Major spoilers follow for Loki seasons 1 and 2.
Victor Timely was originally going to make his Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) debut in Loki season 1, according to one of its producers.
Speaking exclusively to TechRadar at Loki season 2's UK junket, Kevin R. Wright – executive producer on Loki's first and second seasons – revealed the Kang the Conqueror variant played by Jonathan Majors almost appeared in the god of mischief's first outing on Disney Plus. However, Timely was dropped from the hit series' debut season due to time and storytelling constraints.
"Victor Timely came about even before we started building out the ideas of what the show would be," Wright explained. "We were always focused on introducing He Who Remains [in season 1], but I remember [Loki actor] Tom [Hiddleston] and I had this document to use as a basis before the scripts were even written. It had Victor as the next fun version we wanted to see in Loki.
"There were some early season 1 scripts where we tried to work him in, but there was just too much story. Once we knew we were coming back for season 2, we knew we had to tee Victor up."
Considering Kang and his multiversal variants – including He Who Remains, who was murdered by Sylvie in Loki's season 1 finale – are antiheroic at best and, at worst, downright evil, viewers had expected Victor Timely to fall into one of those camps. Indeed, his appearance in one of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania's post-credit scenes, coupled with the foreboding snippets of Timely-centric footage in Loki season 2's official trailer, suggested it would be the latter.
However, with the third episode of season 2 out now, fans have noted Timely might not be a bad guy after all. Yes, the introverted late 19th-century inventor is something of a conman. However, Timely's timid demeanor and desire – albeit reluctant – to help Loki and co. solve their Temporal Loom crisis suggests he might not have the makings of a Kang-like multiversal warlord.
As I teased in my spoiler-free Loki season 2 review, Timely's persona and wider importance in the hit Disney Plus series may make MCU fans re-evaluate their perceptions of every universe's iteration of Kang. It's an assessment Wright agreed with, and the Marvel producer revealed why Timely's inclusion is something of a curve ball from a character standpoint.
"Season 1 ended with this notion that war is coming," Wright said. "You have Loki in this heightened and fraught emotional state, and there's so much tension building up to the next time we're going to see one of Kang's variants.
"But we had this idea that it would be really disarming if the next one wasn't a sci-fi villain from the future but an unassuming man from the past. That felt like a really great tool for us to continue our story about identity and free will. Does this guy have to become that thing? Is he what Loki, Mobius, and viewers think he is? Or is he his own man who can make his own choices? That felt like a really rich fuel source for this season."
A #Loki EP explains why Jonathan Majors' arrest didn't impact Season 2: "It's the first Marvel series to not have additional photography. The story on screen is the one we set out to make... It felt hasty to do anything without knowing how this plays out." https://t.co/FWxdSzJDUoOctober 3, 2023
Understandably, Timely's involvement in season 2, and future appearances of other Kangs, has been overshadowed by Majors' impending trial. The actor, who also starred as Kang in Ant-Man 3 and He Who Remains in Loki's first season, has been charged with numerous assault allegations by his former partner, which Majors and his lawyer strenuously deny. Majors' court case was supposed to have begun by now, but it's been delayed multiple times, with the first hearing now set for October 25 – right in the middle of Loki season 2's run.
It's unclear whether Marvel will retain Majors' services, regardless of the trial's outcome. For his part, Wright told Entertainment Tonight "I wouldn't feel it's appropriate for me to speculate", so we'll have to wait for a verdict to be passed before more details are forthcoming.
Be sure to check back in with TechRadar soon for more from our exclusive chat with Wright, who answers our biggest questions about the show's fourth episode, due out on October 27.
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As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.
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