Joss Whedon, writer and director of The Avengers and its in-development sequel, revealed this week that he had originally intended to have another villain fight alongside Loki against Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk and Thor this summer. The God of Mischief however, wasn’t alone and thanks to the mysterious Thanos, he had an army to help put on a show for the world to see in downtown New York, in his attempts to earn himself a throne.

That villain, who Whedon will not reveal since the character may show up later, could very well be a part of The Avengers 2, filling the void left by Tom Hiddleston who may not return for the sequel.

In Thor, Loki managed to usurp Odin from the throne of Asgard, temporarily becoming its ruler. In The Avengers, his anger and jealously led to him attempting to rule earth, or at least that’s what he wanted The Avengers and Asgard’s leadership to believe.

While the rivalry between Thor and Loki is far from over, set to continue next fall in Thor: The Dark World, Loki is unlikely to attack Earth again anytime soon. While judging for the Jameson Empire Done In 60 Seconds short films competition, Tom Hiddleston spoke with MSN about a potential return in The Avengers 2.

“I don’t know, and that really is the honest answer. I know I’ve been known for obfuscation in other quarters, but I have no idea. I haven’t spoken to Joss. He’s definitely doing it. So I suspect not, only because I think that probably the audiences are tired of Loki being the bad guy. Maybe the Avengers need somebody else to fight.”

Thanos, who made his very first cinematic appearance in the mid-credits sequence of The Avengers, will be back for Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 and The Avengers 2 the following summer in some capacity. It seems more and more likely though that he may be a major player in the background, while other villains do his bidding, potentially leading to even bigger events come Phase Three.

The more we think about Loki’s actions, his mischievous ways may lead to us discovering throughout Phase Two of the Marvel cinematic universe that his (and Thanos’) intentions all along were to get him back to Asgard. Perhaps that’s why Loki did what he did on Earth to draw all that attention and assemble The Avengers, knowing he couldn’t conquer a planet with the army he had, and knowing there’s no singular throne to rule the Earth’s populace – something Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) was starting to question in their confrontation. Loki also knew that Thor and Odin would take him prisoner by the end of it should his plan not succeed.

Why? If Thanos gave Loki an army, there’s a reason why, and it likely involves more than just the elusive Tesseract. A very precious item is hidden away in Odin’s vault, intentionally showcased by Marvel Studios in the first Thor film. All of these Easter Eggs from Marvel Comics are seeds planted for future use and since Thanos is a confirmed big part of the plan, so to is his source of power he wants so greatly: The Infinity Gauntlet (pictured on the right below).

For this reason we don’t expect Loki to factor into The Avengers 2 in a major way, especially if his character arc follows a path of (partial or temporary) redemption. Hiddleston is correct, and Whedon will need to mix up the formula in making The Avengers 2 different and that of course includes its villain(s). Don’t count him out entirely, though. Click here for more on the past, present, and future of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki.

The Thor sequel is being directed by Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones) and stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, Zachary Levi, Ray Stevenson, Jaimie Alexander, Tadanobu Asano, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Christopher Eccleston.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015 and Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: MSN