By Darren Franich
June 17, 2013 at 07:51 PM EDT

Just about everything regarding 2015’s superhero mega-spinoff-sequel The Avengers 2 is under wraps. But writer-director Joss Whedon has been slowly revealing the cast list for the movie. We know that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will appear; we know that Iron Man will probably appear, unless the Downey-Marvel contract negotiations go nuclear.

But in a new interview with Empire, Whedon strongly implies that one key character from Avengers 1 won’t be returning. At one point, the interviewers ask Whedon if he’ll come up with any funny random old English words to compare to Loki’s use of the term “mewling quim” in the first film. Whedon’s response, with the key line in bold:

“First of all, imitating what I did before is the surest way to do it not as well. Second of all, Loki’s not there to say those terrible things. Although I do think we should bring the word back. Not as an insult. It’s just a nice word.”

It’s easy to determine that Loki being “not there” is synonymous with Loki not being in the movie. Which makes sense historically: Loki was the Big Bad in the Avengers’ very first adventure, but they have plenty of other villains in rogues’ gallery. Plus, Loki will be prominently appearing in Thor: The Dark World, so Hiddleston fans won’t be starved for Hiddleston injections in Marvel’s Phase 2. (Marvel Studios had no comment on Loki’s presence or lack thereof in the sequel.)

Whedon vaguely teases The Avengers 2 by noting, “There’s some science in it, which means I have scenes where someone says ‘Sciencey-sciencey-science!'” Baseless Theory Alert: Clearly, the movie’s all about Ultron teaming up with Kang the Conqueror.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich.

Read more:

Marvel’s Phase Three: ‘Doctor Strange,’ ‘Iron Man 4,’ ‘Hulk,’ ‘Inhumans’ or ‘Runaways’ on horizon? — EXCLUSIVE

‘The Avengers 2’ without Robert Downey Jr.? It’s possible even if it’s unthinkable

Joss Whedon: ‘I’m not getting $100 million on ‘Avengers 2’

‘Iron Man 3’ does WHAT to The Mandarin? — SPOILER ANALYSIS

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