In the months preceding the release of Avengers: Age Of Ultron, everyone and their mother was added to the cast list. Ultimately, this approach wore the film's intended plot thin; a fact that apparently did not elude Kevin Feige, as he purposefully removed Tom Hiddleston's Loki from the final cut.
I was at the recent press conference for Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak, and during the session with Hiddleston, the question was raised about why he was ultimately deleted from the Norn cave dream sequence. In said sequence, Thor is confronted by Heimdall and convinced that Asgard is in mortal danger. While we'd previously heard Joss Whedon state that the official line was that the film was "overstuffed" with characters. According to Tom Hiddleston, Feige had the following rationale for ditching his quick appearance:
When they screened it, audiences somehow believed that Loki was controlling Ultron, and [Kevin Feige] thought that was unbalancing the film.
This totally fits with the overstuffed logic of Whedon's statement on Avengers: Age Of Ultron, as adding two villains will make the audience question who exactly is in charge. However, this is doubly confusing when your second villain happens to be the God of tricksters himself. It speaks to the weakness of both the story, as well as Ultron's effectiveness as a villain, if the audience thinks that an organic being like Loki could override the cold, machine logic of a supercomputer like Ultron. To be fair though, it also speaks to the fact that Loki is still the Marvel Cinematic Universe's best villain to date.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron has taken quite the drubbing from comic fans and critics for having a thin story, and too many characters to tell it. Keeping Loki in the film would have risked the audience outwardly revolting against the film much earlier than they did. However, considering that Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of the character has been a hit with the fans, there's a good chance that his presence may have bumped the film's profile up just a little more with the public. It might have been confusing, and the confusion would have lead to Ultron looking like a puppet to Loki, but it could have undid the damage of the subpar story to a certain extent.
For now, we have no clue when Loki will be returning, and neither does Tom Hiddleston. While this could be dismaying to those who love the character of Loki, it's also a good sign that Hiddleston's career can develop into a more well-rounded blend of crowd pleasing roles. His performance in Crimson Peak is definitely worth the time of audiences, and with films like High Rise and I Saw The Light in his queue, it's not like we won't ever see him again. So don't automatically distrust the man when you see him on the big screen again.
Crimson Peak haunts theaters nationwide on October 16th.