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Oscar Isaac's Unique Moon Knight Contract Should Make Fans Nervous

The new Marvel Studios Disney+ miniseries "Moon Knight" is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe live-action television experience that does not draw from characters MCU fans have already seen on-screen.

Marvel Studios' 2021 live-action miniseries spent their time catching up with characters like Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), and Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) for post "Avengers: Endgame" exploits. In some cases, the shows seemingly passed the baton to new characters for the MCU's future; "Hawkeye" introduced Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), and appeared to establish a new dynamic between Bishop as the new Hawkeye and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) as the new Black Widow. Others re-framed old characters in a new light; up-to-date MCU fans know Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) has established himself as the new Captain America, and "WandaVision" helped turn Wanda from a supporting hero to a seemingly pivotal character in the upcoming "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness."

As a new Variety article notes, the first four episodes of "Moon Knight" contain zero spoken references to the rest of the MCU. Although the series takes place in the present-day, post-Blip world, there is no Stephen Strange or Peter Parker introducing Steven Grant and Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac) to the wider universe — at least, not yet.

Media members have not seen the final two episodes of the six-part miniseries, and even beyond that, it seems that the future of "Moon Knight" heavily relies on just how interested Isaac is in committing himself to the MCU for the long haul.

Oscar Isaac is reportedly not obligated to appear in future MCU stories

In a recent interview with Variety, Oscar Isaac said that Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige gave him more leeway for creative input with the production of "Moon Knight" because he was initially hesitant about joining the MCU.

Isaac told Variety that he was not actively seeking out a new franchise project to take on when Marvel Studios asked him to act in "Moon Knight." As a result, Variety reported that Isaac is not contractually obligated to appear in more MCU stories after the miniseries finishes airing in May.

"I had heard of the golden handcuffs," Isaac told Variety. "That was something that I was reticent about. And luckily, we all agreed that this [show] is what we're going to focus on. This is the story."

This news may surprise MCU fans who have grown accustomed to seeing newcomers to the cinematic universe locked into their roles for years. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Feige himself affirmed in November 2019 that Moon Knight, along with Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk (whose Disney+ series are also scheduled to premiere in 2022), will all appear in feature films after their initial small-screen streaming debuts.

Isaac's potential hesitancy throws his own future with the character into question; he told Variety that a future for "Moon Knight" depends on whether audiences "want to see more" of the character, and if Marvel's creative team finds the right story to tell.