Everything You Need to Know About Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight

By Zach Johnson

When Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight debuts on Disney+ on Wednesday, March 30, the six-episode series will introduce a new Super Hero to the Marvel Cinematic Universe—or two, depending on how you look at it. But as fans of the comics know, Moon Knight isn’t, well, new. In fact, the character first appeared in the pages of Marvel Comics in 1975, in Werewolf by Night #32, and his comic book exploits continue to this very day.

Oscar Isaac brings the character to life in the highly anticipated series. He stars as both Steven Grant, a mild-mannered museum employee, and Marc Spector, a mercenary and an avatar of the Egyptian moon god, Khonshu (voiced by F. Murray Abraham). To their surprise—Steven’s, especially—Steven and Marc share one body. While Moon Knight’s comic origins in Egyptology remain the same, he’s no longer based in New York in the series. Instead, the character will embark on a “globetrotting adventure” filled with “intensity and mystery,” says executive producer Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios. “The edgy, dark themes of Moon Knight and the exploration of the unique character add another dimension to the MCU’s storytelling.”

As such, viewers and Steven will learn about Moon Knight at the same time. “At its heart, Moon Knight was designed as a mystery: Who is Steven Grant, and why does he keep dreaming about another life as a globe-trotting mercenary?” head writer Jeremy Slater says. “And what happens when elements from those dreams start invading his waking hours? Steven’s journey for answers leads him to a hidden world of gods and monsters and a battle that could shape the future of the MCU.” Executive producer Grant Curtis adds, “There’s no attachment to the current MCU. He’s brand-new, and he is going on a brand-new adventure. We really think the fans are going to enjoy it.”

In the last 47 years, Slater notes, “Moon Knight has had so many radically different iterations that our writing staff had a wealth of options at our disposal. Because there has never truly been a definitive comic book version of the character, we were given the freedom to cherry pick our favorite elements from all the various runs.”

One thing that hasn’t changed is that Moon Knight is still going back and forth between being a hero and being a villain, depending on Khonshu’s whims. “We’re absolutely embracing the supernatural aspects of what was in publishing—the Egyptian gods, this ruthless Egyptian god Khonshu that manipulates Marc to do his bidding,” Curtis promises. “We’re embracing all that. We love stuff that goes bump in the night.”

Mohamed Diab, who directs four of the six episodes, was attracted to the series for several reasons. “What got me excited about this opportunity is that this is a Super Hero that we haven’t seen before, someone who’s struggling with himself,” says Diab. “His inner conflict is actually visual. You can see his internal struggle. There’s great room for character development.” Getting to play in the Marvel Studios sandbox was considerable fun for the acclaimed Egyptian auteur, who says, “There are aspects of this story that are surreal, yet by grounding everything in reality, it adds to the intrigue and mystery.”

Joining Isaac on his journey are Ethan Hawke as the nefarious cult-like leader Arthur Harrow, and May Calamawy as the adventurous archeologist Layla El-Faouly. “The most fulfilling aspect of making Moon Knight for us was working with Oscar Isaac, May Calamawy, and Ethan Hawke,” directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead say. “To witness Oscar’s perfectionism firsthand was an honor; to see May bring so much heart and humanity to this story was inspiring; and to learn from the wisdom, work ethic, and performance mastery of Ethan every day was an experience we’d only ever dreamed of.”

While embracing the grittier aspects of the original character, the series finds ways to modernize him, too. “A lot of my favorite Marvel movies are discovering the new legends,” Hawke says. “You don’t know who Doctor Strange is, you don’t know who Black Panther is. It’s about getting introduced to a new Super Hero and a new world.”

Curtis adds, “There are multiple aspects of Moon Knight that get us internally jazzed at Marvel Studios. One of the unique aspects of this character is, it’s taking Marvel Studios to its Iron Man and Tony Stark roots. That was a character that was obviously built from the ground up [beginning with 2008’s Iron Man], and it is the same with Marc Spector.”