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There has been much chatter and debate within the Tom Hiddleston and Marvel fandoms lately, and it hasn’t been about the upcoming film Thor: the Dark World which hits cinemas on November 8. Some of Hiddleston’s fans are determined that Loki should get his own film in the Marvel universe, along with the films for Iron Man, Captain America, and the rest of the Avengers.
Thanks to Hiddleston, Loki has become one of the most popular characters in the entire Marvel universe. The character could have just as easily become a flat character that was only out to get revenge on the brother who got everything, and the father who never loved him. But Hiddleston’s talent and care made Loki a character that everyone ended up rooting for, even though he is the villain. And, hey, not many people could pull off those horns and Hiddleston did it fantastically.
So this is where the discussion begins. Should Loki, the villain, have his own Marvel movie? While it would be wonderful to see the character have his own film, and for Hiddleston to have a true starring role as Loki, there are reasons why the film might not work, and why it doesn’t need to happen.
A petition was actually started a while ago, in which fans petitioned Marvel Studios to make a Loki solo film.
“The character Loki, as portrayed by Tom Hiddleston in the films Thor, Thor 2, and The Avengers (2012), has become one of the most recognizable and cherished film characters in recent years,” the petition reads “Hence, we respectfully yet strongly request Marvel put into action a full-length feature film production based on the Marvel character Loki portrayed by Tom Hiddleston.”
Clearly, a lot of fans think that the film would be a good idea, because the petition has gained nearly 28,000 signatures since it was started. There has been much talk surrounding the petition since. So much, that it has reached the ears of Hiddleston himself in an interview.
An interviewer from Collider brought up an excellent point about Loki’s character in an interview with Hiddleston, saying that Loki works best when he is bouncing off of other characters. How can we forget his wonderful, witty banter with Tony Stark, Thor, and, of course, Black Widow in The Avengers last year?
“Loki defines himself in opposition to Thor,” Hiddleston said in the interview. “There is no Thor without Loki. There is no Loki without Thor, and part of his nature is that he defines himself in opposition to other people.”
Loki is the yang to everyone else’s yin, so a solo film just for him probably wouldn’t work well in terms of the writing and plot, and even character development, even if we all know that Hiddleston would be wonderful in the role no matter what. The wittiness and snarkiness of Loki’s character would be lost if he didn’t have the good guys to be paired with and bounce all of that sass off of. On Hiddleston’s terms, Thor would have to be in the film with Loki for the character to be as strong as he is in the three that he has been seen in so far, and where would that place Thor? Would he have to be the antagonist and Loki the protagonist? We’ll talk about that more later.
Hiddleston admitted that he is completely flattered that his fans want there to be a Loki film, but that “there is no movement on it” as of right now.
Let’s look at some logistics. Even with Hiddleston in a Marvel film, the takings from the box office do not seem like they would match the takings from the Iron Man films. Thor 2 already has a projected weekend opening of $75 million, according to Yahoo Movies, which is only nearly half the opening weekend that Iron Man 2 had back in 2010, when it made $128.1 million. This is never to say that a Loki film would not be profitable for Marvel, but the popularity projected by the urgent fan petition may end up not being so high as fans think it will be. Fangirls alone cannot make a movie float.
Perhaps the point that we all must address in the debate about a Loki film is that, at the moment, Hiddleston has already made three films with everyone’s beloved trickster character in them. There has never been a Marvel villain who has appeared in so many Marvel films before, and who has had such a large presence in all three. As much as we all love Loki, and as much as we all know that Hiddleston loves Loki, it’s safe to say that it’s time for the Marvel universe to move on from the character.
I’m not saying that I’m getting tired of the character because even I would love to see more from him, but there is really no way to make a film with Loki as the protagonist, especially after he has been the villain in three huge films.
Loki is, by nature, the antagonist and always has been. The only way for him to come out of Thor 2 as the protagonist would be for him to be redeemed by the end of the film and end up as a hero, and such a feat does not seem likely for the character. There have been rumors and different clips from the film that show the likelihood that Loki will (once again) betray his brother and turn back to the side of evil. And, as all the Thor 2 trailers have Thor saying, “If you betray me, I will kill you.” That isn’t looking so good for Loki already.
Marvel has never attempted a film in which the lead is the villain before. As The Guardian so aptly points out, Marvel has only ever gone so far as to make films with antiheroes as the lead.
And this is why we could never see Loki as the hero of the story, and why a film with him as the hero wouldn’t work. He simply can’t be the good guy and we can’t ever imagine him as one. Loki is a trickster by nature, and has never been anything but a villain. What could be the outcome of a film with the villain as the lead? In a battle of good vs. evil, evil always loses, and we know that. And Hiddleston’s fans don’t want to see Loki lose. A Loki film ending with him, as the villain, triumphing over everyone seems incredibly unlikely; perhaps, just as unlikely as seeing him completely redeemed as a character.
For all these reasons, a Loki solo film just doesn’t seem like it could work and, therefore, doesn’t need to happen. It would be great to see Loki on his own, doing dastardly deeds and laughing maniacally as he does, but a premise surrounding him as the title character of a film doesn’t seem like one that would be effective and wouldn't give Hiddleston’s character the justice that he deserves.