Tom Hiddleston as Loki

The following is going to contain spoilers for the Disney+ series Loki**, so you might want to stop reading this one if you haven’t yet seen the sixth and final episode of the first season of the show.**

The finale of Loki changed the direction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, perhaps permanently. Fans of Marvel who have been complaining that the Disney+ programs don’t have an immediate effect on the larger MCU need only to get to Sylvie’s final act, where she plunged her dagger into the heart of He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors, in a breakout debut performance). Sylvie knew the consequences. The Multiversal War is poised to resume. And Loki (Tom Hiddleston) got dumped in what appears to be an alternate timeline, where Mobius (Owen Wilson) doesn’t know who he is.

Where do we go from here? Well, if you stayed through the end credits of Loki’s final episode, there was a title card announcing that Loki will receive a second season. But there’s no telling how long that could take to reach the Disney+ streaming service. But THR has some good news buried in its recap of the final Loki episode, noting that Tom Hiddleston is expected to appear in Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, opening in theaters on March 25, 2022.

In a way, this makes sense. However, because we know next to nothing about what the Doctor Strange sequel will be about, it’s all speculation. But because of the death of He Who Remains -- revealed to be Kang the Conqueror in the final shot of Loki -- the Multiverse has been unleashed, and we expect Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to have to deal with this. He’ll likely seek Loki out to find out what they did at the TVA. This makes for a natural bridge from the Loki series to the Doctor Strange sequel.

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This seems like the direction that Marvel Studios mastermind Kevin Feige wants to go, with the Disney+ TV shows and the movies each informing the other’s plotlines. WandaVision introduced Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), who’s going to be a big part of The Marvels in 2022. We met the seemingly powerful Valentina (Julie Louis-Dreyfus) in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, only to see her turn up in Black Widow, as well. The “Cinematic” universe includes television now, and Marvel’s taking advantage of their ability to expand, rapidly.

So, the good news is that we might not have to wait that long to see Marvel’s merry trickster on screen. And Tom Hiddleston may be back on the bigger screen, as well, though he undoubtedly made Loki must-see TV during this six-episode run. The next Marvel movie is Shang-chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in September, followed by The Eternals. Will either of them pick up this thread and tug?

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