Fans can finally say hello to Oscar Isaac in the MCU. During the NFL Super Wild Card game, Marvel Studios released the official teaser for their next series, Moon Knight, along with a new poster, as promised. Isaac portrays the main character, a former mercenary with numerous personalities who takes on the body of an Egyptian moon deity.
Moon Knight is a lesser-known character in the Marvel Comics universe. Marc Spector, the son of a rabbi, is chosen as the Egyptian moon deity Khonshu's avatar on Earth at an early age. However, because Khonsu is a supernatural being with many facets to his nature—and also dwells outside of conventional time and space—forging a telepathic link with the human Marc has a negative impact on the young man's mental health.
Marc suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID), eventually becoming a mercenary with his friend, Jean-Paul "Frenchie" Duchamp. He is recruited for an assignment by the savagely amoral Raoul Bushman, in which the latter murders an archaeologist who has discovered an Egyptian tomb. Marc saves the archaeologist's daughter, Marlene, which leads to a violent brawl with Bushman. Marc loses the struggle and is presumed dead, but the villagers bring him into the tomb and place him in front of Khonshu's statue. Marc is revived and healed by Khonshu.
When Marc returns to the United States, he uses the money he earned as a mercenary to battle crime as Moon Knight, who is distinguished by his silver cape. In the comics, he takes on four different personas: a rich businessman named Steven Grant, a cab driver named Jake Lockley, a suited consultant named Mr. Knight, and a small red-haired child simply known as Inner Child.
That's the fundamental genesis tale, at least according to the comics, and odds are the new series will integrate some of it while also taking some liberties (as it should). Plans to bring the character of Moon Knight to cinema and television have been in the works since at least 2006 when Blade: The Series debuted. The intention was to introduce the character at that time. Instead, the show was canceled, and a possible sequel series never materialized. In 2017, James Gunn confessed that he offered a Moon Knight picture to Marvel but didn't have the time to develop it further.
It wasn't until the 2019 D23 convention that Marvel revealed a Moon Knight series for Disney+, developed by Jeremy Slater. Isaac was cast in October 2020, and we discovered this February that, unlike the standalone WandaVision (a one-shot miniseries meant to lead into the MCU Phase Four feature films), Moon Knight was one of the Marvel series that may have further seasons on the streaming site.
During Disney+ Day in November, Marvel released the first video from the six-episode series, briefly showing Isaac in character, musing about how he couldn't tell the difference between his everyday life and his dreams. There wasn't much detail, but we did see what appeared to be a gilded statue of Khonshu reflected in a mirror. And we got a little preview with much of the same video on Monday.
We already know that the series will share continuity with all of the MCU films. May Calamawy and Ethan Hawke portray unspecified roles, however, Hawke has stated that cult leader David Koresh inspired his performance. In addition, Marvel CEO Kevin Feige (the executive producer) has linked the series to the Indiana Jones franchise, with an emphasis on Egyptology (thus, similar to 1999's The Mummy). And now for the official synopsis:
The series follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.
The new video begins with Steven (Isaac) laying awake in bed, tossing a Rubik cube into the air as he reflects on his "sleep disorder"—before waking up in a panic from that "dream." On the metro and at his museum job, we observe him bewildered and barely conscious. Then he discovers a mobile phone and some keys in a cubbyhole; when he answers the phone, a woman's voice addresses him as "Marc."
"The voices in your head—anarchy there's in you," Hawke's character (who is eerily similar to Koresh) warns Marc/Steven. "Embrace the disorder." That appears to be the key to fusing all those jarring personas into Moon Knight, as we see the characteristic cape and body armor cover his body—followed by a quick view of the caped figure jumping across two rooftops, a la Batman.