How ‘Loki’s Variant Concept Opens the Door for Recast Characters to Return
Loki‘s latest trailer offered a closer glimpse into the newly introduced Time Variance Authority. After the Avengers played around with time, they gave the God of Mischief a chance to escape his fate that would’ve been Thor: The Dark World. Of course, the TVA wouldn’t allow it and Made sure he can’t do more damage by roaming free. We learn that this alternative version is called a Variant and uncover that there are potentially more out there. With rumors going around that multiple Lokis might appear in the series, which aren’t all played by Tom Hiddleston, and the addition of other Spider-Men in Spider-Man: No Way Home, it seems we will see many different interpretations of our favorite heroes soon. As such, Marvel Studios could explore its own history and bring back some familiar faces that got replaced as the series expanded.
While Marvel Studios has been quite good with keeping its various characters consistent, there have been a few recasts throughout the years. The most notable one for the franchise was when Mark Ruffalo replaced Edward Norton as Bruce Banner. As production ramped up for Avengers, Norton‘s vision of the character didn’t mesh with Marvel Studios’ and they parted ways. It made many questions if that film was still considered canon until William Hurt‘s Thaddeus Ross returned in Captain America: Civil War. There are other cases of recastings in the franchise’s long history. Don Cheadle took over from Terrence Howard in Iron Man 2 while Zachary Levi replaced Josh Dallas‘s Fandral in Thor: The Dark World.
Now, with the introduction of Variants in Loki, it opens up a lot of new possibilities. Of course, there is the obvious option to also bring back the before-mentioned recasts, who could make an appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Strange may seek the help of the Hulk only to meet a completely different version of Banner, which gives us a brief cameo of Edward Norton returning as his interpretation of the character. They might even explore this aspect with the recent replacement of Cassie Lang, as Kathryn Newton took over the role from Emma Fuhrman in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Scott Lang can’t recognize the face of his daughter that becomes a catalyst for the events of the film, as he tries to get back the Cassie he knew and loved. Why stop there? How about they introduce Tom Cruise as an alternative version of Tony Stark to pay tribute to almost playing the character before it went to Robert Downey Jr. It opens up a new way to explore the ever-expanding universe as they face real-world limitations and give these actors one last shot at revisiting these old roles or what could’ve been.