[Ed. note: The following contains spoilers for Moon Knight.]
Those who think they got a handle on how last week moon knight the final unfolded might want to think again. While the miniseries ended with some closure, as the clashing personalities of Marc Spector and Steven Grant (both played by Oscar Isaac) ultimately came to terms with each other and defeated Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke ) as Moon Knight, there were still a fair amount of cliffhangers to ponder. And, as series director Mohamed Diab would like fans to remember, there’s a lot of ambiguity throughout.
Following the conclusion of Marvel’s ambitious new miniseries, Diab briefly spoke to Polygon about the twists and turns of the finale, his hopes for future Moon Knight stories, and how the series might not be as clear as some. might think so.
This interview has been edited for clarity and conciseness.
Polygon: moon knight is a standalone story, but you leave a lot of things open! How do you balance that, giving viewers a closed story arc while leaving Marc/Steven’s end state in limbo?
Mohammad Diab: It was very important for us to see the world through the eyes of someone who has DID [dissociative identity disorder]. This kind of disorientation – it’s not a trick, these blinks. It’s not a gimmick in the action as much as that’s how life feels – like you could just pass out and find out that something happened that you never thought you’d do, that you were responsible for something you didn’t do. So it was very important.
But I think after a while people will consider [Moon Knight] a second-watch show or a third-watch show. There are so many curls and so many layers. There’s a lot of things you think about, OK, I understand what’s real and what’s not. But when you go back and question it – I don’t feel like I know exactly what’s going on. And again, that’s how we think Marc and Steven’s life could be, and regardless of what we think we know about Marc and Steven, I think the journey, if we’re allowed to go back and to extend it one day, could be even crazier than anything we think it is.
Let’s talk about that big cliffhanger: the show ends with Marc and Steven accepting each other and believing they’ve accepted their condition, but then Jake Lockley, a third personality, is introduced. How do you balance this healing journey with the idea of a new character that Marc and Steven are unaware of?
I think [Moon Knight] has room for an expansion one day, because we think at the end of the journey before we see the post-credits scene, OK, the character arc is full. Marc and Steven learn to live together. That’s what it’s about. But maybe there’s another trauma we don’t know about [that brings about] Jake’s memory lapses. You can’t understand the whole story without understanding what happens to Jake, which we threw out at the end because we felt he deserved to have a full character study.
And maybe there are others? Perhaps? Who said Khonshu wasn’t a voice in [Marc’s] head? … I tell you, there are plenty of things when you come back and look, you will think OK, there are a lot of theories here. He’s no gimmick – maybe this guy’s mind is so fractured we don’t even realize how scared he is.
I also want to ask about Layla – she has the powers of an avatar, but unlike Marc, she rejects the bondage demanded by Khonshu. What makes his journey different? What was important to differentiate his transformation from that of Marc?
First, she is paired with a character who is the opposite of her, where [Taweret] it’s just like, feminine and sparkling. It’s the opposite of [what] Layla is, and I love opposites. Just imagine Layla hearing Taweret’s voice in her head, it will drive her crazy, try to convince her to stay as an avatar and maybe learn whether or not she should be an avatar or not.
But I want to tell you something very important. You don’t know how important this moment of Layla becoming a superhero is in Egypt, the Middle East, Southeast Asia. For my daughter, when she was 5, she always wanted to straighten her hair, because she never saw herself in any animation. And today, girls who look like Layla can look up to her and believe they can be anything they want. Egyptians perform behind the camera and have Egyptians in front of the camera, using Egyptian music. People believe they can do anything. You know, as part of the developing countries of the world, sometimes they feel like the West is so superior, that our art is not important. As if we weren’t enough to put on a show like this. But now they believe they can put on a good show. Now they believe it’s their music that people are in love with in the show, Egyptian composer Hesham Nazih. So it becomes a national pride there, and I’m very proud of it.
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