Loki: How The TVA Was Partially Inspired By A Coen Brothers Classic
Mild spoilers below for Loki's first two episodes, so be warned if you don't want to know anything before watching.
Much like Marvel's first big TV series WandaVision was an inspired amalgamation of a multitude of classic TV sitcoms, Tom Hiddleston's Loki features lots of lovingly crafted homages to the world of science fiction. Considering the main storyline involves time travel aberrations and a mysterious organization of timekeepers, the genre self-awareness is right on point throughout the episodes released so far. But as Loki director Kate Herron revealed exclusively to CinemaBlend, the Coen Brothers cult classic The Hudsucker Proxy also played a big non-sci-fi influence on how the TVA was conceived.
Loki's Time Variance Authority initially seems like an all-powerful, no-nonsense faction that guards the "sacred" timeline with an iron fist, it quickly becomes aware that the shadowy organization and its physical-esque headquarters are really just gussied-up extensions of office building drudgery. (To the point where I wouldn't be surprised if the TVA bought out the tech company Initech from Office Space.) Kate Herron mentioned how film noir and detective stories played into influencing the aesthetic, which is a subgenre Ethan and Joel Coen know extremely well. So it made perfect sense when she later namechecked the Tim Robbins-starring Hudsucker Proxy as another influence. In her words:
Though Owen Wilson's Mobius seems professional and capable enough of getting shit done when need be (unless the shit in question is telling Loki the truth about Phil Coulson), the TVA in and of itself quickly exudes a sense of endless middle-management representatives going all the way up the supervisor ladder. And while there are clearly many differences between Loki's outside-of-reality bureaucracy and the Hudsucker Industries in the Coen brothers' film, the connective tissue is definitely on display.
On the same side of the satirical office-oriented coin is Terry Gilliam's Brazil, which also served as an inspiration for Loki's Kate Herron. As seen in the video above, she definitely namechecked that classic satire alongside others, also explaining that she also wanted the TVA to have all the mundanity of a real-world office.
I think all Coen brothers' fans will know what's coming if one of Loki's many variants winds up having a wood chipper on hand, especially if it's William H. Macy playing the variant. (Speaking of, Kate Herron, Tom Hiddleston and more talked to CinemaBlend about that real variant reveal in Episode 2, and there are definitely big spoilers involved.) But if you'll excuse me, I'm now going to imagine various MCU characters embroiled in a Blood Simple-level storyline.
Loki drops new episodes on Disney+ each and every Wednesday morning at 3:00 a.m. ET, so while you're already awake and waiting for those eps to go online, be sure and keep up with all the other streaming and linear shows coming soon to the 2021 Summer TV schedule.
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