Marvel needs to sign actor Tom Hiddleston to a long-term deal as soon as possible, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.
For those who don't know, Hiddleston has played Loki, the Norse god of mischief, in three of Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) biggest Marvel films: Thor, Marvel's The Avengers, and most recently, Thor: The Dark World. Audiences have taken to his portrayal with an enthusiasm similar to what Robert Downey Jr. has enjoyed for playing Tony Stark and Iron Man, Tim says.
Just look at the numbers. Through its first four days in U.S. theaters, Box Office Mojo had Thor: The Dark World tracking 35% ahead of its predecessor, putting it on pace for at least $600 million in gross receipts worldwide and within spitting distance of Time Warner's summer hit, Man of Steel.
And if it does better? Tim says Disney films, as a group, have already earned an estimated $1.1 billion in gross profit this year versus $1.29 billion last year. The Dark World could help the studio to its most profitable performance since 2010, when Toy Story 3 pushed past $1 billion at the global gate.
Or if you prefer a more visceral measure of Hiddleston's growing popularity, click here to watch 7,000 people scream their approval at his surprise appearance onstage during Marvel's panel at San Diego Comic-Con.
Right now there's no indication that he'll reprise the role. Yet apparently he would if asked: Hiddleston said in a recent interview on the Nerdist podcast that he'd be open to doing more projects with the character. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige should take him at his word and sign a multi-picture deal immediately, Tim says.
How would the studio build a franchise around him? Tim offers an idea in the video. Please watch to get his full take and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand.