After getting a first look at Moon Knight, Marvel fans everywhere should be ready to, as the trailer instructs us, embrace the chaos. We saw a brief teaser leading up to the trailer release, but we now have a better idea of what the tone of Marvel’s next series is going to be. Marvel is at its best when it goes outside of the box, and Moon Knight may just be next in the line of properties to succeed in breaking the mold that has previously been set for this franchise.
Series star Oscar Isaac threw everyone for a loop by sporting a questionable British accent at the beginning of the trailer. Answering to “Steve” and “Steven” was also very jarring and confusing, until he answers the phone and answers to the name Marc, the character’s actual name. For fans who don’t know, in the comic books, this character is a former American intelligence operative who becomes the human vessel for the fictional Egyptian moon god Khonshu, who we see briefly in this trailer.
In the comic books, the character also has Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID, which is sometimes incorrectly labeled as Multiple Personality Disorder or schizophrenia. In the trailer, he appears to struggle with sleep and says that he suffers from incredibly disturbing dreams. Both can occur in patients with DID and many other mental health disorders. A feature of this disorder in real life is significant memory gaps, which are shown in Marc through the trailer. He appears to struggle with distinguishing reality, and as in the comics has several visions grounded in Egyptian spirituality.
We got a first look at Ethan Hawke, who looks like he will be the main villain in the series. Hawke told Seth Meyers on Late Night that he has based his character off of notorious cult leader David Koresh of the Waco Siege infamy. Hawke is sporting a similar look in this trailer complete with long hair. We also see people kneeling before him, which was unsettling but very effective. Ethan Hawke absolutely has the ability to make this type of villain work, and the trailer teased just how menacing this villain could be.
One thing the trailer did not have was any indication of Marc Spector’s Jewish identity. This was something I was concerned about when the casting of this series was announced. Isaac is an actor who should absolutely be Jewish, but unfortunately he is not. Spector’s Jewish identity is so prominent throughout the comics, and it’s an integral part of both his past and present. As mentioned, in comic canon his father is a Rabbi who survived the Holocaust, so Jewishness cannot so easily be extrapolated from this character. There’s a lot of potential for exploration of religious and spiritual themes that were hinted at all through this trailer, so there’s really no reason not to explore the character’s Jewishness through the series.
Ultimately, the trailer looks like something directly out of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Complete with a downright Batman-esque shot of Moon Knight beating the crap out of someone, this is clearly going to be a darker and grittier story than fans are used to from Marvel. Set to Kid Cudi’s ‘Day and Night’, the trailer showed fans what the tone for the series will be. It likely won’t work for all fans, but for those looking for a street-level, dark and psychologically jarring story about a man with no particular superhuman powers, it just might come together.
Moon Knight will debut on Disney+ March 30 2022.