One month before Thor: The Dark world hits cinemas and after his sudden appearance (and success) in Comic-con, there’s talk about a Loki solo movie, with a petition in change.org that’s been signed by over 20.000 people. With the condition, of course, that Tom Hiddleston continues to play the character.
In the fandom worlds of tumblr there are strong opinions, for it and against it. Some people say it’s a terrible idea, that a villain could never have its own movie and make it work so the character would have to be changed and made good, that it would ruin it, and that a secondary character like him couldn’t deal with the limelight. Others are delighted and expect many good things.
I understand both sides: I understand that we want more minutes of Tom Hiddleston in leather and I understand that other people think it will ruin the character. My take is that a solo movie could be total shit but, done right, it could also be awesome. And how could that happen?
For me, the ideal situation would be if the Thor 2 ending gave the setting for Loki to change from villain to anti-hero. That he did something that showed he was capable of good, if still with his tricky antics and convincing everybody that he was still evil. But you would know he’s not totally black-hearted, would be given clues that suggested he was not irredeemable.
In his movie, he could become the kind of shady hero (or perhaps hero is not the right word) or shady character whose motivations are not clear, whose only loyalty is to himself, but who for some reason is on a crusade we can relate to, on a crusade he can actually win. Maybe he tries to take down a bigger villain to prove himself, maybe Jotunheim has gone rogue against the earth or Asgard and Loki decides to finish what he started at the end of the Thor first movie.
This movie could have an interesting atmosphere, darker, more morally gray than anything else on the Marvel universe. I’m thinking of the vibe from the Sandman comics, or Sin City. You know that they main characters are a bunch of criminals, you know nobody is blameless, but still you root for them. And Hiddleston could play the
character’s ambiguity very well, talking with fellow villains and leaving us and them to wonder which side he’s really on.
And yes, he’s always been a villain, but that’s part of the charm of it. Like in a noir movie where the hero is a pick-pocket or a small time thug but still you know that he has a heart and you’re with him. This also allows him to do actions that regular heroes could not, because of their moral compass. Loki is a villain, has always been – not a hero, he can do things heroes never could.
Of course, it could be total crap. There’s probably nothing in the comics that suggests that Loki can be anything but evil and there would probably be continuity issues with other sagas and stuff. They could try to white-wash the character which would take away a great part of its charm. Try to make him stand up for what’s good- that would be bullshit. That’s not who Loki is. That would ruin things. Loki will never be blameless. Not after all that he’s done.
They could also do a mediocre origin movie, like Wolverine’s, that we would all want to forget, or make it full CGI and incoherency and bad writing. There are many ways in which a movie like could go wrong.
But I don’t think having Loki all front and center would be such a bad idea. He has the charisma, he has the skills. I love me an antihero if it’s done properly. This isolated tricky fellow no one trusts – which makes his crusade much more difficult, but doable, because he’s Loki and he’s great. He’s (at least the portrayal in the movies) complex enough to give us a nice hour and a half, with jokes, dark smiles, tricks of the speech and magic tricks, shape shifting, the works. All with the shadow of his very dark past and the not knowing how much he regrets it and how much he takes pride of it. Maybe having only flashes of how proud he is New York, or how regretful. Maybe shed some light on what happened in the void before Avengers.
But they probably will make Loki very evil in Thor 2 and then my rambling will make no sense, because what I propose could no longer happen. Maybe they kill him. Who knows. But I think dismissing the whole idea is a bit extreme. Nothing’s ever black or white.
To sum up, I understand the voices against it, but I don’t think that nothing good can come of it. It could be great, if handled properly. (I’m thinking of a Loki movie directed by Christopher Nolan in an indie Memento-ish fashion and flailing a bit. Or Guillermo del Toro. In Marvel. Insert happy dance.) Loki would still be a shadowy character, troubled, disliked, and no one would believe he’d do something good for himself. So probably, at the end of the movie, he wouldn’t even take credit for the good done.
He would remain this villain for Stark and the rest, but we’d know better. We’d know that there’s so much more. Because we’d seen what others hadn’t. And even if he goes back to being evil and unleashing the end of the world, we’d had the memory of that time when we were on an adventure with him, when we were on his side, even if he still tricked and lied because that is who he is.
So, could it be rubbish? Most probably. The version I envision is probably not very box-office friendly. But if there is a chance that Hiddleston’s Loki lives on longer than his established Thor runs and if he uses it for awesomeness (on-character awesomeness, of course) then I will take it. And if we can have a Marvel movie with an ironic, very much hated antihero who goes around outsmarting SHIELD and Dr. Doom alike then I will take it too.
In a few words: A Loki movie doesn’t mean we absolve him of everything, that he suddenly becomes good and fights alongside The Avengers and gets the girl. But him, and shady as he is, doing something relatively good, for two hours: YES. Not knowing if he really is even that relatively good or mostly evil for the whole movie: Also YES.
And, god, I would love to see Loki win for once.