Fans can finally welcome Oscar Isaac to the MCU. As promised, Marvel Studios has unveiled the official trailer for its upcoming series, Moon Knight, during the NFL Super Wild Card game, with a new poster. Isaac holds the title role: a former mercenary with multiple personalities who becomes the avatar of an Egyptian moon god.
Moon Knight is one of the lesser known characters in the Marvel Comics pantheon. Son of a rabbi, Marc Spector is marked from an early age by the Egyptian god of the moon Khonshu as being the avatar of the god on Earth. But Khonsu is a supernatural entity with many aspects of his nature – and also exists out of step with normal time and space – so forging a psychic connection with the human Marc has a detrimental effect on the young man’s sanity.
Marc develops dissociative identity disorder (DID), eventually becoming a mercenary with his buddy, Jean-Paul “Frenchie” DuChamp. He is hired by the ruthlessly amoral Raoul Bushman for a job, in which the latter kills an archaeologist who has discovered an Egyptian tomb. Marc rescues the archaeologist’s daughter, Marlene, leading to a major fight with Bushman. Marc loses the fight and is left for dead, but the locals carry him to the grave and leave him in front of a statue of Khonshu. Khonshu resurrects and heals the dying Marc.
When Marc returns to the United States, he channels all the money he earned as a mercenary into fighting crime as Moon Knight, recognizable by his silver cape. He has four separate identities in the comics: a billionaire businessman named Steven Grant, a taxi driver named Jake Lockley, a costume consultant named Mr. Knight, and a little red-haired girl simply called Inner Child.
That’s the basic origin story according to the comics, at least, and chances are the new series will incorporate a fair amount of it, while taking a few liberties (as it should). Plans to introduce the Moon Knight character in film and television adaptations have been around since at least 2006, when Blade: the series. The intention then was to present the character. Instead, the series was canceled and a potential spin-off series never happened. James Gunn admitted in 2017 that he pitched a Moon Knight movie to Marvel, but ultimately didn’t have time to develop it further.
It wasn’t until the 2019 D23 conference that Marvel announced there was a Moon Knight series in development for Disney+, created by Jeremy Slater. Isaac was cast in October 2020, and last February we learned that unlike the standalone Wanda Vision (a one shot miniseries intended to lead into the MCU Phase Four feature films), Moon Knight was among the Marvel series that could get additional seasons on the streaming platform.
Marvel debuted the first pictures from the six-episode series last November during its Disney+ day, briefly showing the character of Isaac, thinking about how he couldn’t tell the difference between his waking life and his dreams. There wasn’t much detail, but we caught a glimpse of what looked like a golden statue of Khonshu reflected in a mirror. And on Monday, we got a brief teaser with much of the same footage.
We know that the series will share continuity with all the MCU films. May Calamawy and Ethan Hawke star as yet unknown roles, though Hawke said he found inspiration for his character in cult leader David Koresh. Additionally, Marvel CEO Kevin Feige (the executive producer) compared the series to the IndianaJones frankness, with an emphasis on Egyptology (so, as in 1999 The Mummy.) And now we have an official synopsis:
The series follows mild-mannered gift shop clerk Steven Grant, who is plagued by power outages and memories from another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge on them, they must navigate their complex identities while immersed in a deadly mystery among the mighty gods of Egypt.
The new trailer opens, again, with Steven (Isaac) lying awake in his bed, tossing a Rubik’s cube into the air as he ponders his “sleep disorder” – before suddenly waking up of this “dream” in panic. We see him disoriented and barely awake on the subway and at his job at the museum. Then he finds a cell phone and keys in a closet; when the phone rings and he picks up, a woman’s voice calls him “Marc”.
“The voices in your head, there’s chaos in you,” Hawke’s character (who actually looks like Koresh) told Marc/Steven. “Embrace the chaos.” This seems to be the secret to merging all of these disorienting personalities into Moon Knight, as we see the revealing cape and body armor cover his body, followed by a brief shot of the caped figure leaping, Batman-style, on two roofs.
Moon Knight will premiere on Disney+ on March 30, 2022.
Listing image by YouTube/Marvel Studios