Fans may get close with their trailer detective work, but Marvel Studios is always one step ahead.
For years now, Marvel Cinematic Universe projects have used deleted scenes in their marketing material. From Spidey and Iron Man's flyby in Spider-Man: Homecoming to the infamous running in Wakanda shot from Avengers: Infinity War, MCU marketing is known to throw in misdirects.
Most recently, Loki was subject to two. Leading into the season finale, fans awaited both King Loki and Stark Tower's "Glorious" scenes to make their way to the streaming screen, but neither Tom Hiddleston scenes showed face. Both frames were revealed to be deleted scenes, with the former coming early in the series when Loki was shown his life in the time theater.
With clear context to where King Loki would've ended up, series director Kate Herron has now revealed what would've gone down at Stark Tower.
RETURNING TO 2012's AVENGERS
Loki almost began extremely differently.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Direct, Loki director Kate Herron revealed the "glorious" scene within Stark Tower took place "before the Avengers arrive" and would've kicked off the show:
"Originally, I’d filmed a bit basically that it’s just him in the mirror before the Avengers arrive, and that’s where that would’ve gone. That, I guess, would’ve been our opening."
Herron elaborated on the context of the Tom Hiddleston scene, noting it would've come "before anything kicks off" in the Battle of New York from 2012's The Avengers:
"We restructured a bit at the beginning because we added that in with the Hulk smash. Originally, it was written as the opening of the show, but then we took it out and we added in bits from the films, and yeah. But essentially, it actually would’ve been beforehand, because it’s before the Avengers… I’m trying to remember. It [was] meant to be an earlier in the day moment. Basically, before anything kicks off. I think also that’s why structurally we were like, ‘It’s cool, but it kind of, it feels like you want it to be a part of almost like a bigger montage.’"
According to Herron, the scene ultimately ended up hitting the cutting room floor because it didn't make sense "pace-wise:"
"I think when we were just cutting it together it just didn’t for us feel like the most dynamic and grab you by the hand way to open the show. I think we were more excited by used footage that hadn’t been used in the films, like the bit where he waves, the close-up. We filmed that. But I think for me it was about twisting the POV of that scene that we all know where he escapes, and sort of starting there. It kind of just felt like shoe leather I guess in that sense. We don’t actually need this. It’s cool, but it’s not… Pace-wise, it’s just not as dynamic as it could’ve been for the opening of the show."
Ultimately, the decision to opt-out of this potential opening came from the team deciding that they needed to "just cut to the chase:"
"I think we just felt that actually we should probably just cut to the chase. You know what I mean? Just get stuck into it. I’m trying to remember it properly now. I think it was just basically, as you mentioned, structural reasons, where it would go, 'How will it fit in with actual footage, where Loki would be?' Yeah, I think for us it was just about pace, honestly. It was like, let’s just get stuck into it. Get it moving along so we can get to the desert."
MORE BATTLE OF NEW YORK CONTEXT
Eagle-eyed fans pieced together that this trailer footage took place within Stark Tower due to a familiar mirror, and it sent speculation into a frenzy. In the week leading up to the season finale of Loki, many theorized that this absent footage meant Tom Hiddleston's God of Mischief would return to New York by the end of the last episode.
In reality, "glorious" was just an alternate way to kick off the show.
While it would've been fun to see new perspectives from The Avengers, it ultimately would've stalled momentum. Herron noted that "it feels like you want it to be a part of almost like a bigger montage," which would've taken a significant chunk of the premiere's runtime.
As cool as it could've been, choices like these are integral to good storytelling. Scenes are meant to further the narrative, and while "glorious" would've added more context, it wouldn't have propelled the story forward.
All six episodes from Loki's first season are streaming now, exclusively on Disney+.