As Marvel continues its exploration of the television space through its Disney+ outings, the studio has had to deal with some new challenges. With the extended-release schedule and cliffhanger-like structure of TV, these shows are even more open to wild speculation and fan theories, some of which have set unrealistic expectations.
In the wake of WandaVision's season finale, a sect of viewers were disappointed at the absence of any Mephisto reveal. Throughout the show's release, fans theorized that the demonic figure would be revealed to be behind the scenes of the surreal series, leaving some upset and confused. Even so, WandaVision creator Jac Schaeffer and series star Kathryn Hahn later admitted that they had never even heard of the character.
As Loki looks to deal in the same mind-bending madness and cameo-laden context as WandaVision, similar theories have already gained traction, especially with one clip showing a stained-glass window portraying a devil figure.
MEPHISTO MISSING IN ACTION?
Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Loki director Kate Herron and writer Michael Waldron touched on the rumors of a Mephisto connection in the series. Referring to a specific devil image in a recent teaser, Herron noted that the visual reference was "not a nod to that character":
"It's honestly just a super weird coincidence. Like, it's genuinely a reference to Loki -- the horns, he was cast out of heaven, that's what it's a reference to. Because we filmed that a long time before-- I think WandaVision must have been in post when we filmed that. I did see all the stuff about that online and I was like, 'Oh, this is going to be interesting.' [Laughs] But no, it's more relevant to the themes of our show and it's not a nod to that character."
Even so, Waldron acknowledged the appeal of Mephisto, saying that "it would be interesting if he ever showed up in the MCU."
STEERING CLEAR OF MARKETING MIS-STEPS
This early response to well-circulated fan theories is quite telling. On one hand, it is a smart move to get ahead of potentially misleading fan theories before the show even starts. By preempting this sort of speculation, Marvel can be sure that the focus will be on the story and characters of the series, not wild, if potentially exciting reveals.
Additionally, these comments show an awareness of the fan community. It seems that the creative team behind Loki is well aware of the kind of fan response to expect, working to set the proper expectations for the upcoming series.
Hopefully, Loki will be able to deliver the same intrigue and astonishment as previous MCU shows like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, without the speculation-driven disappointment. To see what the show has to offer, fans will have to wait until June 9, when the first episode drops on Disney+.