Loki season 2 scripts have been already written when Marvel casting director Sarah Halley Finn noticed an early screening of Every little thing In all places All at As soon as in 2022. It was March 2022, the film was nearly to go nationwide and take over the movie panorama for the subsequent a number of months, and he or she was optimistic they needed to snap up Ke Huy Quan. Quick.
“We had plenty of our casting, however we have been beginning to fill these new roles,” Loki govt producer Kevin Wright says. “[Finn] mentioned, I could make you an inventory of different folks, however I believe it is best to meet Ke, I believe it must be Ke, and you must make a proposal, like, this weekend, in any other case we are going to in all probability lose him as a result of this film’s about to explode.”
Wright says issues moved quick from there: He and another people hopped on a Zoom with Quan on a Friday evening, and despatched him the pages for an early scene. Fortunately for them, Quan was already a “large Marvel fan” and was notably keen on Loki season 1.
Actually, it’s fortunate for all of us — in only a single scene (the truth is, the very one he obtained pages for) in episode 1 of Loki season 2, Quan not solely proves once more that he’s that good, but in addition establishes simply how wacky and enjoyable Loki can actually be.
Photograph: Gareth Gatrell/Marvel Studios
The scene is straightforward: Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Mobius (Owen Wilson) try to determine why Loki retains time-slipping inside the Time Variance Authority workplace, one thing that should be not possible. Ouroboros (Quan) is the man within the analysis basement they go to see, who’s largely shocked that his previous pal Mobius (who completely remembers each him and his nickname, O.B.) has come to see him once more. As Loki continues slipping via time, O.B. slowly — slowly — remembers that, oh, that’s proper, he’s truly seen that man earlier than! One time previously, the place Loki (and a youthful O.B.) is true now! And are available to think about it, he was having a time-slipping drawback again then, too.
It’s the precise intersection of Marvel technobabble and banter that would simply fade into the background or make your eyes glaze over. However Quan retains the entire thing afloat like he’s bopping a seashore ball. As Mobius and Loki every independently attempt to maintain him on activity, he appears genuinely delighted with every revelation from his time-travel-altered reminiscence. And with every flip of the scene — from the comedic to the genuinely plot-relevant — Quan is sport and in a position.
With Quan because the humorous spine of the scene, Loki will get to interact in some basic time-travel humor with aplomb. O.B. reacts the identical means previously and the current to Loki’s slipping, or remembers that really he has that doohickey proper there, fairly actually only for an event like this. It’s precisely what Loki wants. Whereas the primary season had plenty of floor to cowl — establishing this Loki variant, and the opposite Loki variant, Sylvie, and the entire idea of the TVA, simply in time for establishing Kang as the subsequent large dangerous — season 2 can take a beat to take pleasure in simply how comical these time knots are, even when the stakes are excessive. This being the primary time Marvel has given a live-action present a second season, Loki is definitely in a position to construct on what got here earlier than, and have slightly enjoyable with its premise as an alternative of simply laying monitor for the subsequent large factor.
Whereas the TVA and its many gamers have their enjoyable, nobody will get to sit down within the heart of it like Quan does at that R&A desk. There’s a verve to his vitality the present was lacking, and a way of caprice, whether or not he’s hammering a factor or completely warning Loki (and, by proxy, the viewers) of what occurs ought to the mission fail. With a lesser actor, any single second may come throughout as pretend, and the entire TVA conceit would come crashing down. Fortunately, we by no means have to fret about that timeline — or the one the place you fall right into a black gap and switch into spaghetti. As O.B. sagely warns us: “The much less , the higher.”