The currently-unfolding phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has distanced itself from its supporting films and instead decided to explore the introduction of new characters. Indeed, Marvel Studios has been digging into their vault of more obscure titular heroes (or villains). With the ability to continue to grow its universe across multiple media, Marvel has used Disney+ to its advantage when diversifying its live-action lore.
Moon Knight is a significantly enigmatic character making the transition from comics to live-action as Marvel Studios’ next entry into their cinematic universe. For many, the Disney+ original will serve as an introduction to the cult-favorite mercenary. Described as “Marvel’s Batman” from an outside perspective, the Moon Knight series anticipates going beyond the presumptions made about Marc Spector while exploring previously uncharted thematic territory.
Who is moon Knight?
Moon Knight, otherwise known as Marc Spector, is an ex-Marine CIA Agent who was reborn after being saved by Egyptian Moon God, Khonshu. He was first created for Marvel Comics by Doug Moechen and Don Perlin, and was introduced into print through Werewolf by Night #32. Spector is the son of a rabbi faced who took on the mercenary lifestyle after departing from serving in the military. Despite his moral conflict over violence, Spector subscribed to a newfound life of manhunt. In the comics, he was reborn through the power of Khonshu. Khonshu borrowed heavy influence from Khosnu: the god of the disc of the Moon. The ancient deity in Egyptian mythology was viewed as instrumental in the creation of life. The etymology of Khonsu traces back to the meaning of “traveler,” which significantly impacts the importance of Khonshu “traveling” through the mortal world while using Spector as a vessel.
While using Spector as a human host, the god grants him heightened abilities. In turn, he expects that the mercenary is to fight evil. The comics previously recognize Spector as an Olympic-level athlete and Mixed Martial Arts expert. His sense of mortality is altered as Khonshu has resurrected Spector on multiple occasions. The symbiotic relationship with the moon god grants Spector psychic and telepathic powers, with the intermittent interpretation of visions. With respect to the moon’s phases, Spector’s enhanced abilities are affected throughout the moon cycle. On nights where a full or new moon is present, he is at his peak.
What to Expect From the Plot of the Series
Moon Knight is anticipated to follow a more supernatural and thematically graphic plot line as it dives head-first into unsettling themes. The trailer promises Moon Knight to be grittier in nature than we’ve seen of previous projects in the MCU, and to cling to the gravitas of the comics. It’s implied that the series will look into its more mystical elements when furthering the story of Spector on the small screen, intersecting mythology and mental illness. Spector, per his comic origins, has a history of Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID). The official synopsis published for Moon Knight directly mentions Steven Grant, “a mild-mannered gift-shop employee.” Deceiving at first, the trailer explains that Grant is an alternative personality created by Spector, who has been blocking out gaps between his memories.
The trailer also presents an alternate story of how Khonshu and Spector were to connect as one. Compared to his comic book rebirth, Spector catches the attention of the deity as a child, and the relationship between them is implied to be a lifelong affair after he is chosen as an avatar. Moon Knight shows an interest in delving into a more controversial narrative; Spector must fight Yitz Perlman, a Nazi who disguised himself as a rabbi in order to commit anti-Semitic murders. It’s this confrontation that sparks Spector’s awareness of his DID in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Through the comics, Spector plays host to a trio of personalities that are conducive when he gathers information that favorably helps him fight crime. It is wise to keep in mind that Spector’s violence is not a side effect of his mental illness and that there is no found correlation between DID and instability. However, Marvel Studios prepares to launch a commentary on the struggles of living with mental illness, and how it directly impacts the function of daily life. The echo of the line “I can’t tell the difference between my waking life and dreams” that haunts the trailer solidifies that there will be a more unrestrained approach to the reality of how Spector is affected.
The Confirmed Cast So Far
Oscar Isaac will play the titular role of Moon Knight (while speaking in a peculiar British accent). He will lead the series and is expected to portray not only Spector, but his companion personas. Ethan Hawke accompanies Isaac as the series’ central villain, cult leader Arthur Harrow. Harrow poses as a self-help guru with more sinister intentions. When appearing in the comics, Harrow was a disfigured scientist who was created a zombielike army to fight Moon Knight. He was only mentioned once through the extent of the comics, and through Hawke’s depiction, there is the idea that Marvel will introduce a secondary approach to the character. Previous rumors suspected that Hawke would work his way into the series as Bushman or Randal Spector. The trailer proves the internet-borne theories else-wise.
Anton “Midnight Man” Mogart will be played by Gaspard Ulliel, who recently lost his life during a skiing accident. Marvel Studios has not addressed the future of Midnight Man in any project past Moon Knight, and has declined to comment on if the series would be reworked following the tragedy. May Calamawy has been billed on the surprisingly limited cast list without being attached to a specific character. The trailer depicts Spector speaking to a woman over the phone, meaning that the mystery role could be Lyla DeCriscio. DeCriscio, in the scope of the comics, was the daughter of the Chinatown Triads’ leader. Her adopted life caused her to be involved with the mafia, and she became a member of the Société des Sadiques. If there is any direct connection between the comic character and the on-screen newcomer, she too could be an enemy of Moon Knight.
Moon Knight’s Anticipated Release Date
The official release date for Moon Knight is set for March 30, 2022. It will serve as the first addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the new year following the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home. It is presumed that Moon Knight will follow a weekly release schedule while airing its first two episodes back-to-back. IMDb currently lists six episodes in the first season with little plot details anchored to them. Unlike previous Marvel programming, there is no direct connection to any existing title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe catalog. The lack of obvious ties to the upcoming title indicates that there is little preparation outside the comics needed for newcomers to the series.
Without overeagerly looking ahead, Kevin Feige commented that there may be a second season of Moon Knight. Fantacytube reports that he said “[Moon Knight] and She-Hulk were designed to continue.” Of course, Marvel Studios sets nothing in stone. Regardless of its future past its first season Moon Knight is still anticipated to stream as a Disney+ exclusive.