Moon Knight Director Explains Why the Show Is Avoiding MCU Connections

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Moon Knight, MCU, Disney+

Fans across the world are currently enjoying Marvel Studios' most recent Disney+ series, Moon Knight. The Oscar Isaac-led show sees its titular character having to navigate with their Dissociative Identity Disorder, alongside dealing with the fact that they are the Avatar to the Egyptian God of the Moon, Khonshu. However, this project has one key difference from its other MCU brethren: it stands wholly on its own.

For many, that quality is one of the most refreshing aspects of the show. There aren't cameos from other MCU heroes, references to bigger world events (like the Statue of Liberty debacle), or even any need for prior knowledge—audiences can jump right in at episode one and know everything they need to.

It's an interesting aspect that, for better or worse, is rarely seen in Marvel's projects. Even the recent Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which set up an entirely new corner of the world, had heavy references to Doctor Strange's world—such as Wong's involvement.

But why is the project so disconnected from the wider MCU around it? Well, thankfully, one of the directors for the series is here to help answer that.

Why Moon Knight Feels Separated From the MCU

Moon Knight

In an interview with Digital Spy, prior to the official premiere of the Disney+ show, Moon Knight director Aaron Moorhead talked about why they chose for the series to be relatively unconnected to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe.

According to him, the hero standing alone as a character "was one of the foundations of doing this entire project," and with there having been "no expectations on him... the project could be anything:"

"Making sure that Moon Knight was something that could completely stand alone as a character was one of the foundations of doing this entire project. Our executive producer Grant [Curtis] and also Mohamed [Diab], the other director and EP, they were all saying, 'There's no reason to do this if we're not going to be able to be bold by spending all the currency of having a character that no one knows anything about, and it doesn't have to tie in in any way. There's no expectations on him, so we can do anything that we want... and that was actually one of the reasons that Justin and I really wanted to do this project. It's that there was… He could be anything. The project could be anything."

When asked why the character resonates with Moorhead personally, the director pointed out how Moon Knight is "an outsider:"

"He's an outsider, and he's something very different than the rest of that universe. And that's also something that emboldened us to take some unusual risks with it."

Commenting on what it was like to hop into the Marvel Studios ecosystem, the filmmaker noted that "everyone was on the same page of wanting to tell an Indiana Jones-esque adventure:"

"I think everyone was on the same page of wanting to tell an Indiana Jones-esque adventure that had a darkness and an edge to it simultaneously. And again, it's so much like the indie films we do, where we're following a gut instinct that isn't guided by a specific genre; it's more guided by what's going to be the scariest thing in the moment, or the funniest thing in the moment. And how do all those things complement each other in finding that right rhythm?"

Avoiding the MCU in the Room

Hopefully, fans are enjoying the disconnectedness of the series as much as they can now because it certainly won't last all that long. It's an easier task to pull off for a character's origin story, but the longer someone like Moon Knight exists in the MCU, the harder it will become to believe he wouldn't have run into anyone at all—especially someone like the Sorcerer Supreme.

There's plenty of potential for the character to connect with the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe sooner rather than later.

For one, Taika Waititi's upcoming film Thor: Love and Thunder could easily tie its way into Moon Knight. After all, the villain of the piece is called Gorr the God Butcher—sure seems like Khonshu's activeness might find its way onto Christian Bale's radar at some point or another.

Audiences should also consider that Mahershala Ali's Blade is out there recruiting people on the supernatural side of the universe. No doubt he'll want to have some words with Marc Spector; a fist of Khonshu could definitely be of use to him.

Moon Knight is currently streaming on Disney+.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.