When Avengers: Age of Ultron hit theaters this past May, it marked the release of Marvel’s biggest film yet—in more ways than one. Not only was the scale of Age of Ultron massive, but the ensemble itself was stacked with brief appearances by fan favorite MCU characters, ranging from Idris Elba to Hayley Atwell. The ability to include so many different characters—from various worlds and time periods—was made possible by a series of dream sequences thanks to one Scarlet Witch. It added a wonderfully strange flavor to the Age of Ultron proceedings, and gave Joss Whedon the opportunity to have some fun with the headspace of his various Avengers.
But quite possibly the most popular MCU character of all was also supposed to be included, only to have his cameo nixed in post-production. We learned earlier this year that the Thor dream sequence initially had Tom Hiddleston’s Loki in the mix, but his character doesn’t appear in the final film. Speaking with Digital Spy recently, Hiddleston explains why:
“I was part of the dream sequence for the character of Thor. I shot for a day and enjoyed it very much, and then I received a phone call from Kevin Feige [who] said that in test screenings, audiences had overemphasized Loki’s role. They thought that because I was in it, I was controlling Ultron, and it was actually imbalancing people’s expectations so Joss and Kevin were like, ‘Let’s cut it because it’s confusing people.’… It made sense to me when I saw that film.”
Indeed it does make sense. Loki is really the only genuinely good villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is quite possibly the most popular character aside from Iron Man. So it makes sense that the arrival of such a beloved character would elicit expectations that he was somehow involved in the film’s overarching proceedings. But we’ll get to see Hiddleston’s Loki in all his glory return for Thor: Ragnarok, which recently landed a director in Taika Waititi. The Dark World sequel opens in theaters November 2017.