Now, one of the basic assumptions we tend make about the Marvel Cinematic Universe - its continued awesomeness aside - is that it is, at heart, a delicately woven and carefully thought out enterprise. From the very top - take a bow, Kevin Feige - all the way down, the MCU has built a reputation as a thoroughly well-organized franchise with a single, focused vision for its own future.
On occasion, however, a news story will turn up that seems to suggest the complete and utter opposite. Like, for instance, the recent revelation that...
Tom Hiddleston Hasn't Spoken With Marvel Studios in Two Years
Yup, that's right. Tom 'Loki' Hiddleston, breakout star of The Avengers and the Thor franchise's main villain/arguable main draw hasn't been in contact with Marvel Studios over his next cinematic appearance in two whole years.
As Hiddleston himself put it, when asked by ScreenRant whether or not he's been approached for a pre-Thor: Ragnarok cameo:
"You know, I genuinely do not know. I wish there was something I could tell you. I haven’t spoken to anyone at Marvel for about two years. That universe is expanding at such a rate, so…your guess is as good as mine."
Or, in other words, it seems that throughout a period in which Marvel has seemingly been engaged in a whole lot of longterm planning - to the extent that films are now being planned through to 2020 - no one's actually gotten around to telling one of the company's leading performers when he'll be needed for further filming.
The big question, then?
When WILL We See Loki in the MCU Again?
After all, with Thor: Ragnarok not set to hit theaters until November 2017, we're currently looking at a whole lot of time without an on-screen appearance from Loki. Could we, then, be in line to see a cameo appearance from Hiddleston in the next few years, despite his apparent lack of contact with Marvel Studios?
Well, a cameo in Captain America: Civil War seems unlikely at this point, seeing as filming - bar reshoots - is pretty much complete, and the movie is already filled close to bursting with superheroes and villains. Doctor Strange - set to begin filming soon - might be a more obvious choice, though there's no guarantee that Hiddleston's schedule (or the film's plot) would allow for it. At that point, we're talking about a 2017 release at the earliest, with both the new Spider-Man reboot and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 seeming unlikely candidates for a Loki appearance.
Or, in other words?
It Seems Loki Really Won't Be Around Again Until 2017
Which, considering he's pretty much everyone's favorite Marvel villain at this point, is something of a shame. On the plus side, though, it would suggest that Marvel's lack of Hiddleston-related communication may have less to do with a lack of a plan, and more to do with that plan simply not including Loki.
Or, of course, Hiddleston could well just be lying through his teeth - perhaps while in character as Loki - and in fact know full well that Marvel has big plans for him in the near future. A surprise post-credit role in Captain America: Civil War, perhaps?
What do you reckon?