Michael Waldron is a busy guy. Tapped for a job on Community after he entered the masters’ program for scriptwriting at Pepperdine, he then earned a slot in the writers’ room on Rick And Morty. A Loki spec script landed on the right desk at the right time, and now he’s Marvel’s new darling, helming both the Loki writers’ room and the script for Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness. Not bad for a 34-year-old.
Given his particular insight into the Marvel-verse, we wanted to ask him about how he bled Loki and Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness together. When Marvel taps a writer or a director, do they invite them into a board room of secrets where the studio’s plans for the next 10 years are revealed? Or is everyone just working “exquisite corpse” style to make something great? The answer, as Waldron relays, is sort of the former:
The truth is, every Marvel project, you go into it—certainly I did—thinking, “all right, they’re going to give me the the glowing book and say ‘here’s the master plan’.” They’re going to tell you exactly what you have to do to connect to a million different things. The truth is, though, that the charge over there is “make the best movie possible” or “make the best TV show possible.” Those connections happen organically. There is a plan, absolutely. But our focus on Loki was always just make Loki the best TV show we possibly can. And then you find yourself surprised with how it connects to other things down the line.
Naturally, while working on making Loki the best possible TV show he could, Waldron had lots of time to think about the god of mischief’s psyche. Who does he care about beyond himself, and is he really as grand and dominant as he might purport to be? As Waldron told, us:
I would even wonder, ‘does Loki actually care about himself?’ He engages in so much behavior that is born out of self-preservation, but not out of self love.
You heard what he says to Mobius. He calls himself a villain. That’s his self assessment. The TVA holds up a mirror to Loki and they say “this is who you are.” They force self reflection out of a guy who just probably never, ever wants to do it. We’ll see if he’s capable of caring about anybody. Is he a sociopath, or is there a heart there that’s just been hardened by all the trauma of his his life?
Viewers can weigh that possibility for themselves throughout the five remaining episodes of Loki. A new one premieres each Wednesday on Disney+.
Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Magic is set to premiere March 25, 2022.
Image credit: Marvel Studios.