An Improvised Scene In Loki Poked Fun At Another Ad-Libbed Marvel Moment

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a strange time for the franchise. The post-"Avengers: Endgame" era saw Kevin Feige and co. trying to shepherd the concept of the multiverse into our collective consciousness while simultaneously introducing a host of new heroes and somewhat reinventing the MCU for a new generation. Much of it worked well, with "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" holding things down on the cinematic front. Meanwhile, "WandaVision" and "Hawkeye" made a good case for the MCU's streaming age being a good development — a case that was later ruined by the poorly-reviewed "Secret Invasion."

But for every good entry in Phase 4, there was a "Thor: Love and Thunder" or a "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" to undermine them. Thankfully, Phase 4 will always remain beloved for introducing us to one of the best arguments for the MCU expanding into the world of streaming television: "Loki."

The series that built a whole narrative around Tom Hiddleston's God of Mischief was a big hit, much of which was down to Marvel giving its creators more freedom to do whatever they wanted. Of course, it also helped that Hiddleston was leading the show. The British actor had thanked Joss Whedon profusely back in the "Avengers" days, penning the director a heartfelt letter that praised him for writing a film that provided Hiddleston with his "Hans Gruber." Since then, the actor has been fiercely committed to the role, defining the character for a whole generation. In fact, since first playing Loki back in 2011's "Thor," Hiddleston has become somewhat of a "Loki encyclopedia," at least according to "Loki" season 1 director Kate Herron, who recalled to Thrillist how the actor used his extensive knowledge of his character's history to improvise a scene in the streaming series.

Tom Hiddleston's improvised Thor throwback

In 2021, the six-episode first season of "Loki" debuted on Disney+, quickly winning critical praise for being a wryly funny time-hopping crime procedural. As /News's Ethan Anderton wrote at the time, "Tom Hiddleston gets to chew scenery like bubble gum," adding:

"Director Kate Herron effortlessly brings Loki to life with a sleek, vintage sci-fi aesthetic, a fascinating array of time gadgets and weapons, and a penchant for making chit-chat in offices and libraries wholly entertaining."

For Herron, however, having Hiddleston's scene-chewing and encyclopedic abilities on hand was really the key to the series. In the third episode of season 1, for example, the British star improvised a moment that seemed to particularly impress the director. In the episode, Loki and his variant Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) escape Lamentis-1 on a train, during which time Loki imbibes a few too many beverages, finishing one and smashing the empty glass on the floor before demanding, "Another!" This is a callback to a scene from the original 2011 "Thor," in which Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder does the same thing with his coffee. During a diner meeting with Stellan Skarsgård's Erik Selvig, Kat Dennings' Darcy Lewis, and Natalie Portman's Jane Foster, Thor announces, "This drink, I like it," before throwing his empty mug to the ground demanding, "Another!"

As Kate Herron told Thrillist, "I think Tom had a good time and he improvised that line, 'Another,' which obviously is an amazing reference to his brother." The director went on to praise the star for being "the Loki encyclopedia," adding, "If you have an actor who's played a character for a decade and is like, 'Oh, I'm going to throw in this great line.' It's like, 'Yeah, please.'"

Chris Hemsworth is the root of it all

The "Another!" moment is an amusing little callback for fans, but it also points to something more significant, at least as far as the Thor movies go. Prior to 2017's "Thor: Ragnarok," the films starring the God of Thunder had been less focused on comedy and had an overall more grim aesthetic. But as Kevin Feige told Gizmodo back in 2017, "With ['Ragnarok'], [director] Taika [Waititi] takes a little page out of the little moments in the other Thor films where [Chris] Hemsworth is funny." The Marvel Studios head honcho explained how the third Thor movie took the character in a new direction by doubling down on these more light-hearted moments — a tactic which worked well for "Ragnarok" but not so well for the just-too-silly "Thor: Love and Thunder."

Still, it's significant that Hemsworth's penchant for improvising and infusing his films with more comedy led to such a drastic overhaul within one of the biggest blockbuster franchises in Hollywood history. In the Gizmodo article, Feige specifically cited Hemsworth's "Another!" moment as part of the inspiration for the change of course, revealing that this was, indeed an extemporaneous addition during shooting.

As such, Hiddleston's callback is more than just a fun Easter egg, it's also a nod from the Loki encyclopedia himself to the importance of these improvised moments in MCU history.