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Marvel Studios' LOKI creators share why the MCU still benefits from the concept of time and the multiverse

Writer Eric Martin and directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead talk with us at PaleyFest in Los Angeles.

Marvel Studios’ LOKI cast and creatives at PaleyFest at the Dolby Theatre on April 13, 2024.

The biggest critique that audiences of Marvel Studios and their films and TV shows have voiced is the overuse of time and the concept of the Multiverse.

Both are used as narrative tools extensively in the Disney+ series LOKI, which was celebrated at a multi-day panel event that brought together the cast and creatives of this season’s most popular TV programs called PaleyFest in Los Angeles, California.

Before the LOKI team’s on-stage conversation, the creative leaders of the show spoke to DisneyExaminer about the time and Multiverse critique, effectively saying that both should never be the focus.

“For the second season of LOKI, we wanted it to be less about time travel and the Multiverse and more about the characters,” said writer and executive producer Eric Martin. “Both are just the canvas we’re using, but every scene I write wasn’t thought through how many places we can go or universes we can travel to.”

Martin went on to say that the character development often happens through situations and places, and thinks that the narrative arc of Loki, Sylvie, Mobius, He Who Remains, and even new characters like Oroborous (played by Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan) continued authentically with the help of time travel and Multiverse implications.

Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead echoed Martin’s thoughts, saying that they were invited into the writers room for the show because they did Indie films that had time anomalies in them. “Those films had the focus of how the concept of time changes an individual, so it really felt like a good fit for us and Marvel Studios’ leadership,” said Benson who continued saying that they still needed to be taught about the Multiverse and how to play within that “sandbox.”

When pressed about giving a response to those who were tired of the time and Multiverse elements, Moorhead acknowledged the critique saying that it is a valid argument because “time and Multiverse devices are unfalsifiable.” “You can use them for anything, but if you build rules within them like what Marvel Studios executives shared with us at the beginning, then you stop getting into trouble because there are rules to play by for the characters and as you write for them,” added Moorhead.

Regarding how to then keep all those timelines and universes accurate and succinct with an understandable story, Martin said that he had his own internal rule to keep it all in line- keep it simple. “If I could keep the entire story in my head and kept the time travel and Multiverse devices tied to a simple logic, I knew I was creating within reason,” Martin said. He continued, “And I’m a simple logic guy, so if it could all stay in my head, our hope was that it could track in audiences’ heads as well.”

So however you think of LOKI, Marvel Studios use of time and the Multiverse, you can bet that both will still be a part of their films and TV shows for the foreseeable future (or For All Time, Always).

DisneylandForward Indeed.

Concept art of the DisneylandForward project.

  • DisneylandForward, the multi-year, multi-billion-dollar expansion plan for the Disneyland Resort was approved unanimously in a 7-0 vote by the Anaheim City Council after an eight-hour meeting in the early hours of April 17. A second and final vote will need to come in May before Disney can break ground and begin construction on the project. More information can be found on the official DisneylandForever website.

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