A key voice in the creation of Disney+ and Marvel Studios' Loki series won't be returning for the show's upcoming second season.
In a recent interview with Deadline, the hit streaming show's director and executive producer Kate Herron revealed that she will not be returning to helm the series following the season one finale's confirmation that Loki will be getting a second season.
"I’m not returning," the UK-based filmmaker told Deadline. "I always planned to be just on for this, and to be honest, Season 2 wasn’t in the — that’s something that just came out, and I’m so excited. I’m really happy to watch it as a fan next season, but I just think I’m proud of what we did here and I’ve given it my all. I’m working on some other stuff yet to be announced."
In addition to directing the entire first season, Herron (who is bisexual herself) was instrumental in getting the Loki character's (played famously by British heartthrob Tom Hiddleston) bisexuality officially confirmed canon on the show, a groundbreaking moment of queer inclusion and representation in the otherwise super hetero Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"From the moment I joined @LokiOfficial it was very important to me, and my goal, to acknowledge Loki was bisexual," Herron wrote on Twitter when the series' third episode (the episode where Loki confirms he has dated both men and women) premiered back in June. "It is a part of who he is and who I am too. I know this is a small step but I’m happy, and my heart is so full, to say that this is now canon in the #MCU."
Though it was a hallmark moment for LGBTQ+ Marvel fans, it's worth noting that that brief instance in Loki was the only one in the show's first season where the titular character's sexuality was mentioned. And when it came to whether or not his queerness would be explored further in future episodes or future seasons, Herron wasn't sure, but she hopes that Loki paves the way for more LGBTQ+ stories to be told in the MCU.
"Basically I don't know plans for the future with Loki — I'm so focused on this story," Herron told Collider. "But I would say that part of my thinking was, well, if it's canon and it's acknowledged, then yeah I hope there's obviously more road to travel with that aspect of his personality. And I hope it has opened the door to more stories, definitely."
As far as what the future holds for Herron, she says that while she's grateful for the chance to work on Loki for Marvel Studios, she is currently just focusing on her own projects.
"I’m just focused on my own stuff at the moment," Herron said. "I love Marvel and I’d love to work with them again, but my outing with Loki is what I’ve done with them."
Without a queer creative at the helm, it's a little worrying as a queer Marvel fan to see what the future holds in terms of explicit LGBTQ+ representation, especially since we've been waiting so long for it in mainstream superhero media and all we've gotten so far is tiny crumbs. But like all things, we'll try to keep an open mind and wait patiently for what's gonna happen next...
The first season of Loki is currently streaming on Disney+.