The MCU's Loki series ended with the multiverse “freed” with several branches being generated.
Loki Season 1's conclusion also sets up the path for upcoming movies like “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness,” that deal with multiversal travel.
The finale of the hyped show also established how other variants of existing characters could enter the MCU. Episode 6 also hinted at the next massive cosmic MCU event of “Infinity War” proportions.
"Loki" Episode 6's ending sets up the origin and backstory behind a potentially upcoming multiversal war (Secret Wars).
The titular character’s return was also implied in the final episode; Loki was confirmed to return in Season 2. However, he is also expected to return in “Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness.”
Loki series’ showrunner Michael Waldron is also the head-writer for the Doctor Strange sequel. Additionally, this explains the massive easter eggs laid out through “Loki” for the upcoming movie.
Here are the theories that Loki Season 1 ending established about the upcoming MCU projects in Phase 4.
1) “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”:
This is the most obvious setup in Loki Episode 6, introducing the “good” variant of “Kang, the Conqueror.” The variant who claimed to be “He Who Remains” was heavily featured in the final episode.
Marvel Head Kevin Feige announced that Jonathan Majors would be playing “Kang, the Conqueror” in the upcoming Ant-Man sequel. While it is unknown whether the variant survived Sylvie’s attack, it is plausible that an "evil" variant of Kang shows up as the antagonist in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.”
4) The ending explains the upcoming “What-If…?” series.
The “What If…?” is based on different realities showcasing alternate versions of the same characters that the MCU established. This is directly an effect of the multiverse opening up.
The new trailer for the series provides glimpses of characters like “Captain Carter,” “Doctor Strange,” “T’challa” (or “Star-Lord” in the Series) and “The Marvel Zombies.”
The trailer footage showcases some interesting realities, including:
What if T’Challa became Star-Lord? What if Killmonger had rescued Tony Stark in Afghanistan? What if Peggy Carter took the super-soldier serum?
These alternate realities are likely to have been spawned from the multiverse being “freed” at the Loki Season 1 finale.
The “What If…?” series’ direct connection with the Loki series also establishes the arrival of “The Watcher” in the MCU.
In the trailer of the upcoming animated series, "The Watcher," voiced by Jeffrey Wright (Of “Westworld” and “The Batman” fame), is heard saying,
“I’m the Watcher. I observe all that transpires here. But I do not, cannot, will not interfere.”
This backs the theory that Uatu (The Watcher) is already aware of what happened with the MCU multiverse in the Loki finale. Furthermore, this also hints that “The Watchers” could be observing every reality in the multiverse.
It could be an interesting way that Marvel retains every property in the multiverse’s dimensions.
3) Fantastic Four in MCU:
During last year’s Marvel Phase 4 Presentation at Disney Investor’s Day, Marvel head Kevin Fiege announced a “Fantastic Four” movie in the works.
In Loki Episode 6, “He Who Remains,” confirms his origin as “Nathaniel Richards” when he states that he is a scientist from the 31st Century. In the comics, Nathaniel Richards is a descendant of Reed Richards of the “Fantastic Four” group.
2) X-Men and Deadpool in MCU:
While “Fantastic Four” is confirmed to be in works at Marvel Studios, there has been only a mere reference to "X-Men" by Feige at the “Phase 4” event. Fans have been speculating about the arrival of the ‘mutants’ in MCU ever since Disney bought 20th Century Fox in 2019.
So far, only a handful of references to “X-Men” easter eggs have been included in “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” and “Black Widow.”
However, with the main “Sacred timeline” being reset in the Loki series, it is plausible that this is how Marvel could explain pre-existing "mutants" in the MCU.
Disney also allowed a hilarious meta promo by Ryan Reynolds for his upcoming movie, “Free Guy.” The promo had Reynolds’ Deadpool and Taika Waititi reprising his role as Korg.
They were seen reacting to the movie’s trailer while making several MCU references.
1) More alternate variants of characters:
With the multiverse being opened like Pandora’s box, there are hundreds of “variants” of existing characters which MCU can introduce now. This is likely how Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield can reprise their rumored roles as “Peter Parker” along with Tom Holland in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
Furthermore, trusted insider Daniel Richtman reported on his Patreon page:
“I hope they are considering a bunch of interesting cameos for Strange to play different versions of characters we know. One example I heard of is Tom Cruise as Tony Stark from another Earth.”
Tom Cruise was previously in talks with Marvel to portray the titular character in the first Iron Man film, before Robert Downey Jr. Cruise’s arrival in MCU seems plausible as he was filming Mission Impossible 7 in London while Doctor Strange 2 was also in production there.
Moreover, this gives Marvel an option to have a clean slate with characters like “The Taskmaster”, whose portrayal in “Black Widow” was severely disliked by fans.