Moon Knight producer on that shocking finale reveal and Marc Spector's future
Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Moon Knight season finale.
Sometimes there are more than two sides to the moon.
The sixth and final episode of Marvel's Moon Knight found reconciliation for Marc Spector and Steven Grant (both played by Oscar Isaac), as the two alter egos finally learned to coexist and helped defeat Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) and Ammit. Throughout the series, the two men had often been at odds as they struggled with dissociative identity disorder, but in time they struck a makeshift peace, rebuffing Khonshu together and vowing to never again serve as his avatar.
It was a seemingly happy ending for them both — at least until the credits started to roll. Every Marvel project needs an end-credits scene, and Moon Knight's revealed that our hero has been hiding a third alter — one unknown to both Marc and Steven. That alter's name is Jake Lockley, and he's considerably more dangerous than either of the others. Khonshu may have agreed to walk away from Marc and Steven, but he's still happily tied to Jake, and when the moon god commands Jake to kill Harrow, Jake pulls the trigger with a smile on his face.
Comic readers will know that Jake Lockley is one of Moon Knight's oldest identities, and fans have long wondered if and when he might show up. (The show's version of Jake wears a flat cap, a nod to the comic version's job as a cab driver.) Over the last six episodes, the series slowly revealed clues hinting at Jake's eventual appearance, from that mysterious third sarcophagus in episode 4 to the violent and unexplained blackouts Marc and Steven both experienced. So far Marvel has billed Moon Knight as a one-season miniseries, but Jake's appearance is a major cliffhanger, raising questions about how Marc and Steven might cope with this vengeful new alter.
Jake Lockley wasn't the finale's only surprise, either: The episode also followed Marc's wife, Layla El-Faouly (May Calamawy), as she agreed to (temporarily!) serve as the avatar for the Egyptian goddess Taweret. Doing so gives her extraordinary powers, and she becomes the Scarlet Scarab — the first Egyptian superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With the season finale out now, EW caught up with Moon Knight executive producer Grant Curtis to break down the finale's biggest twists — and what the future might hold for Marc, Steven, and Jake.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let's start at the end, with the Jake Lockley reveal. What was it about the idea of this third alter that excited you?
GRANT CURTIS: Well, it's one of the major components of the comic book. Marc Spector has dissociative identity disorder, and usually that centers around three different characters: Marc Spector, Steven Grant, and Jake Lockley. We realized early on in the development process, led by the great Jeremy Slater, that we had an embarrassment of riches. We had Marc Spector, we had Steven Grant, we had Jake Lockley, we had Arthur Harrow, we had Layla El-Faouly, we had Khonshu, we had Ammit. It really came down to the fact that [we wanted] to tell Marc's most intimate, engaging journey. It really became a two-hander between Marc Spector and Steven Grant. That didn't leave Jake out of the picture, because we kind of thread Jake Lockley throughout, from episode 1 and beyond. But it really became evident that the best place to put him was at the end and make that the tag and [set up] the new journey ahead at the end of episode 6.
That makes sense: Jake is sort of this shadow looming over the whole show.
Absolutely. Jake is present from episode 1, but we finally see him at the end of episode 6. It created a tag that I think really encapsulated the show as a whole.
Jake speaks Spanish. Was that something that was important to Oscar Isaac?
It was all Oscar. That was not on the page. Oscar brought so many narrative elements to this show, both in front of the camera and behind. He's a storyteller first and foremost, and that was just one of the many contributions he made to this series.
The finale also introduces Layla as a new hero, the Scarlet Scarab. What was it about the idea of having Layla take on a superhero role that you found exciting?
This was one of our goals from day one, just continuing to drill down on how we could make the Egyptology part of the Moon Knight IP so much richer and more engaging. What we realized — through [head writer] Jeremy Slater, through [director] Mohamed Diab, through May Calamawy, through [directors] Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead — was that this character of Layla El-Faouly was kind of a superhero from frame one, when we first meet her. In early drafts of the story she didn't become the Scarlet Scarab, but as we continued to look at her journey with May and everyone else, we realized that we had a superhero in the making. Part of that superhero's backstory really came into alignment nicely with the Scarlet Scarab from the comics. So we merged the two.
In episode 6, when the rock slab goes tumbling down and the Scarlet Scarab, the first Egyptian superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, comes out and steps into frame and spreads her wings and has that great smile on her face, I stand up and cheer. Honestly, it's all because of May. It's because of her that the Scarlet Scarab is a really cool addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The finale wraps up much of this story, but there are also a lot of loose ends. There's some ambiguity about what might be real and what might be entirely in Marc and Steven's head. Why did you choose that intentional ambiguity?
I think there's multiple things that we found exciting, but one of the things that rises to the top is that it's very much a nod to the comics. The comics don't wrap everything up. The comics keep you guessing at times — not in a gimmicky way, but just as a way to continue to the character study. I think the end of our series and the end of Marc and Steven's journey is really shining a light and a mirror upon the comic book and the great decades of storytelling that came before. That's an aspect of the comic that we really gravitated toward, from day one.
We wrap up the narrative but don't wrap up everything in a bow. There are journeys ahead. I don't know where those journeys are or where they'll come into fruition. That's a great question for [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige, as you can imagine. But I hope that our series is a reflection of the IP that's been popular for 50 years.
Can you tell us whether we might see Moon Knight again, either in a new project or in a second season?
I can take my computer down to Kevin's office, and you can ask Kevin! I sincerely don't know. But I will say this: I like where we leave Marc Spector and Steven Grant and Jake Lockley because Oscar created such an engaging character. People want to see more of him. I think because of where we left the character, he could merge nicely into the MCU, wherever Kevin may want to put him. In that aspect, I'm a fan, and I'll buy a ticket. But I do not know! Kevin knows all.
One of the things that's interesting about Moon Knight is that it's mostly unconnected to the larger MCU. There are references here and there, but there are no big cameos or anything. Was that an intentional decision to keep this show mostly self-contained?
You know, it wasn't intentional at first. As you can imagine, you walk into the writers' room on day one with Jeremy and everyone else, and you have that blank whiteboard, and you've got this amazing Marvel Cinematic Universe with incredible characters that have been decades in the making. Your knee-jerk reaction or your gut feeling is to start trying to pull all the toys down to play with them because it's such an amazing, engaging, rich universe. But you realize that what we do here at Marvel, all these stories start first and foremost with the character. They're really intense character studies, whether it's Iron Man, whether it's the Guardians of the Galaxy, whether it's Moon Knight. It's character, character, character, first and foremost.
Once we continued to drill down on character and what made Marc Spector's story most engaging, all those bells and whistles started to fade away. It just became about Marc and Steven's emotional journey and [how they] learn to come to grips with their past, present, and future. That's where the connectivity faded away. So it wasn't intentional at first, but I do think it's interesting now, looking at all six episodes. With the series in my rearview mirror, I do think it's one of the things that has kind of boosted engagement in this series, because you can land into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Moon Knight as your first entry point. And you can be just as fulfilled at the end of this journey as you are if you've seen every other Marvel Cinematic Universe offering. So I think that was a blessing in disguise, to not have that connectivity and to really have an organic story that does take place within the MCU but is more contained than most.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.