Folks, say hello to your Moon Knight. Both Deadline and Variety broke the news last night that popular Star Wars actor Oscar Isaac is currently in talks to play the title role in Marvel Studios’ upcoming Disney+ series. Coincidentally, this will be Isaac’s second time playing an Egyptian-themed Marvel Comics character on-screen having portrayed the titular baddie under a ton of bad purple makeup in Fox’s much-derided X-Men: Apocalypse. The less said about that terrible Power Rangers villain cosplay, the better though.
As for Moon Knight, he’s one of Marvel’s more complex characters so it’s a good thing the comic book film studio has landed an actor of Isaac’s skill to portray him.
Created by writer Doug Moench and artist Don Perlib and first debuting in 1975’s Werewolf By Night #32, Moon Knight is Marc Spector, an Ex-CIA agent turned very wealthy mercenary who is betrayed and left for dead by his merc partner Raoul Bushman while on a mission at an archaeological dig site in Egypt. After Bushman absconds with the valuable relics, a near-death Spector happens to find himself at the altar of the Egyptian moon good Khonsu. The god himself appears to Spector and offers him a second chance at life in return for the merc becoming Khonsu’s avatar of vengeance on Earth. Spector accepts and is resurrected with superhuman abilities: his strength is tied to the moon – the fuller it is, the stronger he gets.
Investing the fortune he accumulated as a merc upon his return to the United States, Spector creates the fake identity of millionaire Steven Grant to put a legitimate face on his real endeavour: using his wealth and resources to fight evil as the superhero Moon Knight. Spector uses multiple other identities, such as cab driver Jake Lockley, to navigate the different layers of society.
It’s at this point that some of you may be thinking that Moon Knight is basically just Marvel’s version of Batman, and you’re kind of right as the similarities are very apparent (he even uses crescent moon shaped “batarangs” among other gadgets). But here’s where things get interesting for Moon Knight: Spector may have hallucinated the entire Konshu encounter as part of a near-death experience. He doesn’t have powers, he simply pushes himself beyond his limits because he believes he can. And those other “fake” identities? They’re actually Spector’s other personalities as he suffers from a dissociative identity disorder. As such, Spector never quite knows for sure exactly how much of his life as a costumed superhero is actually real or just in his head.
This makes for one of the more intriguing characters in the Marvel stable, which has seen some truly fantastic runs over the years from writers who fully leaned into that psychological thriller angle. When first announcing the TV series adaptation though, Marvel boss Kevin Feige described Moon Knight as an action-adventure show, but more recent reports have indicated this could be Marvel’s darkest offering to date. There are also unconfirmed talks that Werewolf-By-Night, Dracula and dark supernatural characters could show up in the series.
While Isaac may be most well-known as dashing hotshot pilot Poe Dameron in the latest Star Wars trilogy, he has definitely shown that he can go dark and psychological with the likes of Ex Machina. With characters from the various new Disney+ series reportedly making their way to the big screen as well, his Marc Spector would make for an interesting counterpoint to all the bright and witty heroes currently leading the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Umbrella Academy’s Jeremy Slater will be acting as showrunner for Moon Knight but a pilot director is still being sought. Marvel would have to fill that position soon as it was previously reported that Moon Knight will go into production in less than two weeks. That could be pushed back though as there’s currently no Disney+ release date set yet (especially since the pandemic ruined everybody’s timetables).
Last Updated: October 27, 2020