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Free Loki Movie Petition: Exclusive Interview with Tom Hiddleston's Biggest Fan

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Sep 18, 2013 08:22 PM EDT | James Knight

Free Loki

The logo for the Free Loki movement. (Photo : Facebook/Free Loki)

We have recently been reporting on an underground movement called Free Loki. The campaign is appealing to Marvel Comics to make a film based on the 'Thor' villain, played by actor Tom Hiddleston. The super villain movie petition, known as Free Loki,  has been gaining a lot of ground lately. Where it is uncertain if the petition will do anything to sway the big wigs at Marvel Studios, we here at Classicalite feel it is important to explore the influence for/impact of fan followings in today's Age of On Demand. That's why this reporter(CL) spoke with Free Loki founder Denise Heard-Bashur (FL) to learn a little more about the movement.

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Who are the Mortals behind the movement?

I’m a graphic designer and marketer in El Paso, TX. My friend and co-founder is John Chavez, a marketer and digital strategist in Portland, OR. While our careers are similar what we really have in common is our love of film, characters and the actors who play them, in particular Tom Hiddleston as Loki in the Thor movie franchise.

When did you start this petition and what inspired you?

On the night of July 21, we were discussing, at great length, the appearance by Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Hall H at the San Diego Comic Con. That appearance was inspiring and revolutionary on so many levels from both a fan’s point of view and a marketer’s point of view. At one point John said something we’d both thought for a long time: “This only proves Loki needs his own movie,” to which I replied only half-joking, “Yeah. We should start a petition.”

CL: Did you have any idea at the time just how big this would become?

It was one of those ideas that, as it was forming seemed like a good joke, but after I’d said it, sounded like a good idea. What was the worst that could happen? The film wouldn’t get made? Marvel would say, “no?” Well, then we’d be no worse off than where we began.

On the other hand, what if it did work or even just came close to working? I’ve always believed you can’t complain about the status quo if you’re not willing to incite and work for the solution. I don’t think it’s such a travesty to at least try to make a difference no matter how frivolous it might seem to others. It’s far more constructive that sitting on the sidelines merely to judge and belittle others who have chosen to do something rather than just talk.

How long did it take you to get the ball rolling?

That night I wrote up the petition and put it online. I then immediately designed our first logo, which would evolve twice before coming to its current iteration, and created a Facebook page. Right away we began posting the petition link to various Tom Hiddleston and Loki fan pages as well as Marvel’s own Thor: The Dark World page. Signatures began coming in. After 24 hours we were at about 150, which seemed an adequate beginning. The next day I opened the Free Loki Twitter account, which has become the main avenue of communication to gain signatures and supporters.

What was your plan of attack after that?

My initial strategy was simply to get into the trenches, to really get in amongst the fans who were obviously going to be the strongest supporters of the campaign. In doing that I discovered something wholly unexpected: Tom Hiddleston has some of the most supportive and enterprising fans I’ve ever heard of. Many of them are singular in their willingness to use their time to improve the world around them. This comes from both their own ambition and as a result of being inspired by Tom Hiddleston himself who is, unlike Loki, an extremely charitable and empathetic man who passionately strives to advance the interests of humanitarian efforts by groups such as UNICEF.

CL: Obviously there were a lot of like minded Loki fans out there.

Promoting a campaign that honors Hiddleston’s famous role was something his fans could rally behind. They were immediately welcoming, immediately supportive. They actively helped me by spreading the petition as often and as far as they could. It may reek of sentiment, but I literally could not have gotten to where we are today without them.

Where did the name Free Loki come from?

The name Free Loki came to me pretty quickly. It's a nod to the end of The Avengers where we see Loki incarcerated by his brother for his crimes against humanity. We presumed he would begin in Thor: The Dark World still a prisoner. Free Loki is basically a plea to release, or unleash, the God of Mischief into his own film. This is where our famous tagline and hashtag #UnleashTheGod comes into play. The tagline was actually inspired by a line in a different film franchise, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

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