In a podcast interview with Empire Magazine for “Much Ado About Nothing,” Whedon confirmed that Loki would be out of the picture and won’t figure into the plot at all. It makes a lot of sense to leave Loki alone especially with Phase 2 of the Marvel plan looking to further expand the cinematic universe -- and the tease of Thanos at the end of the first film -- and audiences expecting a huge movie would surely be disappointed by a rehash.
Whedon himself noted that the freshness and unexpected moments are what made the first “Avengers” film a success, saying “Everyone is going to be looking for the Loki-Hulk smash moment” before adding that “imitating what I did before is the surest way to do it not as well.” In fact, he tells GQ that he already has the story laid out for the super-sequel, and has been keeping an eye on the upcoming Marvel movies to make sure the stories don't impede on what he's planning to do.
"My deal with Marvel is I have a consulting deal with them as well as a contract to make 'Avengers.' That means I'll read all the scripts, I'll look at cuts. Kevin [Feige] runs the thing and he knows what he wants, and I think that they're doing great stuff, but I like to be able to help and occasionally to go 'you know, that's really going to kill us on the second 'Avengers.' ' Since the story has already been approved and everybody knows what we're doing with 'Avengers 2,' we can really lay it out," he explained to the magazine. "It's not like anyone's saying 'well I don't know, what if I need that?' It's like 'doing this is troublesome for us, whereas doing this will actually help us.' It's a dance, but I had to do it on the first one too. You want to honour the events of the last movie but you don't want to be beholden to them, because some people will see 'Avengers' who did not see any of the movies inbetween or even 'Avengers 1.' "
There is also the little matter of the "Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." show airing this fall, but to keep things a bit simpler, it will run parallel to the movie world of Marvel. "It basically opens with the idea that since 'The Avengers' things have changed. Now everybody knows that there are gods and monsters, and what is the world like? It's about being the people who aren't super and what it is like for them," Whedon shared. "There will be people with powers and there will be exciting otherworldly mysteries and all that good stuff, but it's all in the service of finding the humanity of the thing. And [Agent] Coulson was that in the movies; he was the voice of us, the one who says, 'I don't know what's going on - these guys are super, they're from this other place… but we're dealing with it.' "
It will be interesting to see how all these threads come together (or not) and if the Marvel universe can stay coherent. But it certainly looks like they are taking each step with careful consideration. “The Avengers 2” hits theatres on May 1st, 2015. Listen to the Empire podcast below.