To date, Marvel’s streaming shows have been squarely set in the MCU that audiences recognize. Every single live-action Marvel Studios series for the service so far – WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and Hawkeye – have not only featured characters from the movies but those central to the Avengers films in particular.
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Upcoming shows are also tightly aligned to the core MCU properties. Ms. Marvel is inspired by Captain Marvel, She-Hulk is obviously a spin-off of the Hulk, and Secret Invasion is a Nick Fury show spinning out of plot threads introduced in Captain Marvel. Even the animated anthology What If…? turned out to have a sneaky additional connection to the MCU. It wasn’t just alternate takes on established stories; it also introduced a Doctor Strange who, judging from trailers, shows up in the upcoming sequel Multiverse of Madness.
“Moon Knight is very much in the MCU.”
Moon Knight, however, stands alone. In the first four episodes screened for critics, there’s no cameo from an Avenger or MacGuffin from any pre-existing movie or TV show. Thanos and the Snap aren’t mentioned once. Even the primary locations for the story are far from the traditional Marvel haunts. (In a press conference before the show’s launch, Oscar Isaac said the show starts in London because “we just have too many characters in New York.”) Moon Knight could conceivably take place outside of the MCU altogether.
However, those responsible for the show want to reassure everyone that’s not the case.
“Moon Knight is very much in the MCU,” executive producer Grant Curtis tells Inverse. “The observant viewer is going to hear and see those Easter eggs we drop that do explain that and confirm that.”
According to Curtis, the lack of overt connective tissue between the series and other MCU projects simply follows what the source material inspires. More often than not, the source kept Moon Knight away from the superheroic heart of the Marvel comic book universe.
“We looked at the very first comics he appeared in, in 1975, and we looked over the years of storytelling, over the decades of Moon Knight stories, [and asked] what are the themes and tones that we’re gravitating towards as storytellers?” Curtis says. “We never intentionally tried to make this standalone.”
“I could see Marc and Steven driving the characters of the MCU crazy.”
Bad luck for anyone hoping to see an Avengers cameo by Episode 4, in that case. But the show’s lead director Mohamed Diab is hopeful that the character will one day get to meet his fellow Marvel heroes, at least.
“I could see Marc and Steven driving the characters of the MCU crazy,” Diab says of two of Moon Knight’s secret identities. In fact, he’s even got an idea as to how it could work.
“Marc’s speaking to someone with complete seriousness, and suddenly he turns into Steven, or Moon Knight turns into Mr. Knight. I think it would be amazing.”
Moon Knight premieres March 30 on Disney+.