The following contains spoilers for Moon Knight’s season finale, “Gods and Monsters.”
Marc’s third personality, Jake Lockley, a lethal killing-machine, has been teased since the very first episode, but only now has fully surfaced as the avatar of Khonshu’s dreams. Layla, meanwhile, accepting supernatural gifts from Taweret, transformed into the MCU’s version of Marvel Comics character Scarlet Scarab, and helped Marc and Steven put a stop to Arthur Harrow.
Moon Knight, as an MCU series, was designed as a more standalone story, and one that star Oscar Isaac has only signed on for a single season of so far. But the Jake reveal at the end and Layla gaining superpowers opened the door to a lot more, and the future of this series, or at the least its characters, is a big topic of conversation. Fandom spoke to Moon Knight Executive Producer Grant Curtis and EP/director Mohamed Diab about “Gods and Monsters” and all the huge things that went down – including possible next steps for Marc Spector and company.
Ethan Hawke’s Arthur Harrow was defeated, along with Ammit, but as that arc closed, another began. In the mid-credits scene, Harrow is executed by a third personality of Marc’s, Jake Lockley, at the behest of Khonshu. A seasonal mystery was answered but this cliffhanger begs for more story. Will there be a Moon Knight Season 2?
“I’m sure you could write part of my answer for me since this is a great question for Kevin Feige, the mastermind behind all of this,” EP Grant Curtis said with a laugh. “I can tell you this: Oscar [Isaac] creates such an engaging performance as Marc and Steven, and now Jake. It’s so organic it brings you to your knees, literally and emotionally in Episode 5, that I want to see where it all goes from here. I don’t know when or where or how or if, but it’s really a testament to what Oscar brought to the table and to his commitment that I think people want to see more of Moon Knight.”
Director Mohamed Diab spoke about what Jake could bring to the story moving forward, remarking, “Jake is just another character in control sometimes, who shows up during these blackouts,” he said. “So it’s similar to what Steven was going through but now Mark and Steven both get to go through the same thing. And it will be new for Marc.”
If Moon Knight returns for a second season, or even pops up somewhere else in the MCU, who could he interact with? Who should he interact with? Diab had a few ideas, telling Fandom, “I’d love to see him interact with someone like Captain Marvel or someone else who’s so serious that he drives them crazy. Oscar had this idea of partnering with the Hulk because the Hulk is sort of two characters too, and then the four of them could drive each other crazy. I honestly want to see him interact with as much of the MCU as possible. I want to see as many interactions as possible because I love the comedy Marc and Steven create. It’s not the kind of comedy that draws attention to itself. It’s not someone cracking a joke. It’s comedy because that dynamic is silly and sometimes Steven is a kid and he makes mistakes. I love that dynamic and I want to see it with all the other MCU characters.”
Curtis also wanted to see Moon Knight spread his wings all over the MCU. “I think everyone’s on the table,” he said. “And I don’t mean to be wishy-washy but the reason I say that is because in the West Coast Avengers, Moon Knight is famous for ripping up his Avengers card. That’s why I kind of say ‘Everyone’s on the table’ because for me that was such a shocking moment in the comics to read. You do see that he’s kind of part of the team but also he’s the last team member picked because he’s unpredictable. I think any room he steps into he automatically ups the intrigue quotient so put him anywhere and I’ll buy the ticket.”
Holding Back on Jake
Moon Knight’s story focused on Marc Spector and Steven Grant but comic fans always knew there was a third prominent persona. When the show seemingly began without him, the question was whether Jake was being left out completely. The show had already tweaked Steven’s character so much from the source material that it was possible Jake had been eliminated entirely, but that was not the case. Jake, once just a cab-driving alias Marc used to get information in the comics, was now a hiding, homicidal persona. But how did they come to the decision to hold back on Jake and keep him as a reveal for the very end of the finale?
Explained Curtis, “One of the things we wrestled with, in a great way was that we had such engaging characters – in Marc Spector, in Steven Grant, in Arthur Harrow, in Layla El-Faouly, in Khonshu. There were moments in the developmental process when Jake Lockley was seen earlier on. But once we actually started plotting the course of Marc Spector’s emotional journey with Steven Grant, Jake Lockley was not really a part of that mix and it just became an embarrassment of riches. Jake was a better tag to put a period on the end of Mark Spector’s emotional journey than it was in putting Jake Lockley in Episode 1 or 2.”
Referring to the mayhem and dead bodies he was leaving behind while Steven (and Marc as well we’d learn later) blacked out, Curtis added, “You know, Jake Lockley is technically in Episode 1, but we knew in order to tell the best emotional story arc, the best ingredients for that were Marc Spector and Steven Grant. The real question became how do we seed and tantalize and tease Jake Lockley without going ‘full Jake.’”
Diab also felt like saving Jake until the end helped the story feel less cluttered and crowded. “Jeremy [Slater, Moon Knight‘s Head Writer] and Marvel decided that the story should be about Marc and Steven and at one point we tried to include Jake even more but then it felt unfair to Jake,” he said. “It felt rushed, and we wanted to take our time. So this felt like the best way to bring him in. And he’s trending now without even really showing up!”
Should Moon Knight return, would Jake get his own specific Khonshu costume, considering Marc has Moon Knight and Steven has Mr. Knight? Curtis chuckled at the idea since, right now, he only really has one Jake outfit in mind. “I always loved Jake Lockley in a duffer hat,” he said. “So that’s my Jake. My Jake, I guess, has a leather jacket on and the duffer cap and a pair of jeans. I know that’s not necessarily the superhero garb that you go to, but I love that look.”
Enter The Scarlet Scarab
Sure, it helped that Marc and Steven were able to fight as a cohesive unit in the finale, but a big assist here came from Layla (May Calamawy). Marc’s wife reluctantly accepted the avatar gig from Taweret, which granted her an awesome super-suit and powers of her own, marking her transformation into Egyptian superhero Scarlet Scarab, who was male character in the pages of the comics. As Diab explained, this was a huge moment of pride for him.
“You don’t know how big this is in Egypt, in the Arab world, in Southeast Asia,” he beamed. “My daughter, when she was five, always wanted to straighten her curly beautiful hair because she never saw an example like her. She only saw Disney princesses having straight hair. So now having Layla, being as beautiful as she is, and being that kick-ass strong girl, is very very important. And Layla is just the icing on top. Egyptians are dealing with this show as if it’s their national pride. This is their Black Panther, in a way.”
“Just knowing that everyone in the world is enjoying their music is making them happy and proud,” Diab continued. “Seeing Cairo in new ways where it’s not just a desert. Seeing an Egyptian woman not in a submissive role. Having all of these tropes toppled. And having Egyptians working on the show behind the camera, in front of the camera, and doing something like this on a massive Hollywood scale helps most people believe they can do whatever they want if they put the effort in.”
Curtis also spoke to the Egyptian elements they were determined to get right, and how the Scarlet Scarab was the perfect end result. “Once Muhammad Diab came on board, and then obviously May Calamawy, they brought an Egyptian authenticity to the narrative. We realized that all the things in Layla’s journey were eventually leading her to becoming the first Egyptian superhero. It’s a narrative that merged nicely with the Scarlet Scarab so it was sort of a natural melding of the two. One of the things that Kevin stressed early was getting the Egyptian globe-trotting element of the story right.”
Layla tells the goddess Taweret that her role as an avatar is temporary, but maybe seeing the reaction of the young girl she saved, who was in awe of an Egyptian superhero, could change her mind? “I’d like to think so,” Curtis said. “I think in terms of what people want to see and what I want to see that’s it exactly. Like that girl on the streets Layla saves, who’s fascinated by this powerful champion. I’m fascinated everytime I watch the scene where the rock slab falls down and the Scarlet Scarab walks out and spreads her wings and has that smile on her face. It’s another great question for Kevin Feige. I don’t know where the Scarlet Scarab lands. I think May’s performance creates a rich character that only adds to the incredible tapestry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
Going Big in the Finale
After only selective moments of Moon Knight-driven action for most of the season, the finale delivers big on in-the-suit(s) moments, adds another superhero into the mix, and also unleashes a battle between giant, cosmic gods. Essentially, Moon Knight himself didn’t fully arrive for us until this finale, which, of course, was by design. “It really goes back to the pillar that the Marvel movies are made from,” Curtis said, “and that’s the foundation of ‘character first.’ It really came from that. The more we drilled into Marc Spector’s journey – and obviously that journey goes hand-in-hand with Steven Grant’s journey – Moon Knight was not in the suit at every moment because we were going on that emotional journey and we were invested in that.”
“But obviously once Episode 6 rolls around and Khonshu is 200 feet tall and Ammit is 200 feet tall, you’ve got to be in that suit,” he continued. “And thankfully by that time Mark and Steven have found peace with each other and their past and their emotional connection and they’re working in full concert with each other and defeat the big bad. This all really emerged out of character more than anything.”
Diab also spoke to the large-scale action of Episode 6. “We just wanted to make something unique and something different,” he said. “I thought Cairo could be a beautiful canvas at night for an action sequence. It was something I’ve never seen before. I don’t want to take all the credit, of course. Everything you see on the show is collaborative work. Everyone chipped in. The action sequence was inside the Chamber of the Gods in the pyramids at the beginning and I had the idea to get it outside. And then someone else threw out an idea, and back and forth. And that took about eight months to design the final sequence – building Cairo, and working with the great team from Olivier Schneider, our great stunt coordinator. It’s hard to take credit for yourself but I guess I’ll take credit for finding a lot of great people to work with.”