In the year and half of MCU series on Disney+, Marvel fans have been introduced to a number of new and surprising characters, from Kathyrn Hahn's Agatha Harkness to Captain Carter in What If...? and even the alligator Variant of Loki. While few believed the MCU could top the latter, both Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Moon Knight's writers had other ideas.
To date, Moon Knight was a Marvel show like none other due to its use of Egyptian mythology and its leading character grappling with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Throughout the series' six episodes, Oscar Isaac masterfully portrayed three different personalities, often acting against himself.
If that wasn't ambitious enough, Moon Knight also brought select Egyptian gods to life in their animal-inspired forms, including the skeletal bird-like Khonshu and the crocodilian Ammit. However, according to a Marvel producer, Kevin Feige was adamant about another animal god from the get-go.
How Kevin Feige Responded to Moon Knight's Hippo
In an interview with the Phase Zero podcast, Marvel executive producer Grant Curtis revealed that Kevin Feige is largely responsible for Moon Knight's hippo goddess Taweret, having said, "that hippo, she's in the show!"
According to the producer, the Moon Knight writer's room was filled with all sorts of Egyptian imagery and inspirations early on in the writing process. In fact, Easter Egg hunters will be glad to know that "a recreation" of what the writers had in the writer's room can be seen "in Episode 1 when Steven Grant is talking to Donna in the storage room in the background:"
"I’ll tell you a lil’ Taweret story. We were early on in the writer’s room and we start throwing up all sorts of art on the boards, just as inspiration through the decades. Anything goes. We had all those different looks of Moon Knight up there. We had pictures of Egypt, pictures of the Pyramids, awesome, awesome renderings of Khonshu. And we had this poster that showed all the different Egyptian gods. And if you look closely in Episode 1 when Steven Grant is talking to Donna in the storage room in the background, there’s a recreation of what we had in the writer’s room."
Curtis went on to say that an image of the hippo goddess Taweret was also on the wall when Kevin Feige dropped by; and when the studio president saw the Taweret picture, he said, "Okay, I don't know if this stuff is in the show, [but] that hippo, she's in the show!:"
"And we also blew up the Taweret, the lovely hippo, and put her up on the wall. And Kevin [Feige] came in, one of the first times, and we were just starting to crack the story and looking around and seeing what this world could be… Not knowing what everything is exactly, but looked over and saw the Taweret picture and was like, ‘Okay, I don’t know if this stuff is in the show, [but] that hippo, she’s in the show!’ And of all the things that changed, of all the characters that came in and out, the hippo never left.”
According to Egyptian mythology, Taweret has the body of a hippopotamus and is the goddess of childbirth and fertility.
She made her Moon Knight debut at the end of the show's fourth episode where she was brought to life by Antonia Salib. Throughout the next two episodes, she proved to be instrumental with May Calamawy's Layla eventually becoming her avatar.
Feige Knows Best
While Taweret set the internet aflame following her Episode 4 debut, her performance and personality - courtesy of Antonia Salib - soon made her a fan favorite, once again proving that Kevin Feige knows best.
Still, few fans anticipated how important her role would be when Layla agreed to be her avatar and became the Scarlet Scarab. It seems that the Moon Knight didn't just keep Taweret in the series as Feige requested, but also made her one of the show's major players.
This is far from the first time Kevin Feige has shown strong enthusiasm for an idea for a Disney+ show. The Marvel Studios President was who insisted on pursuing the concept for Rogers: The Musical in Hawkeye upon learning of the idea.
While the future of the Moon Knight series has yet to be confirmed, both Oscar Isaac and May Calamawy's tenure as Egyptian avatar heroes has only just begun. And, even though Layla said her avatar status is temporary, Feige and the fans' love of Taweret likely means that the hippopotamus goddess is here to stay.
All episodes of Moon Knight are available to stream on Disney+.