Warning: this story contains spoilers for Wednesday’s Moon Knight Episode 6, “Gods and Monsters.” It’s all connected in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, except for Moon Knight. The Marvel Studios Original series is part of the wider MCU and set in the shared continuity of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and The Avengers, but none of Earth’s mightiest heroes fly by for a cameo. Even as Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) threatens to unleash the Goddess Ammit’s (Saba Mubarak) deadly judgment upon the world — an Avengers-level threat stopped by Marc Spector/Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac), the Egyptian superhero the Scarlet Scarab (May Calamawy), and moon god Khonshu (F. Murray Abraham) — Moon Knight stands alone.
The feat makes Moon Knight the first Marvel series not to feature guest stars from the expansive universe, breaking from expectations of movie-style cameos or crossovers. But Marvel had other plans: director Mohamed Diab reveals Moon Knight scrapped at least two crossovers with the MCU.
“We had the freedom to place it whenever. I want to tell you the very first scene, there was a crossover, and the very end scene, there was a crossover,” Diab told Variety. “But as the story developed and we kept changing the scripts, we felt like, ‘We don’t need that.’ All of us. It was a collective decision. And then I kept thinking: It’s a rule. There has to be a scene at the end that connects us to the MCU.”
Fans have come to expect character crossovers or post-credits scenes setting up sequels or other stories, but Moon Knight is self-contained as one six-episode limited series. The Moon Knight finale ends with a mid-credits reveal of Marc’s other alter: Jake Lockley, who may or may not resurface down the line in the wider MCU.
“I think they decided, ‘You know what, the surprise is that there isn’t, and what’s going to make this show unique is it doesn’t need anything else,'” Diab said. “The best compliment we get on the show is when people tell us, ‘This doesn’t feel like a Marvel show. It feels like a standalone show that feels more dramatic, more dark, grounded.’ I feel like we succeeded in bringing Marvel more to our corner. So, so proud and happy.”
Diab did not reveal how Moon Knight was to crossover with the larger universe — or who might have appeared — but head writer Jeremy Slater recently revealed early plans included Echo, a.k.a. Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), who made her MCU debut in Hawkeye.
References to the greater MCU in Moon Knight are sparse, but an early episode did show an advertisement for the Global Repatriation Council, created in response to half the population that returned after the heroes reversed Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) snap in Avengers: Endgame. The GRC played a role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and was referenced in Eternals.
Characters from Thor, Ant-Man, and Captain Marvel crossed over into WandaVision, while Iron Man‘s James “War Machine” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) showed up in Falcon and Winter Soldier; Thor‘s Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) appeared in Loki; and Hawkeye saw the returns of Black Widow‘s Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) and Daredevil‘s Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio).
All six episodes of Marvel’s Moon Knight are now streaming on Disney+.
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