The much-anticipated "Thor: Love and Thunder" makes Thor the first Marvel superhero to get a fourth solo movie. It's also a milestone for another reason: it's the first Thor movie that apparently doesn't feature Loki as a major character. While other major characters, such as Valkyrie and Jane Foster are returning, it's unlikely that we'll see Loki in the new movie.
Is Loki in "Thor: Love and Thunder"?
While the exact timeline of the Marvel universe is getting increasingly complicated, the simple fact is that there probably isn't any version or variant of Loki that's in the right place (and time) to appear in the new movie. In the "main" timeline where Thor and his friends currently are, the Loki that we followed starting in 2011's "Thor" died at the hands of Thanos years ago. The "variant" Loki, who diverges from the previous timeline by vanishing with the Tesseract in 2012 during the time heist in "Avengers: Endgame," is currently wrapped up in the labyrinthine Time Variance Authority (TVA). Since "Thor: Love and Thunder" apparently takes place in the years after "Endgame" in the main universe, there shouldn't be any version of Loki present.
Will Tom Hiddleston Have a Surprise Cameo in "Thor: Love and Thunder?"
So far, the marketing campaign for "Thor: Love and Thunder" seems to be downplaying the likelihood of Loki reappearing. In an official Marvel video, star Chris Hemsworth and director Taika Waititi recap Thor's entire storyline so far in under a minute. And despite Loki playing a pivotal role in that entire story arc, there's not one mention of him. Speculation runs in one of two directions: either Loki is being left out because he's no longer playing a role in Thor's story moving forward, or he's been deliberately left out so that no one guesses he's making a surprise appearance.
The likeliest explanation is that Marvel is keeping Loki out of Thor's movies because Loki now has his own spinoff series. The Disney+ series "Loki" has already been picked up for a second season. At the end of the first season, Loki's variant, Sylvie, kills "He Who Remains," causing the so-called "Sacred Timeline" to branch off into a vast and chaotic multiverse. Loki himself returns to the TVA in hopes of getting his friend and ally Mobius to help him - only to find himself in a new version of the TVA where Mobius doesn't recognize him and where a statue of Kang the Conqueror - a variant of He Who Remains - lords over the atrium of the TVA.
For Loki, it seems like the days of being the villain or foil in Thor's story are over. Instead, he's leading his own story, with massive implications for the whole future of the Marvel universe. While we'll miss his brotherly banter with Thor - and hope that maybe we'll see it again one day - it makes sense, for now, for the brothers to go their separate ways.