The best superheroes are defined, to some extent, by tragedy in their lives and how they respond to said trauma, which explains why Loki, God of Mischief (Tom Hiddleston), in Marvel’s Thor has gone on to become (essentially) the comic book movie studio’s second most popular character behind Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Thor’s adopted sibling has enjoyed the most Shakespearean arc of anyone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far, as his journey from (relative) innocence to insanity and tyranny continues up the steep hill to redemption in this fall’s sequel, Thor: The Dark World.

Loki’s popularity, coupled with Hidleston’s potent and charming performance in the role, explains why the on-again/off-again antagonist has been featured so heavily in the marketing for The Dark World to date; not to mention, the rich dramatic material inherent to his struggles will be explored in even greater depth in the film, now that reshoots have taken place to incorporate more Loki-oriented scenes in the Thor sequel (among other necessary additions to the movie… presumably).

Hiddleston, who appears in the upcoming vampire tale Only Lovers Left Alive from one of the the indie-est of indie filmmakers out there, Jim Jarmusch, spoke to The Huffington Post about reshoots on Thor: The Dark World and revealed that some of the material being added to the movie is based on a pitch that he’d made to Marvel President Kevin Feige before principal photography had gotten underway. As the actor put it:

“Well, the thing about Kevin Feige is he’s very, very open and collaborative. And he and Louis D’Esposito, who run the studio — I find it very admirable that they’re open to ideas. Possibly more now than they would have been the first go-around. Chris Hemsworth and myself have lived inside these characters for two movies now and we’ve been inside every scene and we know what works and we know what doesn’t works. And also, we know what we’ve done and what we shouldn’t try to repeat. Because that was the great sort of fire underneath myself was not wanting to take anything for granted or just put the old recipe in the microwave, you know? And try and find new things for the characters to do — new iterations of the relationship between Thor and Loki. And Kevin was really open to that. I remember as we were conceiving of the shape of the film, Kevin and [director] Alan Taylor were really open to it, especially because they always talk about the connective aspect of the Marvel universal.”

Check out the latest international poster for Thor: The Dark World, featuring a knife-wielding Loki who somehow looks gaunter than is usual (to say nothing of the questionable alterations to his eye color or the poster composition):

[Click for Full-Sized Version]

It’s easy to see how Loki has become as popular as he is, based on Hiddleston’s attitudes towards the character and doing his part to serve the greater MCU. The actor is not only so invested in avoiding repeating or rehashing past success – or reheating “the old recipe in the microwave” as he puts its – that he’s willing to pitch script ideas that get discarded (then later re-inserted), but he even showed up in full costume when he appeared in front of the Hall H crowd at the 2013 International Comic-Con (in order to present never-before-seen footage from the Thor sequel).

In the HuffPo interview, Hiddleston sheds light on how the Comic-Con appearance came to be:

“Well, Kevin Feige, the seed was his. He had called me and said, “What do you think? Robert Downey Jr. danced up the aisle last time.” He said, “Do you feel like maybe coming out in costume and doing a Loki thing right before?” And then there was this conversation, “Well, what would he do?” And then I sort of said, “Well, look, if I’m going to do it, I’ve got to go to the whole hog. I can’t go halfway.” And then I wrote this little monologue which is really a kind of pastiche of other things I’d done in “Avengers.” And then I just sort of improvised it. I’ve got to be honest; I was waiting backstage and I just heard that every single X-Men who has ever walked the earth had been on stage before and I was a little nervous. And I thought Well, hopefully if I just commit to it, it’ll go well. And I thought, I could always get them to chant my name if it doesn’t work. And I walked out, and the very first thing they started doing was chant my name. And that was really surprising. Some old theater actor friends of mine have said that on opening night of a play in the theater, the adrenaline goes through an actor’s body because of the excitement and the terror. And the electric charge of being an actor and the audience is similar to that, which is the experience of going through a car crash. And I felt a kind of adrenaline rush like I’ve never felt.”

There’s also too much of a good thing when it’s not mandatory, which is a big part of the reason why Loki hasn’t been included in one of the more recent script drafts by Joss Whedon for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. On the other hand, that doesn’t necessarily rule out a last-minute cameo or post-credits appearance (hey Loki-philes dream too)… right?

Thor: The Dark World opens in U.S. theaters on November 8th, 2013.

Source: The Huffington Post