Oscar Isaac stars as Marine Corps veteran Marc Spector in the Marvel series "Moon Knight," set to premiere on Disney+ on March 30, 2022. This will be the first Marvel series that's not based on a character previously seen in one of their movies, so it's both a risk and a step forward for their storytelling universe.
Disney just released a trailer for the show, and it looks to be darker and more violent than the Marvel we're used to seeing.
Moon Knight first appeared in a Marvel comic book in 1975. Spector is a Marine who became a mercenary after he completed his military service. He's also suffering from a dissociative personality disorder, and in the trailer for the series, he's living his life as Steven Grant, a clerk in a London museum gift shop.
Grant has a dodgy British accent, which seems weird until we learn that he's actually Spector and doesn't realize he's living under an assumed identity. At some point in the show, he'll encounter the Egyptian moon god Khonshu and will receive supernatural psychic abilities that Spector will use to fight evil and redeem him from his violent mercenary crimes.
Of course, it'll require violence from the Moon Knight to redeem Spector's violence, and this may be the most violent Marvel story yet. Spector has a few fancy weapons in his new role, but he mostly uses the fighting skills he learned as a Marine to carry out his missions instead of the superpowers that most of the Avengers possess.
Think Hawkeye or, better yet, Batman.
Isaac (Poe Dameron in the "Star Wars" sequels) would be unlikely to take on this role if it was just a straight-ahead hero story. The actor was outstanding as damaged war veteran William Tell in the 2021 drama "The Card Counter," and this trailer suggests he may be repeating some of the same energy in "Moon Knight."
Even more interesting is the fact that Ethan Hawke is on board as the villain Dr. Arthur Harrow, a character who recreates Nazi medical experiments in the comics. Hawke, who's been acting in prestige projects like the Showtime series "The Good Lord Bird" and the Paul Schrader movie "First Reformed" while alternating with horror movies like "The Black Phone" and "The Purge," wouldn't take a role in a mainstream show like this unless there was something weird to hold his interest.
Remember that "Moon Knight" is a comic book character invented in the waning days of the Vietnam War. Don't expect a sensitive drama about post-traumatic stress. Spector will be a kickass Marine who's found a way to use his military training to fight evil, even though he's haunted by his past. We'll have to wait until the end of March to find out whether that's going to be the pulpy fun the trailer suggests it might be.
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