Marvel Studios' latest series, Moon Knight stars Oscar Isaac in the role of Steven Grant, a shop employee. The character has been fighting off some experiences suffering from confusion until he finally realizes that he has dissociative identity disorder ( DID ).
His other half works as a mercenary, Marc Spector. The two personas are entirely different from each other, living a set of different lives. Yet they are drawn closer by the mystery of the gods of Egypt.
Isaac and Ethan Hawke recently shared their experience about creating the latest Marvel production and explored the reasons for introducing Moon Knight as a character to the MCU.
Grant Curtis, the film producer known for the Spider-Man films, who also worked on Moon Knight shared that the studios had been interested in Moon Knight for a while now. The character had first shown up in 1975 in Werewolf by Night and then got his own production in Marvel in 1980.
The character slowly became an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, hence, making him a perfect subject for a full-fledged Marvel production.
Oscar Isaac shared his experience about working on Moon Knight at MCU and his work experience with Marvel experts like Grant Curtis, Kevin Feige, and Mohamed Diab. He was excited to get to work in the studio, especially with a character who would help him explore the Egyptian myths, symbols, and how that could play into a superhero series.
He explored his acting style as he found out his take for the character of the show lead, Steven. Soon, he was a part of the series and was ready to work with big-name collaborators of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Needless to say, as Marvel has yet not had a superhero character with DID, Moon Knight will not be the average superhero we so often meet with the Studio productions. The series is uniquely portrayed from the point of view of Marc Spector, making the audience enter his head and experience things as he is living through them.
Talking about the counterpart to his character Marc, Steven is a particularly funny role that Isaac brought forward into the Marvel narration. While Marvel has always been keen on combining the action with laughs, Steven's humor is of the subjective kind that has yet not been witnessed.
On the other hand, Steven is balanced by his altered version of Marc. The character is the ultimate tortured hero of Marvel films and fits perfectly into the role of the vengeance demanding superhero. Yet, he is also, particularly an Englishman and that is that.
The film's antagonist, Arthur Harrow, is played by Ethan Hawke. Explaining what makes Moon Knight a different kind of superhero story retelling, Hawke explained that the traditional narrative of villains in Marvel movies is dependent on a mentally ill villain.
Yet the roles are reversed in Moon Knight and we have a mentally ill superhero. Being the antagonist to Marc's protagonist, Hawke had to fill his villain character by depicting a charming villain who is sane.
The paradox makes an interesting subverting plot in the series, as the two characters then work to find the dynamics in which they will portray the lunatic hero and the charming villain. The story's narrative was carried forward by Mohamed who was exceptional in his skill to portray the real depth of the mental illness yet throw off the audience with his uncertain perception of reality.
In other words, the villain thought of himself as someone who has come to save the world like a saint, naming himself Saint Harrow. He thinks that he is working for a greater good and because reality is no longer measurable, the audience doesn't know whom to believe.
Mohamed Diab also immensely enjoyed his experience onboard the making of Moon Knight. He was increasingly intrigued by the idea of Marc being a normal person, only to realize that his disorder makes him a superhero.
Apart from the storyline, Diab was also fascinated by the use of Egyptian icons in the story from both the present and the past. Coming from the Middle East, the narrative was personal for him, and he wanted to help people see that people from the Middle East are just humans too.
The film has come to exotic shoot locations like the deserts of Jordan and much of it was also shot with a lot of green screens. Most of the time the actors pretend they are seeing things that will be later added to the film through CGI and editing. Yet, shooting in a real desert was a great experience for the actors.
Mohamed Diab hopes that the film will open up people to become more aware and educated about different mental disorders like DID. He said that he would not have known about the disorder if not for the film, and that too is a shallow narrative.
Yet, it is common for people to live through similar realities and hide against the masks of different people that they are not. Moon Knight and the characters of Marc and Steven can help people realize that they need to live in a singular narrative of their being, without wearing masks on each varying occasion.
The film will be aired on Disney+ on March 30 and will be available for streaming.