The Marvel Cinematic Universe is getting weirder and weirder—in a good way. Marvel’s bold trailer for Moon Knight, its first TV show of 2022, stars Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke. The creepy vibes suggest the studio is plunging into the depths of the supernatural. The story involves an Egyptian god possessing someone, a cult leader, and even a werewolf.
Last year, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) officially expanded into television with four in-canon shows: WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and Hawkeye. But unlike those series, which all centered on characters who had previously starred in MCU films, Moon Knight will introduce an entirely new set of characters.
Isaac stars as the titular Moon Knight, a vigilante who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. Hawke has said he will play a cult leader character who encourages Moon Knight to embrace his newfound powers. Here’s everything you need to know before the show hits Disney+ on March 30.
Who is Moon Knight?
In the comics, Marc Spector is the son of a Chicago rabbi, a heavyweight boxer, an ex-Marine, and a mercenary. He visits an archeological dig in Egypt on assignment. Things fall apart, and Marc is left in the dig site to die. As he slowly freezes, Marc sees a vision of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu, who tells him that he’s the living embodiment of the god on earth.
Marc dies but then reawakens with powers he doesn’t fully understand. His abilities seem to grow and wane with the lunar cycle (hence the name Moon Knight).
In the comics, he becomes a wealthy playboy and a vigilante. He’s often called Marvel’s answer to Batman—probably because of the whole wealthy guy who is haunted by darkness bit—but his stories are a lot stranger. They mix Egyptian mythology with a modern tale of a man who suffers from mental illness.
Does Moon Knight suffer from dissociative identity disorder?
Yes. After his resurrection, Marc suffers from dissociative identity disorder. He has multiple personalities, like the wealthy playboy Steven Grant and a cab driver names Jake Lockley. Each of these personalities has distinct memories, and Marc often finds himself in confusing situations without any memory of how he arrived at those circumstances (like the scene in the trailer in which he looks horrified to find himself holding a gun).
The TV show adaptation may be changing some of these details. In the trailer, Steven looks to be a museum gift-shop employee.
Who does Ethan Hawke play in Moon Knight?
Ethan Hawke is making his first foray into superhero shows and films as Arthur Harrow, presumably Moon Knight’s villain. In the comics, Arthur is nominated for a Nobel Prize for his research into pain tolerance. The comics quickly reveal he works for an evil think tank called O.M.I.N.U.M. and uses unethical methods on human test subjects inspired by Nazi methodologies.
It’s unclear how much of this backstory the TV show will actually adopt. Hawke told Late Night host Seth Myers that in the show, Arthur is a cult leader. “I based my character on David Koresh,” he said, referring to the leader of the the Branch Davidians. And indeed, in the trailer, a group of people kneel down to Arthur. He looks to be a false prophet.
Arthur may lead a cult that worships Khonshu and that wants to control Marc.
Who is Werewolf by Night?
Another Marvel character who pops up in the trailer is Werewolf by Night. Moon Knight briefly punches this werewolf in the trailer. It’s unclear how he fits into the larger plot of the show. Werewolf by Night is also rumored to be getting his own Halloween-y special at some point.
Is Blade going to show up in Moon Knight?
Maybe! We can dream, anyway. A Blade reboot starring Mahershala Ali has been in the works for years, and the end-credits scene for The Eternals teased the vampire’s eventual MCU debut. Given that Moon Knight is the MCU’s first foray into its more horror-esque, supernatural comics, and a werewolf will make an appearance, it’s reasonable to theorize that the Daywalker may make his MCU debut in Moon Knight.
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