Tom Hiddleston and Zawe Ashton had a classy thespian date night at the after party for the press night of Lucy Prebble’s The Effect at the National Theatre. The play stars Bones and All’s Taylor Russell and Paapa Essiedu from I May Destroy You. The after party also brought out Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Ted Lasso’s Sarah Niles. But this is about Tom and Zawe, who have been lowkey over the years, despite having a kid and being engaged. After the Hiddleswift era, it was a nice change of pace for Tom, and now, years later, he and Zawe seem settled and happy. I always like seeing them together, like, Oh yeah, those two, still making it work. Good for them.


But it’s shaping up to be a busy, high-profile autumn for them. Hiddleston is back as Loki in Loki season two—I can’t get over how good the production design looks in the trailer—which is due on October 23 on Disney+. And Zawe is, of course, the villain in The Marvels, though there is a big, strike-related question mark around that movie. The Marvels is the kind of film which would unquestionably benefit from a high-profile press tour to spark interest in the film, especially beyond the typical Marvel fan bubble. Not unlike Barbie, if managed right, it could have a fun, female-driven marketing presence to draw in atypical fans and get a wider audience interested in the film. Captain Marvel overperformed back in 2019, earning over $1.1 billion, but that was at the height of the MCU’s popularity, and it came in between the dual blockbuster successes of Infinity War and Endgame.


While I remain unsold on superhero fatigue—Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 just bagged $845 million—there is no question there is some exhaustion with Marvel and the MCU, particularly from broader audiences who seem to be craving something new at the cinema. There is now added pressure on The Marvels to do well, not just to hold ground for the MCU in the center of the pop culture space, but to maintain momentum coming off Guardians’ success. A splashy press tour would help with that, but if the SAG strike is still ongoing in November, there will be no press tour. I will not be shocked if Marvel pushes this one back, which would make the fall slightly less busy for Tom and Zawe.