Marvel’s Loki trailer.

Among the many (many!) tidbits unveiled during Disney’s Investor Day was a lengthy teaser trailer for Loki, the Marvel spinoff limited series featuring Tom Hiddleston’s charismatic trickster demigod and (adoptive) brother to Thor, last seen in Avengers: Endgame. Marvel Studios had vowed to provide “hefty” budgets for its various limited series, like WandaVision (which also has a new trailer), and this Loki teaser definitely has the high cinematic production values to show for it.

(Some spoilers below for Avengers: Endgame in particular.)

Marvel Studios announced the development of its various limited series for Disney+ in 2018, all featuring supporting characters from the films who were not given their own standalone films within the MCEU. Details have largely been kept tightly under wraps, but we do know that both Loki and WandaVision will tie into the forthcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Fan favorite Loki has always been one of the most multi-layered, psychologically complex characters, so we’re keen to see what the limited series has in store for him.

Loki‘s head writer, Michael Waldron (Rick and Morty), talked a little bit about that in a podcast interview back in March. “I think it’s the struggle with identity, who you are, who you want to be. I’m really drawn to characters who are fighting for control,” said Waldron. “Certainly, you see that with Loki over the first ten years of movies, he’s out of control at pivotal parts of his life, he was adopted and everything, and that manifests itself through anger and spite towards his family.”

A brief shot from Loki that aired during the Super Bowl this year showed him wearing a jumpsuit with the initials “TVA” stamped on it. Hardcore Marvel fans will recognize the acronym: it stands for Time Variance Authority, the so-called “custodians of chronology” in the MCU, who monitor violations to the timeline. Catch their attention by trying to change history, and you just might meet the wrong end of the Retroactive Cannon (Ret Con) and have your entire history deleted from the historical timeline.

Time travel will very likely play a significant role in Loki, and this teaser trailer largely confirms that. It opens with a flashback to a pivotal scene in Endgame, where 2012 Loki snags the tesseract containing the Space Stone and vanishes through a portal. We next see him in a barren desert, with some puzzled local denizens looking on. Cut to a scene with Owen Wilson’s still-unidentified character in an elevator—he’s definitely TVA, since Loki is wearing his prisoner’s jumpsuit, and Wilson admits as much in the scene (“Time passes differently in the TVA”).

Loki assumes he’s going to be executed, but Wilson’s character assures him he just wants to talk. Loki claims he doesn’t like to talk, but, well, that’s a lie. (“We both know you love to talk,” Wilson’s character snarks. “Talky talky… “) The rest of the trailer is a jumble of scenes without much of a narrative thread, but it does seem clear that the TVA will be forcing Loki to face up to the damage he has wrought.

Loki is currently slated for release on Disney+ on May 21, 2021. All in all, it looks like a terrific new adventure for the character, and we’re counting the days till then.

Listing image by Marvel Studios