Loki Season 2 sets a new standard for the MCU with its lack of additional photography Marvel Studios should trust the creative visions of its projects more to maintain clarity and quality. The success of Loki Season 2 should serve as a blueprint for the future of the MCU.

Loki Season 2 is quickly approaching on Disney+, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is sure to get a lot weirder. The first season of Loki set the stage for what was to come in The Multiverse Saga. Not only did it add new layers to the god of mischief, but it broke the timeline completely and introduced the next Big Bad of the MCU, Kang the Conqueror. That’s a lot for a single show to achieve, and the creators of the second season have had to work hard to ensure that the latest incarnation lives up to lofty expectations.

With the reviews already pouring in and Loki boasting an 86 percent Fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, it’s clear that those extra hours at the office have all paid off. But what’s fascinating about this second season is that it was made in a way no other MCU shows have seemingly been crafted. It was forged with a singular vision, and that creative determination has led to its critical success. The MCU is in a state of flux, but future projects could learn a great deal from how Loki was produced, with budgets and creative conflicts potentially tempered by the show’s techniques.

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Additional photography is a natural part of the creative process. It’s not always a bad thing. It may mean that a few changes have happened in the script, the editor has found gaps in the material, or the director wasn’t able to capture certain shots during the initial shoot due to events out of their control. Pick-ups are vital to produce a film that the creative team can be happy with. However, reshoots have also muddied the waters, with some films falling into development hell as producers and directors head back to the cameras again and again, attempting to fix problems that only seem to get worse. Runtimes are often shortened when it comes to TV shows to avoid the problems that have arisen from a confused production process, and budgets can sometimes balloon with the increased hours.

Every other Marvel Cinematic Universe show has had to embark on reshoots, including Loki Season 1. This has affected the quality in varying ways, sometimes improving the finished product and occasionally setting a series on an unexpected and mismatched path. But Loki Season 2 didn’t require any additional photography. What was shot during that initial production period was what went into the final edit. It’s certainly impressive that Loki managed to hit its critical heights without shooting additional material to bump up the edit. There are sure to be deleted scenes and post-production fixes, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not necessarily a negative or a positive thing to avoid reshoots altogether. But it does speak to a larger cultural problem at Marvel Studios as a whole. Loki has ultimately shown that quality can be produced without the need for pick-ups, and it shouldn’t be the only project to operate in this way.

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The MCU Often Struggles From a Lack of Vision

Loki Season 2 managed to avoid reshoots because of its singular vision. The show already had the lore and vibe mapped out from the initial season. The second installment just had to move forward with what had already been put in place. That’s a huge bonus and would have likely led to a slightly more efficient process. This was aided by a great deal of pre-planning. But the vision of the incoming creatives also shouldn’t be underestimated. Loki Season 2 obviously has a very specific story to tell, which has to be told in a unique way. There’s no need for reshoots when everything that has to end up in the show is already on the page. That singular vision prompts clarity across every department. Loki Season 2 must have had a greatly cohesive unit coming together to craft an MCU show, unlike anything audiences have seen before.

Unfortunately, Marvel Studios struggles when it comes to trusting the creative visions of its storytelling within its other projects. It can sometimes seem as if its movies are made by a committee, without the flare of the directors, performers, writers and crew influencing the project in an authentic way. For every Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,there’s an Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. And for every movie made like Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3, there’s a Thor: The Dark World. Marvel only puts its faith in certain creators, and when it does, the results speak for themselves. But when there are complications in the vision, reshoots are sure to arise.

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Loki Season 2 Should Be the Blueprint for the MCU’s Future

Loki Season 2 should really act as the blueprint for the MCU’s future. The lack of reshoots and quality of the series ensures that the vision of the team was left intact without studio interference on a grand scale. That clarity should address some of the criticisms of past MCU projects, including shows such as Hawkeye or Secret Invasion. Marvel has to commit to the people that it chooses to tell its stories, and that will lead to further clarity on-screen. That isn’t to say that the studio should ban reshoots in the future so that the final product is always as close to the initial concepts as possible. Instead, the environment should allow for everyone to stick to the pitch, only maneuvering when something isn’t working.

There definitely shouldn’t be repeated changes made by higher-ups just for the sake of a shared universe. The individual series should come before everything else, with the story having a distinct arc that is actually paid off within the runtime of the episodes. There are still shows to be released, such as Echo, that underwent extensive reshoots and may be more muddled because of it. But Loki Season 2 shows that there’s another way. One where the ingenuity of the creatives is allowed to shine past the corporate demands and where budgets are still kept low. Vision and clarity. That’s the mantra Marvel Studios must hold on to.

Loki Season 2 releases new episodes Thursdays on Disney+.

 Loki is heading back to Disney+, and the show has clearly benefitted from a specific vision. The future of the MCU could learn a lot from the series.  Read More