When last we saw Tom Hiddleston's mischievous Loki, he'd fooled his half brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and had secured his spot on Asgard's throne. It was the visual equivalent of Marvel placing a pin in the beloved on-screen villain, knowing that they would use him at a later date. Now we know when that date will be.
As part of a massive reveal in Hollywood today, Marvel President Kevin Fiege confirmed that Tom Hiddleston would return as Loki for Thor: Ragnarok. The third Thor movie will begin immediately after the event of next summer's The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Marvel has set the sequel to arrive in theaters on July 28, 2017.
In between the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel has confirmed a standalone Ant-Man story, as well as a second Guardians of the Galaxy movie, which moved up Marvel's release calendar and gave its previous date to Thor.
The Ragnarok storyline is one Thor fans have been begging to see on screen in this particular universe. For those unfamiliar with their Norse mythology, Ragnarok is the prophesized apocalyptic battle that is foretold to result in the complete destruction of Asgard, Thor’s home. It is written that it is Loki who is destined to bring about these end times, and Thor – being both a hero and the God of Mischief’s brother – is responsible for stopping these events from occurring
When we last left Loki in Thor: The Dark World, he was certainly in a position to do quite a bit of damage. Taking the form of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), he sat on the throne he wanted ever since he was a child and was able to get Thor to leave Asgard behind to be with his beloved Jane Foster on Earth. Presumably the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron will feature Thor realizing exactly what his brother has done and return to an Asgard that has spent a great deal of time under Loki’s boot.
The title Thor: Ragnarok is definitely a significant one, and Kevin Feige promised that it will have an effect on the Marvel Cinematic Universe as big as what Captain America: The Winter Soldier was able to pull off (which was really quite extraordinary. We’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out when the film arrives in July 2017.