Moon Knight has already finished its six-episode run on Disney+, managing to avoid MCU connections aside from a single line of dialogue about Madripoor. Although it is set alongside the world of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the show's executive producer Grant Curtis first revealed that the series will not be attached to the current MCU, reiterating that the titular hero will be "brand-new" and "going on a brand-new adventure."
The Marvel producer also explained that fans will not need to watch anything from the MCU to understand Moon Knight's narrative, saying that there will be something to enjoy as long as people are "(fans) of really good storytelling." Still, Marvel Studios and Disney+ confirmed that the Oscar Isaac-led series takes place after the events of Hawkeye, but head scribe Jeremy Slater admitted that he's unsure he has "no idea" and that the show's "timeline was intentionally kept vague."
Now, more details have emerged about the show's scrapped MCU connections.
Marvel Director Reveals Scrapped MCU Crossover Details
Moon Knight director Mohamed Diab sat down with The Wrap to explain why the Disney+ series didn't have any crossovers with the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While admitting that Marvel Studios gave them the "freedom to place [crossovers] whenever," Diab confirmed that the show's "very first scene" and "very end scene" originally included a crossover, meaning that two MCU characters were supposed to show up. However, it all changed "as the story developed:"
"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. 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."
Moon Knight executive producer Grant Curtis also revealed in a separate interview with The Wrap supported what Diab told the outlet about the scrapped MCU connections. The Marvel producer shared that there are other mentions tied to the MCU other than the mention of Madripoor in Episode 3, saying that "it wasn't a conscious effort to step away" from the franchise.
However, Curtis pointed out that it all boiled down to "the best character story" that they can tell with Marc Spector, Steven Grant, and Jake Lockley at the forefront, thus veering away from the crossovers:
“There are little connectivity threads to the MCU. As you know there’s the mention of Madripoor in Episode 3, and there are other mentions that do tie it to the MCU so we are in there. But it wasn’t a conscious effort to step away from the MCU – because we don’t – but when we were in the writers room with Jeremy and the team, it was what’s the best journey? What’s the best character story we tell with Mark and Steven and then Jake at the end? And it really turned out the more we focused on them and making that journey as rich as possible for the audience, that connectivity just didn’t naturally flow with the narrative that we were telling.”
Curtis also explained the benefits of Moon Knight being so disconnected from the MCU, saying that fans can jump into the show and still "totally get the journey:"
“I think what is interesting about ‘Moon Knight’ is because you don’t have all of that connectivity, you can drop into it as your first MCU experience and you totally get the journey. You totally get the story. Whereas sometimes when you have more connectivity, there’s a little bit more homework you have to do. I don’t think you have to do that homework on ‘Moon Knight.’ I think the story is just as fascinating. Whether you’ve seen every other MCU offering or if this is your first deep dive.”
Moon Knight Deserves to be a Standalone Project
It's safe to say that Moon Knight worked on every level even though there were little to no MCU connections throughout its run. Although Mohamed Diab revealed that they initially included MCU crossovers, the fact that the story worked without them is already a good sign, thus potentially setting the precedent for future Disney+ series set under the superhero franchise.
Marvel Studios is known for giving freedom to its filmmakers when it comes to developing their projects. Multiverse of Madness director Sam Raimi previously shared that the studio is "very supportive" of his vision for the Doctor Strange sequel, and it's clear that the same direction happened with Moon Knight and Diab.
Given that the MCU is now a much more recognizable franchise after the studio's success during the Infinity Saga, it seems that references to the larger universe are a second priority, unlike during the early stages of Marvel's run. Doing this allows filmmakers to freely showcase their vision while helping the characters to receive the best story possible.
It is unknown which MCU crossover sequences were scrapped from Moon Knight, but it's possible that it could be related to Anton Mogart's line about Madripoor, which could potentially be a flashback centered around Layla. On the other hand, a scene that could connect to Thanos' Blip could've also been featured, considering the massive ramifications of this event.
As for the characters, the frontrunners could be Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner and Emily VanCamp's Sharon Carter, mainly because they are part of the rumor mill of the show.
All six episodes of Moon Knight are now streaming on Disney+.