“They helped,” Wright told the outlet when asked if McDonald’s paid for the build, but more importantly, he says, “they really helped us find [pieces]” for the set. As Wright points out, McDonald’s is “not like Marvel. They don’t have a warehouse of props and old sets. Like, those pieces don’t exist anymore.” Among the rare McDonald’s artifacts set designers were able to obtain? A “creepy apple pie tree in the background” of a shot featuring Owen Wilson’s Mobius, and statues of the notorious burger thief the Hamburglar. According to Wright, McDonald’s has “an archivist who helped us find all of that stuff through auctions and just private people that own [it].”
Though viewers might see the McDonald’s set as a blatant example of product placement, Marvel’s VP of Global Partnership Management and Operations Holly Frank tells AdWeek that McDonald’s was in the script before anyone started thinking about ad integration. “”It felt very authentic that Sylvie wanted a nice, calm beat after the events of season 1,” Frank told the outlet. “She walks into McDonald’s and sees pretty simple things happening, food being enjoyed, people smiling, and that’s where she wanted to go work.” The plot beat feels a bit like the kids of “Stranger Things” working at Scoops Ahoy or Surfer Boy Pizza: there’s a romanticism of consumerism there, but it feels in line with the Reagan-era ideologies of the time.
According to Wright, the set came together by taking over a building that had once been an actual restaurant: “It was a built on, like, the outskirts of London, we took over an old Indian food restaurant and turned it into 1980s McDonald’s.”
If you haven’t caught this surprisingly authentic blast from the past yet, you can watch “Loki” season 2 now on Disney+, with new episodes arriving each Thursday.