By Sarah Mills and Rollo Ross
LONDON (Reuters) -“Loki” actor Tom Hiddleston said he welcomed Marvel Studios’ decision to address the popular villain’s gender fluidity in a new Disney+ streaming series that debuts on Wednesday.
At a screening in London on Tuesday, Hiddleston noted that Loki had been portrayed as gender-fluid in Marvel comic books as well as in Norse mythology, where the character originated.
On Sunday, Walt Disney Co released a clip from the new series and briefly showed a prisoner file that listed Loki’s sex as “fluid.”
“It’s always been there,” Hiddleston said in an interview at the screening. “Loki as a character has had such a broad-ranging and wide-ranging identity. He’s always been a character you could never put in a box, you could never pin down.”
“I was really pleased we were able to touch on that in the series,” the British actor added.
Hiddleston has played Loki, the god of mischief, since his appearance in the 2010 movie “Thor.”
The new six-episode series takes place after events depicted in the 2019 film “Avengers: Endgame.” It catches up with Loki just after the Battle of New York when he escapes from Avengers custody and steals a time stone known as the Tesseract.
A group known as the Time Variance Authority (TVA), which keeps events from various universes in proper sequence, places Loki under arrest for abusing time travel and he is stripped of his shape-shifting powers.
“You take Loki, who seems to always be in control, and you put him in an environment where he has no control at all, no power, no potency,” Hiddleston said in an interview earlier this week.
Owen Wilson co-stars as TVA agent Mobius M. Mobius, who enlists Loki’s help in finding a killer who is disrupting the timeline. Wilson said he had not watched many Marvel films and relied on “Loki Lectures” from Hiddleston to help him understand the character.
“A lot of the way that we sort of play off each other sort of began in kind of just talking about stuff in those early days,” Wilson said.
(Reporting by Sarah Mills in London and Rollo Ross and Lisa Richwine in Los AngelesEditing by Matthew Lewis)