Warning: SPOILERS lie ahead for Loki season 2!
- Tom Hiddleston’s Loki takes control of his time-slipping abilities to save the TVA and the multiverse in a heartwarming conclusion to season 2.
- Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead discuss their journey from indie filmmakers to working on big-budget projects like Loki and Moon Knight.
- The finale featured a visually stunning sequence of Loki destroying the Temporal Loom, with the collaboration of visual effects supervisor Chris Townsend and cinematographer Isaac Bauman being key to making it happen.
Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief has finally found his glorious purpose in the Loki season 2 finale. The Marvel Cinematic Universe show saw Loki get a grip on his time-slipping abilities and utilizing them to find a way to save the TVA, his friends and the multiverse. Realizing that the Temporal Loom is doomed to fail, he elects to destroy the device and weave the timeline branches himself and residing at the ruins of the Citadel at the End of Time.
Tom Hiddleston once again led the ensemble Loki season 2 cast alongside Sophia DiMartino, Ke Huy Quan, Owen Wilson, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero, Tara Strong and Jonathan Majors. Offering a heartwarming conclusion to many character arcs while still leaving enough room for their returns in the future, the MCU show once again proves to be a standout among its predecessors.
In honor of the episode’s release, Screen Rant interviewed directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead to discuss the Loki season 2 finale, their journey from indie filmmakers to MCU regulars and crafting the epic Temporal Loom destruction sequence.
Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead on Loki Season 2 Finale
Screen Rant: I’m excited to get to chat with you guys again, last time we spoke was for Synchronic for its Beyond Fest premiere, and it’s crazy to think that you guys have gone from indie mindbenders to now big-budget mindbenders with Loki season 2. What has that journey been like for you guys, even as you worked on Something in the Dirt in between all of that?
Justin Benson: Gosh, man, to be honest, last time we spoke, I think we were literally shooting Something in the Dirt when we spoke to you. I think that’s when we were promoting Synchronic. It’s pretty wild because at that time, we had done one episode of television, we did Jordan Peele’s Twilight Zone at that time, we had that under our belts, but were still really struggling to find jobs in the industry at large beyond our indie film stuff — which we’re still doing, will always do, but wanting to go branch out and do things in the industry at large.
The last time you spoke to us, it was like non stop, we were in principal photography on Something in the Dirt, we were finishing it, and then we immediately went to go do Archive 81 for Netflix, we did a couple of episodes there, and then we immediately went into Moon Knight. Then, we immediately went into Loki, and then here we are still working on the next indie film project, still working on lots of things. We’re very grateful, but yeah, it’s been just nonstop since last time we spoke. So, thank you, you’re like our good luck charm. [Laughs]
Always putting out the good vibes in the universe for you guys! I love what you guys have done with both Moon Knight and Loki season 2, this show continues to look incredible, but also still feel wholly unique to your guys’ vision. One of the things that I loved about it was how intimate a lot of the camera work is, there feels like a lot more close-up shots on the actors during some of the more emotional moments compared to some of those wide shots in season 1. So, what was it like when you were approached to be the lead directors, coming up with your vision, while still staying true to what was done on season 1?
Aaron Moorhead: We were shooting on Moon Knight, the very last days of photography, when Kevin asked us if we wanted to do Loki, and the thing that hooked us in — and we’re thinking, “Okay, this sounds pretty great.” Of course we’re fans, it’s a dream opportunity, but creatively what hooked us was he said, “There’s no reason to do a season 2 if you’re just going to do the same thing as season 1.” We all love what season 1 is, obviously, it’s self-evident how amazing it is, but we took that and ran with it as a charge to keep all the same characters, keep the fun, keep the drama, but give it an aesthetic that just served this very different story. When you’re saying something like we’re using more close-ups and stuff like that, there are very, very few of them. But that’s, I think, why you notice them, is that they’re just very few and far between, so they hit you like a sledgehammer when they do. Also, you can’t talk about the look of the show without talking about Isaac Bauman, our cinematographer, and Kasra Farahani, our production designer. Just unbelievable work, and we were all very much an extremely cohesive team.
My colleague has been talking with Isaac and Kasra throughout the season, and they were saying how collaborative the process was, so I love that you got to have that experience with both of them. Now, I want to dive into the finale, there’s a lot to unpack. I love the moment in which Loki breaks the Temporal Loom and is reviving all of these timelines and climbing to his throne. It was this great blend of really bright colors as much as his own dark green color scheme. What was it like for you guys trying to really capture that grand spectacle of a moment within this episode?
Justin Benson: I mean, really, the MVP of that whole sequence is our visual effects supervisor, Chris Townsend, who we started working with on day one. There were so many meetings where we’re telling him what we’re thinking and what we all want, and it was like he was psychic. I don’t know how he was taking all of our fractured information and then synthesizing it into something, and then somehow communicating that to a bunch of amazing artists who did this amazing, amazing sequence. Really, it’s the brilliance of Chris Townsend, and obviously, Tom, and Isaac Bauman. And Aaron, I didn’t do anything. [Laughs]
Aaron Moorhead: One thing you’ll actually probably notice in this sequence is — and this is us just trying to honor Tom’s performance so much — the camera, it does get away from him a little bit, but the camera very rarely gets more than a few feet away from him. It’s always, like, right in front of him, right behind him. It’s very experiential to Tom — and, of course, our ensemble — but there’s only a few shots that would be called pure wide shots, meaning it has no point of view, it has nobody with the camera. I think that was honestly just part of the philosophy we’ve developed since the very, very beginning, and actually pulled for Moon Knight and our indie films, which is nobody cares about the visuals if the characters aren’t in place. Then, the visuals will wonderfully follow, especially if you have someone like Chris Townsend doing the visual effects. [Chuckles]
I love that approach, because Tom Hiddleston’s performance makes that sequence all the more impactful. Another performance I wanted to highlight was Jonathan Majors returned as He Who Remains in the finale, and I love that he feels so much different than what we saw in the season 1 finale. He feels more calm and collected versus this sort of theatrical approach that Majors took before. Was that your guys’ discussion with him, was that the script, was that his own vision? How did that come about?
Justin Benson: I’d say broadly, with everyone we worked with on the show, the same thing we just communicated to everyone is that Aaron and I, for some reason, are kind of allergic to extremely heightened, theatrical performances that you don’t recognize the humanity in it. So we, with every actor, expressed to them what we think it should be, then it becomes a collaboration at that point, but we tried to — it’s and overused word — ground every performance as much as possible.
Aaron Moorhead: One of the early meetings on all of this — there’s even documents about it that we would talk about with all the actors we’re talking about with Kevin and everything — we had this phrase, which was, “Turn down the volume.” Sometimes we mean to speak quieter, but what we meant was is if everything’s operating at an 11, then when you go to 13, nobody really notices, but if you’re able to find a way to turn down the volume often, those are the most empathetic scenes. Like in episode 5, with Sylvie and Loki at the bar together, that volume is turned way down. They’re not yelling at each other, and it’s impactful. And that’s so that you can have a finale where he blasts apart the Loom, and it’s loud and fun, and it feels like a contrast rather than a flatline.
Even within episode 6, their confrontation as the timeline’s evaporating is, I feel, another one where you guys found the right moment to turn the volume down and let the performances speak. I see I’m almost out of time, so before I let you guys go, I’m a huge fan of Moon Knight, really want to see more of him in the future. Now that you guys have an established relationship there at Marvel, have you heard any rumblings about what his future may hold?
Aaron Moorhead: You know, I’ve asked, and I have not heard. [Chuckles]
Justin Benson: That would be so exciting.
Aaron Moorhead: You’d think they tell us everything, but they really don’t. [Laughs] We were finding out about Quantumania stuff while we were shooting Loki.
Justin Benson: We just found out we have an office 30 minutes ago. That’s why we were late! [Laughs]
Well, I’m gonna keep my fingers crossed for that, keeping the good vibes out there! Final question, you guys are now on Daredevil: Born Again, I love that you guys are getting to be a part of that. Obviously, there was some creative reshuffling going on when you guys were brought on. What can you tell me about what the new vision holds for the show in comparison to what was previously being done on the show?
Aaron Moorhead: We will answer this question when we have the answers. [Chuckles] But, as Justin said, we just got shown our office to take these [interviews], we are in such early days. It is the very beginning, so —
Justin Benson: Aaron hasn’t even put up his motivational posters yet. [Chuckles]
About Loki Season 2
Along with Mobius, Hunter B-15 and a team of new and returning characters, Loki navigates an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous multiverse in search of Sylvie, Judge Renslayer, Miss Minutes and the truth of what it means to possess free will and glorious purpose.
Check out our previous Loki season 2 interviews with:
Loki season 2 is now streaming in its entirety on Disney+!
Source: Screen Rant Plus