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SPOILER WARNING: This story discusses main plot factors in Season 1, Episode 6 of “Moon Knight,” at present streaming on Disney+.

All through Marvel Studios’ “Moon Knight,” it’s been clear that the titular superhero at its middle, performed by Oscar Isaac, was contending with a profound challenge along with his psychological well being. Specifically, his dissociative id dysfunction had break up his psyche into two individuals: Mark Spector, a hard-charging American mercenary, and Steven Grant, a mild-mannered British reward store worker.

Savvy viewers of “Moon Knight,” nonetheless, have picked up on hints about Mark that followers of the Marvel comedian collection already know:  Mark’s thoughts harbors a third id. And within the remaining scene of the (presumably) remaining episode of “Moon Knight,” audiences lastly acquired to satisfy him: Jake Lockley. Within the comics, Jake is a street-wise cab driver, however on the present, the viewers involves suspect — after Mark or Steven has blacked out when their life was in mortal hazard — that Jake is able to blistering acts of overwhelming violence. It’s not till the post-credits scene, although, that Jake lastly reveals up. He extracts Ethan Hawke’s Arthur Harrow from a psychiatric hospital, dumps him inside a stretch limo and kills him on behalf of the Egyptian god Khonshu. Finish of collection!

Or is it? Marvel just lately referred to the episode because the “season finale” of “Moon Knight,” not the collection finale. Past Jake’s introduction, we additionally see Mark’s spouse Layla (Might Calamawy) develop into a superhero in her personal proper, because the avatar of the Egyptian goddess Taweret. Based on Marvel, Layla’s superhero identify is the Scarlet Scarab, taken from a male superhero launched in 1977 (and killed off in 1982), and he or she is formally the primary Egyptian superhero to occupy the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

All of that implies a wide-open future for Mark/Steven/Jake and Layla — one thing Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Diab, who directed the primary, third, fifth and sixth episodes of “Moon Knight” — positively hopes to assist make occur. He talked with Selection about bringing Jake to life, why it was so necessary that Layla develop into a superhero and why he’s proud that “Moon Knight” has zero crossovers with the remainder of the MCU.

Do you know you wished to finish the present by introducing Jake Lockley?

The whole lot you see within the present is a trial and error, a course of that all of us went via. There have been so many endings — like, not utterly completely different endings, however simply, let’s cease right here, let’s cease right here, let’s cease right here. I believe perhaps the third or fourth draft, everybody knew that this might be the final scene. However how a lot of Jake we’re seeing is one thing that we mentioned for an extended time. I believe we made one of the best determination. Everybody desires to know extra about Jake. But when we might have launched him within the present with out actually giving him the time to develop and be a full character like Mark and Steven, it wouldn’t have been honest to him. I believe now we opened the door. If there may be an growth at some point — which I hope there may be, which I don’t know that there’s — I may very well be part of it and Jake can have his time to shine.

Nicely, Oscar Isaac was up entrance that he approached “Moon Knight” as a contained story and that he was cautious of being tied to the MCU past it, given his expertise with different franchises. However the Jake scene definitely suggests that there’s extra story to inform.

For those who ask me, I might inform you that “Moon Knight” is right here to remain. He’s an attention-grabbing character. If you’re Marvel, I believe the good enterprise determination is to maintain him. The one factor is, Marvel isn’t conventional. For those who succeed, it doesn’t imply you’re gonna get a Season 2. By the best way, I’m saved at the hours of darkness. I’ve no clue. I’m simply pondering as a businessman proper now. However I believe they’re going to remain. Possibly it’s going to be a movie. Possibly it’s going to be a journey like what occurred with “WandaVision.” I want at some point, if there may be an growth, I might be part of it. We led to a approach that seems like a starting. You see Mark and Steven turning into a brand new dynamic, the 2 of them in a single physique. We see Jake. You see the Scarlet Scarab, who may very well be a superhero or not. Very attention-grabbing stuff.

The collection does play with the concept that all of that is in Mark’s head. Do you’re feeling just like the present ends with a definitive reply to that query?

My reply is this can be a present that must be watched as soon as and twice and 3 times. There’s so many clues. It’s not clear what’s actual and what’s not. For instance, we noticed his brother drawing a fish. So if that is the truth, then how come that Steven had a fish with one fin, too? What impressed what? It’s a loop. And I believe loads of clues are like that.

Did you talk about the thought of getting the present definitively exist simply in Mark’s head — to really have it’s like a superhero story of the thoughts?

I at all times wished it to be open. That is humorous: I at all times instructed Kevin Feige, I wish to have an ending once we uncover the entire MCU is in his head. So it’s an open query.

You additionally introduce Layla because the Scarlet Scarab within the finale. How did that come about?

Very first thing, I wish to give due to the writers who created the thought of Layla being an Egyptian. When Sarah [Goher], my spouse and producer on the present, and I got here alongside, we helped develop the character as Egyptians. When Might got here alongside, she turned Layla’s largest ally. A very powerful factor for us wasn’t simply the thought of a superhero, however the thought of constructing her utterly the other of each trope about Arab lady as submissive or weak. I’ve directed three films: ladies in my films are utterly fierce and robust — like my mother, my sister, my spouse and my daughter.

As a superhero, we knew that that is going to be historic. My daughter, when she was 5, she wished to straighten her hair. I needed to take her to Disneyland and inform Princess Elsa and Anna, “Please inform her that her hair is gorgeous.” She by no means noticed something on TV that appears like her. So right now, seeing Layla, you don’t know what which means to individuals who appear like us. It’s crucial. “Moon Knight” is turning into a nationwide delight in Egypt. Folks deal with it just like the Egyptian “Black Panther.” They love that behind the digicam, there are Egyptians; in entrance of the digicam, there are Egyptians. There’s Egyptian music that the world is having fun with. They imagine in themselves. They imagine they will do something proper now. I’m so happy with that.

Did you at all times know that Layla was going to be the Scarlet Scarab, or did you have a look at different attainable characters with an Egyptian origin that she may very well be?

Truthfully, I didn’t provide you with the identify. I didn’t join her to the Scarlet Scarab. Generally Marvel picks a reputation after which provides it to the character that’s developed [for the show]. Like, Arthur Harrow is completely completely different than the Arthur Harrow that’s within the comedian books. We’re simply utilizing the property. So we’re creating Layla freed from all of that after which we gave her a reputation. I maintain saying she may not be the Scarlet Scarab. As a result of proper now, she didn’t get her powers via the scarab. However perhaps, if the story continues, that’s gonna occur — or not. So the identify to me isn’t necessary. What she represents is what’s extra necessary. I can’t wait to know at some point, is she nonetheless going to be a short lived avatar? Is she going to just accept it? What will occur along with her? I don’t know.

It sounds such as you do, however I’ll ask instantly: Would you wish to work with Marvel Studios once more?

I might pay to try this. Positively. I wished to be a director as a result of I’ve tales that I wish to share with as many individuals as attainable. I’ve at all times made intimate movies. My dream is to do what Denis Villeneuve is doing — making your small, intimate movies on a much bigger scale, so that you connect with extra individuals. Thank God I had the prospect to try this on this present. I nonetheless really feel it has the DNA of my movies, the small intimate movies. I had allies like Oscar, Ethan, Might and Marvel, backing me up to try this.

There are solely a pair very glancing references to the MCU on “Moon Knight,” however there aren’t any crossovers in any respect — as much as the post-credits scene, the place crossovers virtually at all times occur. How do you’re feeling about what which means in regards to the present’s place within the MCU?

We had the liberty to put it at any time when. I wish to inform you the very first scene, there was a crossover, and the very finish scene, there was a crossover. However because the story developed and we saved altering the scripts, we felt like, “We don’t want that.” All of us. It was a collective determination. After which I saved pondering: It’s a rule. There must be a scene on the finish that connects us to the MCU. However I believe they determined, “You recognize what, the shock is that there isn’t, and what’s going to make this present distinctive is it doesn’t want anything.” One of the best praise we get on the present is when individuals inform us, “This doesn’t really feel like a Marvel present. It seems like a standalone present that feels extra dramatic, extra darkish, grounded.” I really feel like we succeeded in bringing Marvel extra to our nook. So, so proud and completely satisfied.

This interview has been edited and condensed.


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