How connected is Moon Knight to the rest of the MCU?

Image via Disney.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe was envisaged as a shared universe telling a larger story from day one. After its huge success (and the many copycats that sprang up in its wake) it’s easy to forget how radical an idea this was. From then on most of its shows and movies have been built upon existing foundations, with WandaVision continuing the story of Infinity War and Endgame, Loki spiraling off from The Avengers, and What If…?‘s whole conceit riffing on past movies. But Moon Knight — which has just premiered on Disney Plus — is different.

Though it takes place in the MCU, it’s much more on the periphery than any prior Disney Plus show. We Got This Covered has seen the first four episodes and though we won’t spoil what happens, don’t expect Spider-Man, the Hulk, or Doctor Strange to arrive in Marc Spector’s odd world to save the day.

There are some nods to wider events and locations in the show. For example, fans have spotted a bus in a recent trailer featuring an advert for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s Global Patriation Council, and later there’s a namedrop of a fictional MCU country. But it seems that Easter Eggs like this are all we’re going to get.

In a recent interview, producer Grant Curtis laid out the show’s strategy:

Moon Knight is very much in the MCU. The observant viewer is going to hear and see those Easter eggs we drop that do explain that and confirm that. We looked at the very first comics he appeared in, in 1975, and we looked over the years of storytelling, over the decades of Moon Knight stories, [and asked] what are the themes and tones that we’re gravitating towards as storytellers? We never intentionally tried to make this standalone.”

This was the plan from the very start, with Ethan Hawke commenting that it being “disconnected” gives them more freedom:

“I love – you know, when you first see Iron Man, or when I first saw Black Panther – where I don’t know the origin story, I don’t know all the characters, I get to really be told a new legend. And I was so happy when we first talked about this that it was disconnected, because it gives us so much more freedom. And as an audience member it’s what I want, I want to not know what’s going to happen.”

Despite all that, we can’t rule out some surprises down the line. Hawke has mentioned the prospect of a second season and there are rumors that Marvel is setting up an MCU version of the ‘Midnight Sons’ team — which in the comics is composed of horror-leaning characters like Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, and Blade (among many others).

The post-credits scene of Eternals confirms that Mahershala Ali’s Blade is active in London around this time, so perhaps Moon Knight could end with our first look at Ali in character rather than just a voiceover? Beyond that fans are pushing for The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus to step into Ghost Rider’s motorcycle boots in the MCU and upcoming episodes could also see some occult action related to the Darkhold book in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in May.

Fans may grumble that an MCU show with only the briefest winks at the rest of the universe is missing the point, but Marvel Comics have been putting out stories like this for years and I’m just pleased Marvel Studios and Disney is serving a show as odd, disturbing, and stupidly funny as Moon Knight. And anyway, the Netflix shows seemed to do quite well with only passing mentions of alien invasions and interdimensional antics.

Moon Knight airs Wednesdays on Disney Plus.