderson. For now, we can only guess how Wilson will be worked into Loki, but his reported presence in the new series signaled that production seemed to be ramping up in 2020. 

Loki casts a leading lady

Though Loki is a show that's been on the radar for fans for quite some time, it's also a show that's been handled with typical Marvel secrecy. That means that, even as the series comes together behind the scenes and the first glimpses of footage make their way out into the world, we still don't actually know much about the way the story will unfold, or even if we'll see other fan-favorite Marvel characters along the way. What we do know, though, is who'll be joining Tom Hiddleston's God of Mischief in a big way. 

Deadline reported in February of 2020 that acclaimed English actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw has joined the cast. While we know nothing official about her role, the report did describe Mbatha-Raw as "the female lead" in the series, setting the stage for her to be Loki's new foil over the course of his streaming adventures. So, who could she be playing? Well, this series is sending the Loki we know into a parallel universe for new adventures, which means there could already be a Loki there, and the Loki of Marvel Comics has been known to change appearances quite a bit. Could the Loki of this new universe look like Gugu Mbatha-Raw? That's just speculation at this point, but it could be very exciting.

Another major actor joins the cast of Loki

Once the casting for Loki began to really expand beyond Tom Hiddleston as star, lots of exciting names started to join the fray, and in March of 2020 another major actor became a part of the series. Variety reported that Richard E. Grant, an Oscar-nominated actor whose most powerful work includes films like Withnail and I and Can You Ever Forgive Me?, has signed on for a key supporting role in the series alongside Owen Wilson and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Like all the other casting news so far, Grant's specific role is being kept a secret, but Variety's source noted he is only expected to appear in one episode of the series. 

So, what kind of major guest starring part could require Grant? He's already lent his presence to other major sci-fi franchises in recent years, appearing in Logan and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but in generally smaller roles. Is this another one and done for Grant, or something with bigger implications? So far, fan speculation has offered everything from Kang the Conqueror to Immortus, both of which are characters who could lead to a bigger MCU role for Grant down the line. For the moment, though, we can't be sure. 

What do we know about Loki's story?

We learned in the summer of 2019 that we can expect Loki to arrive on Disney+ in the spring of 2021, which means we probably shouldn't expect to see any footage until at least 2020. That's sad, but it doesn't mean we are completely without a clue as to what the series will bring. 

In June and July of 2019, Marvel Studios released two quick looks at what's ahead for the God of Mischief on his new adventure, both vague but intriguing. As part of a Disney investor presentation, Feige revealed an image of Loki in what appeared to be 1970s New York City, as evidenced by the cars around him and a theater marquee advertising Jaws. This, of course, further underlines our expectation that time travel will factor into Loki's story.

We've also gotten a logo, released by Marvel Studios during San Diego Comic-Con. Once again, the mismatched aesthetic here is all about showing us how Loki is able to hop around time and through various cultures, potentially affecting the course of history along the way.

Loki's excellent adventure through time

The timeline that led to us getting a full-fledged Loki streaming series has been a bit convoluted, to put it mildly. First the character apparently died for real (after faking his death twice previously) in Avengers: Infinity War in the spring of 2018. Then, months later we learned that Tom Hiddleston wasn't actually done playing the character and would be back on Disney+ in the near future. And then, we saw the Loki of The Avengers disappear with the Tesseract during the events of Endgame, which seemed to create an opening for his new series. 

It was all a lot to absorb, and it meant we knew about the Loki show before we knew exactly how Marvel could justify bringing Loki back without spoiling Endgame. Their answer: Well, Loki's been around for a long time, right?

Back when the series was first announced and starting to build its creative team, reports teased that it would feature the God of Mischief embarking on adventures throughout history, where he'd prove to be an "unlikely influencer on historical events."

Where did Loki go in Endgame, anyway?

For quite a while, we were looking forward to a Loki series that, for all we knew, was set in the past simply because the Loki we knew was no longer alive in the present. That all changed with Avengers: Endgame, which revealed that the Loki of 2012 got his hands on the Tesseract shortly after the Battle of New York. As Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo later confirmed, this created an alternate timeline in which the version of Loki we knew from The Avengers was able to survive and live on. 

Feige later confirmed this at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 while discussing the upcoming series, noting that Loki will confirm "where he went" after getting his hands on the Space Stone and using it to escape the Avengers' custody. Hiddleston further elaborated, noting the mental state the character must have been in at the time.

"You guys saw Avengers right? So he's still that guy," Hiddleston said. "And just about the last thing that happened to him was he got Hulk-smashed. So there's a lot of psychological evolution that is still yet to happen."