COVID-19 forced Marvel Studios to miss a full year of content releases for the first time since 2009.
While some projects only suffered release date delays due to the pandemic, most were forced to go on indefinite pause in the middle of production, and others were rumored to have their storylines significantly altered. Even with the inconvenient scheduling shake-up, the talent involved refused to let any hold-ups stall their momentum.
NEVER REST, NEVER RUST
The God of Mischief waits for no one.
Speaking on The Deadline Podcast, Loki director Kate Herron discussed the eight-month filming hiatus the series went through. Herron noted that instead of holding out for production to resume, she did what she could to continue work on the show during lock down.
"When we were locked down for example, I had these four months where, you know I didn't know it was going to be four months, but I was just like, 'I'm going to make the best of it.' I started editing everything we filmed already, and I think something that became really clear when we were cutting all our footage together was just that the heart and the tone of it was definitely leaning towards, you know, the show definitely wears its heart on its sleeve."
As she clipped together the readily available footage, Herron noted she picked up on "little nuances" from various actors' performances that she didn't notice during filming. Once production resumed, Herron encouraged these nuances to shine brighter in the character-centric scenes:
"The real fun thing is as you're cutting into the footage is you see these little nuances that all the actors are doing, and you're like, 'Oh, that's really fun. That's great. Let's push that further in the second half.' So we definitely, based off these cuts I was doing, [we] went back into the scripts and the scenes we hadn't filmed yet when we were able to go back to filming, and it definitely informed the rest of the story going forward, for sure. Just because you know, the nature of making anything, you just get a better handle on the tone of what it is you're actually going for, and what's landing and what's not landing."
THE SHOW GOES ON
There's something positive that can be taken away from every negative, and Loki seems to have found its silver lining.
Herron approached the hiatus exactly how filmmakers work in post-production. Just about every big-budget blockbuster schedules reshoots months after filming wraps because they anticipate needing to add scenes once the bigger picture becomes clearer.
Herron's analysis of what was and wasn't working with only half the show shot allowed her to re-enter production with a clearer vision of where to go, which basically bypasses an entire step of production.
Hearing how she picked up on the "little nuances" from performances and consequently decided to "push [them] further in the second half" only emphasizes how clean of a story Loki is shaping up to be. Rather than waititing until the game ended, Herron took her coach's clipboard at halftime, saw specific things that working, and made tweaks to her game plan entering the third quarter.
Those nuances that got a second half push will likely remain a mystery until Tom Hiddleston's solo series airs in completion, but will be fun to look out for regardless.
Loki streams every Wednesday, exclusively on Disney+.