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Marvel scrapped all of Moon Knight’s biggest MCU connections

Published May 11th, 2022 6:04PM EDT
Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector in Marvel Studios' Moon Knight.
Image: Marvel Studios

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It’s been a week since the Moon Knight finale premiered on Disney Plus, but fans are still trying to decide how they feel. No matter how brilliant Oscar Isaac is in this entire season, he can’t fix the show’s biggest problems on his own. It’s not just the post-credits scene that’s problematic for the show. It’s the entire finale. It exacerbates an issue we’ve witnessed throughout the Moon Knight season: The lack of clear MCU connections.

It all boils down to the main issue with Moon Knight. Marvel is trying to have its cake and eat it, too, when it comes to obvious Easter eggs that would anchor the TV show firmly to the rest of the MCU. And since the Moon Knight finale, Marvel has revealed the various exciting MCU connections it wanted to include in the show. They would have made Moon Knight a lot better than it is. But Marvel chose not to use them.

Big spoilers follow below, so make sure you watch the whole season before reading about the cameos and other surprises that Marvel pulled from the show.

We’re watching Moon Knight because of the MCU

The existence of the MCU is the reason that a show like Moon Knight is possible. Marvel once bet the company on the future of Iron Man, which led to the massive money-making machine that is the MCU.

Without the MCU’s major success with fans, Marvel would have never reached a place where it can make movies and TV shows about obscure MCU characters. And Moon Knight is absolutely a win for the MCU, provided that Oscar Isaac wants to be in the MCU beyond the limited series.

But considering what Marvel revealed in the past few weeks about making Moon Knight and including MCU Easter eggs, it feels like Marvel went out of its way to remove these connections.

MCU fans who have seen every movie and show will have no problem identifying the small Easter eggs that Marvel put in Moon Knight. The show referenced Wakanda, GRC, and Kang in previous episodes. But other than that, it feels like Moon Knight occurs outside of the MCU. This is a problem — not because we want big cameos in Disney TV shows, but because the lack of MCU connections is basically a plot hole at this point.

Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector/Steven Grant and May Calamawy as Layla El-Faouly in Marvel Studios' Moon Knight
Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector/Steven Grant and May Calamawy as Layla El-Faouly in Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight. Image source: Marvel Studios

The deleted MCU cameos in Moon Knight

What’s worse is that Marvel is now slowly revealing all of the MCU connections that it decided not to include in Moon Knight.

Director Mohamed Diab told Variety that Moon Knight had two big cameos at the beginning and the end.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

“But 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 continued. “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.”

Moon Knight episode 5: Taweret needs notes to explain the afterlife to Marc (left) and Steven (right)
Moon Knight episode 5: Taweret needs notes to explain the afterlife to Marc (left) and Steven (right). Image source: Marvel Studios

The Eternals connection

Sadly, the finale makes you realize Moon Knight is a worse MCU show by not having any apparent connections to the MCU.

Again, you didn’t need any big MCU actors to show up in Moon Knight. And Diab did not reveal who those cameos were supposed to be. Something as simple as having a member of the Eternals in a flashback scene would have sufficed. And that’s another idea that the Moon Knight team scraped.

Executive producer Jeremy Slater revealed to The Direct that there was going to be a Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) connection at one point.

“I tried very hard to get the Eternals into the show, just because I’m buddies with Kumail Nanjiani… I want[ed] some Kingo,” he said.

“At one point, there was a flashback on the page that sort of showed one of Khonshu’s Avatars back in ancient Egypt, sort of dealing with Ammit being locked away, and Alexander the Great, and all of that stuff. You sort of saw this Avatar team-up with the Eternals. It was a really fun scene, but again, it was so massively expensive to recreate Ancient Egypt, to sort of bring in 3 or 4 of the Eternals to have this big action sequence.”

The scene would have been the cold open for one of the Moon Knight episodes, but Marvel decided against it.

Moon Knight in front of a bus featuring the GRC MCU Easter egg
Moon Knight (Oscar Isaac) in front of a bus featuring the GRC MCU Easter egg. Image source: Marvel Studios

The Thor: Love and Thunder connection

At one point during the Moon Knight run, a theory emerged that Marvel had delayed the Love and Thunder trailer because the TV show contained an event that might link to the next Thor movie. That event might be teased in the trailer, which explained the delay.

We now know that wasn’t the case, as Marvel released the first Thor 4 trailer before the Moon Knight finale. But Marvel wanted this particular MCU connection.

The same Slater mentioned the Love and Thunder Easter egg to The Direct. He said that the Thor had “both a lot and a little” influence on Moon Knight.

“But the reality is that we had no idea—when we started working on the show, we didn’t know when we were debuting,” he said. “We always sort of assumed it would be later down the road, and we would sort of be coming out in fall of 2022, and we thought we would probably be following [Thor: Love and Thunder.”

“But at that time, Thor didn’t necessarily have a concrete release date either, everything was sort of up in the air, and it’s like we might be ahead of Thor, or we might be finishing up,” he continued.

“So there were different versions of the script where the Gods would sort of talk about, ‘This thing with Gorr the God Butcher just happened, and now we’ve got this new problem.’ And then there were other versions of the script where they sort of talked about, ‘We’re hearing rumors [that] Gods are dying, this is not the right time to get involved.’ Like we tried to have our cake and eat it too.”

Moon Knight Kang Easter egg
Moon Knight Kang Easter egg: Pharaoh Rama-Tut symbol on jeans jacket. Image source: Marvel Studios via New Rockstars

The Kang connection in Moon Knight

Let’s remember that Marvel doesn’t release its projects in chronological order. They could have had that Gorr reference in Moon Knight without worrying about the Thor 4 plot that much. And it would have explained some of the Egyptian god problems in the finale.

Any of the Easter eggs above would have made Moon Knight an even better MCU show without stealing anything from its originality. But it gets better and worse. Marvel actually thought about naming Kang in the show but ultimately chose not to do it.

The confirmation comes from the same Slater via a different The Direct story.

“There was a line in the script, and I don’t know if it survived. I can’t remember. But there was a line where, I think Steven, is sort of rattling off some Egyptian history that he has locked away in his brain, and he did mention Rama-Tut,” the head writer and executive producer said.

“I don’t remember if that scene if that line is still in the show or not. But it was that small, it was him mentioning a list of famous pharaohs or something like that. But that was Nick Pepin, one of our executives at Marvel, that was his idea to sort of slip that in there as a fun Easter egg.”

There is a Rama-Tut Easter egg in one of the episodes, but it’s so small you’d have to have read the comics to pick up on it.

Khonshu (F. Murray Abraham) in Moon Knight episode 3
Khonshu (F. Murray Abraham) in Moon Knight episode 3. Image source: Marvel Studios

Other Moon Knight improvements

The absence of MCU cameos/connections is not the biggest problem of the Moon Knight finale. The story has some consistency issues that are hard to ignore. Like Taweret not showing up in the show, even though both Ammit and Khonshu are clearly visible. But, per The Wrap, the goddess should have been there.

Not only that, but Marvel considered turning all of the avatars into superheroes. Executive producer Grant Curtis explained to Murphy’s Multiverse that they decided not to make the avatars superheroes so as not to steal any focus away from Marc and Steven.

That’s definitely understandable, but the avatars and Egyptian gods are something the Moon Knight finale doesn’t handle very well.

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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