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We Finally Understand Why Bushman Didn't Appear In Moon Knight

The Disney+ series "Moon Knight" introduces a major Marvel Comics character into the MCU in the form of Moon Knight, played by Oscar Isaac. A character beloved by many readers, Moon Knight is the alternate identity of an individual with multiple personalities including Marc Spector, an American mercenary, and Steven Grant, a British museum worker, who inhabit the same body. Steven starts the series unaware of Marc's existence, ultimately learning that he is beholden to the Egyptian god Khonshu, voiced by F. Murray Abraham, who gives him a suit with supernatural powers.

While Moon Knight's main adversary in the series is Arthur Harrow, played by Ethan Hawke, the character has faced off against many villains in the comics. One such villain, Raul Bushman, is particularly notable because he gets briefly referenced in the show as well. Bushman is a fellow mercenary who works with Marc before betraying him on a mission, shooting him and leaving him for dead. This leads Khonshu to save Marc's life in return for Marc becoming the Fist of Khonshu. 

However, in the series, Bushman also kills a group of archaeologists, one of whom is the father of Layla Al-Faouly, played by May Calamawy. Although he doesn't ever appear on screen, the first season's story sets Bushman up to possibly be a future villain against whom both Marc and Layla have a personal grudge. Now, thanks to a new interview with show creator Jeremy Slater, we finally understand why Bushman doesn't appear in Season 1 of "Moon Knight."

The head writer felt he would be too similar to Killmonger

In an interview with The Direct, Jeremy Slater, the show creator and head writer of "Moon Knight," spoke about the initial role of Raul Bushman and how it evolved over the course of the series. In the process, he revealed that Bushman was initially slated to have a larger role in the series, but he couldn't figure out how to make the character work.

"I mean Bushman was in my first couple versions of the script for sure, and we tried to have several different versions of him. Ultimately, I was the one to make the decision to ax Bushman." Slater said in the interview. He explained that one main concern was that he wanted to avoid the racist caricature versions of the character that had appeared in the comics over the years, which meant that the only version of Bushman that could work would be a character who skewed too closely to "Black Panther" villain Erik Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan.

"This means [Bushman] has to be the world's best mercenary, he has to be a master of hand-to-hand combat, he has to be a tactical genius," Slater said, adding, "The problem is, once you've done all those things, [people] will start immediately comparing him to Erik Killmonger, because [he] is still for my money Marvel's best villain ... We just felt like you're never going to top what Michael B. Jordan brought to that role, and so we're just setting our Bushman up to fail."

Slater also felt Bushman's character development would be too rushed

Jeremy Slater went on to add that another hurdle they ran into with Bushman was how he would compare to both Steven Grant, who is a conflict-averse civilian, and Marc Spector, who is a trained fighter with supernatural powers. He also has a particular hatred for Bushman due to him shooting Marc and leaving him for dead, as well as killing Layla Al-Faouly's father.

Slater stated that if Bushman went up against Steven, it would be no contest, as Bushman could simply shoot and kill Steve without any trouble. On the other hand, if Bushman went up against Marc, he would be simply a human — albeit a well-trained human — whose bullets and attacks wouldn't have an effect on Marc in the Moon Knight suit. "So it's one of those weird things where like he was too lethal for one, Steven, and not lethal enough for Marc," Slater said.

Slater ultimately determined that the only way to have Bushman be a challenging adversary would be to make him an avatar to a god as well. However, due to the initial episodes focusing on Steven's life in London, Slater would've been unable to introduce Bushman until the season was well underway, which would mean accelerating his character development in order to grant him the avatar powers to make him a worthy opponent to Marc. For Slater, "It just kind of never worked, it never felt satisfying." But who knows, maybe Bushman will show up in a possible second season of "Moon Knight."