The MCU’s ‘Moon Knight’ Series Has Found Its Villain

In August 2019, Marvel announced that Moon Knight—a character who first appeared in Marvel Comics back in 1975—would be getting his own solo series on Disney+ (the same announcement also made clear that She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel). A year and a half has passed, and much of the early Disney+ attention has gone to WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, shows earlier in the pipeline (WandaVision, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, is currently airing). But fans who either know nothing about Moon Knight or have only heard the name in passing should have good reason all of a sudden to be way more interested: Oscar Issac.

Isaac, a legitimate movie star who will play Duke Leto Atreides in the upcoming mega-adaptation of Dune, has been confirmed to be playing the first live action version of Moon Knight/Marc Spector. Moon Knight has taken on many forms throughout his 45 years in Marvel Comics, but will now be joining the MCU, first through a limited series on Disney+.

Isaac is such a significant actor, though, that it’s hard to imagine he remains there for good. At the very least, we’d expect Isaac’s Moon Knight to make his way into a supporting role in future MCU films (think Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk). We think this is going to end up being big.

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Oscar Isaac will face off with Ethan Hawke in Moon Knight.

Details about the Moon Knight series have been trickling in little by little, and now we know that not only will the series have a huge draw as its titular character and hero, but, according to The Hollywood Reporter, it will also feature a huge name as its villain: Ethan Hawke.

In its post-Avengers: Endgame era, Marvel hasn’t been sparing any of its ammo when it comes to casting; superstars like Angelina Jolie (Eternals) and Christian Bale (Thor: Love and Thunder) have been confirmed for upcoming feature films, but Hawke and Isaac are easily the biggest names confirmed yet for the small screen treatment (though Tom Hiddleston could certainly put up a fight for Loki).

Hawke, a four-time Academy Award nominee, is playing an unknown villain at this point; THR notes that Moon Knight’s arch nemesis in Marvel Comics is Bushman, a fellow mercenary and former ally who turned on the hero when Egyptian gold entered the story’s fray.

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What is Moon Knight?

While Moon Knight is far from Marvel’s best known character, he’s been around for 45 years at this point, having made his debut in Werewolf by Night #32 back in August 1975. The character’s premise, according to Variety, sounds like something of a more supernaturally-powered take on Batman. Marc Spector (who will be played in the series by Isaac) is an elite mercenary who becomes the human avatar for Khonshu, the Egyptian god of the moon, and decides to begin fighting crime.

The character isn’t on the level of, say, Captain America or Spider-Man, but he’s certainly a favorite among comic fans; IGN named Moon Knight the #49 greatest Avenger of all time, and the #89 Comic Book hero , while Wizard declared the character the #149 greatest comic character in the history of the medium.

Who’s behind Moon Knight?

Like WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki (among others), Moon Knight will get the full MCU treatment. That means Kevin Feige, the MCU’s chief, will be just as involved as he is with the studio’s many feature films. It was also announced that while the show is still looking for a director, the showrunner will be Jeremy Slater, who is a writer on The Umbrella Academy and previously created FOX’s short-lived TV version of The Exorcist.

As far as the directing of the show goes, Marvel is once again going to the indie realm. The duties behind the camera will be split by Mohamad Diab, who made an acclaimed film called Clash, and the duo of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, who were behind a pair of successful indie horror films in The Endless and Synchronic.

When will Moon Knight come out?

Isaac has a busy schedule, and a lot of upcoming projects on his plate, including not only Dune and its already-confirmed sequel, but also several other films on the horizon as well, including The Card Counter from legendary writer/director Paul Schrader and a new HBO series he’s also signed onto.

That being said, with Hawke’s addition, cast is starting to fill out. The THR report of the casting also states that the show is planning to begin production in March; that could potentially mean release in late 2021, though it more likely would come in early-mid 2022.

Marvel seems to have its Disney+ calendar set for the forseeable future; WandaVision is airing in the early part of the year, and will be followed in order (with a few weeks in between each) by The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, then Loki, and then Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel. Ostensibly, Moon Knight could fit in after those series in what would likely be early or mid 2022.

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Moon Knight won’t be Oscar Isaac’s first foray into television.

While audiences probably know Isaac best for his role as ace pilot and general badass Poe Dameron in all three Star Wars prequels or his more prestigious roles in smaller films like Ex Machina or Inside Llewyn Davis, he also had one of his best roles in a television miniseries called Show Me A Hero from creator David Simon.

Isaac played Yonkers mayor Nick Wasicsko in the based-on-a-true-story series focused on the city’s plan to build public housing in a majority-white section of the city. Simon, who also created The Wire and The Deuce, crafted Isaac a perfect project for his ability to project magnetic charisma and spirit-breaking sadness in the same character. He won a Golden Globe for the role.

Isaac also recently signed on to appear in an upcoming HBO series called Scenes From a Marriage, which he will star in alongside Jessica Chastain. The two previously starred together in A Most Violent Year and were classmates when both were at Julliard.

It also won’t be his first tango with Marvel.

Maybe this one isn’t as worth mentioning—Isaac played the titular villain in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalpyse. Isaac, draped in purple make-up for the film’s duration did his best but ultimately it was an unremarkable role in an unremarkable film (47% on Rotten Tomatoes). Since it was the old X-Men timeline, it wasn’t technically part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so there are no issues there of any sort. This should just be a footnote before a much better role in the future—not dissimilar from Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern run or Chris Evans’ movies as the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch (remember those?).

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Isaac also had a miniscule voice work cameo in a credits scene of 2018’s Academy Award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, playing Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099 (although he’s credited as “Interesting Person #1). It’s a role that absolutely seems to lead into a sequel, whenever it may come—Isaac certainly could be busy in different corners of the Marvel world.

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