September 26, 2023

Take an in-depth look at the behind the scenes of Moon Knight.

Moon Knight is the next entry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It premieres on March 30 on Disney Plus with one episode per week. This new series introduces an entirely new set of characters starting with the superhero Moon Knight played by Oscar Isaac. It’s not your usual superhero as Steven Grant has dissociate identity disorder and shares his body with the mercenary Marc Spector, who is the avator of Konshu, the Egyptian god of moon and vengeance. We recently attended the press conference. So, we wanted to share with you what we learned about this new series ahead of its premiere.

Oscar Isaac as Moon Knight in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Moon Knight first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1975. His first appearance was in ‘Werewolf by Night,’ he then got his own ongoing series in 1980. Currently, he has a new ongoing series written by Jed McKay. He has lived many adventures and some of them with the Avengers. Comics fans know him very well. But what you may not know is that Kevin Feige wanted to make a project about this character for a long time. According to executive producer Grant Curtis, it was “on Kevin Feige’s radar from day one.”

Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant and Ethan Hawke as Arthur Harrow in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Csaba Aknay. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

It’s not Oscar Isaac’s first big project. Indeed, he played Poe Dameron in the Star Wars sequel trilogy and he was the villain of X-Men Apocalypse among other roles. But Moon Knight is not your usual MCU project and that’s what intrigued him. “It just seemed like there was a real opportunity to do something completely different, particularly in the MCU, and to really focus on this internal struggle of this character,” said the actor.

As for Ethan Hawke, he is a cinematic legend but it was his first venture into the superhero world. So what interested him was the mental illness aspect of the hero which allowed him to play a different type of villain. As he explains “there’s countless stories of mentally ill villains, and we have a mentally ill hero. And that’s fascinating because we’ve now inverted the whole process. And so now as the antagonist, I can’t be crazy because the hero’s crazy. So I have to kind of find a sane lunatic or a sane malevolent force. And that was an interesting riddle for me to figure out how to be in dynamics with what Oscar was doing.”

Fun fact, one of the directors Mohamed Diab revealed it “was the first time in 35 years” that Ethan Hawke signed a contract to be part of a project without reading the script.

Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Oscar Isaac plays a character with two identities. Marc Spector is an American mercenary so it was obvious he would use an American accent. But for Steven who lives in London, he had to work on finding an accent, which also helps distinguishing both identities. The character Steven Grant has a Jewish background and Oscar leaned on that to find the right accent. “I thought about the Jewish community in London and where a lot of that community is from and Enfield as an area and sort of listening to accents that are northeast London. And then just committed to that,” said Oscar Isaac.

Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant/Marc Spector in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Yes, Oscar Isaac’s brother Michael Hernandez worked on Moon Knight. He played the other identity of his character in the scenes Oscar had to talk to himself. Which was really helpful for him. As you can imagine, it’s not easy to play two characters talking to themselves, as he explained “I didn’t anticipate was how technically demanding that was going to be of having to show up and decide which character I was going to play first.”

May Calamawy as Layla El-Faouly and Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector/Steven Grant in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT. Photo by Gabor Kotschy. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

People often associate superhero movies with a lot of green screens, which is true in some ways. But these movies and series also shoot on location. That’s what Moon Knight did. The crew built a lot of sets in Hungary to recreate Cairo but also to recreate the interior of the National Art Gallery of London. As for the exterior of that museum, they used the National Art Museum of Hungary.

The cast and crew also went to the Jordanian desert to shoot some desert scenes. Oscar Isaac had actually worked there before for Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker and Dune. It was a special experience for him as he explained “So it felt like a reunion to go back there and see some of the same people that I’d seen when I was there before.” Plus, filming on location adds something to the series, for Ethan Hawke “it broadened the scope of the show.”

Furthermore, two Egyptologists were brought on to advise them and ensure the historical accuracy of the Ancient Egypt aspects of the series. There was a great attention to details creating the different sets.

Oscar Isaac as Mr. Knight in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Additional photography also known as reshoots are common practice in the industry. But according to Mohamed Diab, Moon Knight holds “the record of the least additional photography in the history of Marvel.” And that’s because of rehearshals. Ethan Hawke added that they “rehearsed a lot.” Moreover, the team gathered during weekends to talk about improving the series.

Ethan Hawke as Arthur Harrow in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

For Ethan Hawke, Marvel has “translated” their “success into confidence.” It’s a confidence in the creative minds behind the different projects. That’s what makes Marvel Studios different from other studios making big budget projects. Moon Knight was a team effort. Indeed, the actors were involved in the creative process and that makes all the difference. As Ethan Hawke explained “when an actor has a strong hit on a character, when they have something they want to contribute and you follow it, good things happen.” And good things did happen for Moon Knight. The actor added that “there was a huge passion to contribute” from the whole team.

Oscar Isaac as Mr. Knight in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

As you may have seen in the trailers and TV spots, there are two superhero costumes for Oscar Isaac’s characters. Moon Knight is for Marc Spector while Mr. Knight is for Steven Grant. But it wasn’t always like that way. Isaac revealed that “originally, Marc was Mr. Knight and Steven was Moon Knight.” They decided to switch it later on in the pre-production process.

The creation of these costumes were a “collaboration” process as Mohamed Diab described it. The directors, the costume designers and Oscar Isaac had input on them.

Both costumes are embedded with Egyptian inspiration featuring hieroglyphs. Konshu’s name is written in hieroglyphs on the armored chest piece of Moon Knight. And his oath is inscribed on the pants: “Rise and Live Again as My Fist of Vengeance. My Moon Knight.” While, Konshu’s symbol is featured on the buttons of Mr. Knight’s suit. Finally, Mr Knight’s sneakers and shoe straps were an homage to Egypt and mummies.

Moon Knight premieres on March 30 on Disney Plus.


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