Marvel‘s Moon Knight is gearing up to be “something completely different” for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to actor Oscar Isaac.
Isaac recently spoke to Collider about Marvel’s newest show, along with Ethan Hawke, director Mohamed Diab and producer Grant Curtis.
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Moon Knight follows a mild-mannered gift-shop employee named Steven Grant (Isaac). Grant discovers he has dissociative identity disorder, and his other personality, Marc Spector (also played by Isaac), is a mercenary. The series follows the two as they learn to coexist while fighting off enemies, including antagonist Arthur Harrow (Hawke).
Isaac spoke at length about the opportunity to bring something new to the MCU.
When I looked at it and I talked with Grant [Curtis], Kevin [Feige] and Mohamed [Diab], 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 and to use Egyptian iconography and the superhero genre and this language to talk about this real internal struggle that this person is having.
Also, we could create an indelible, unusual character, particularly with Steven Grant. Once I got a real take on how I wanted to play Steven and I brought that to everyone, and they welcomed that with open arms, I also realized I had real incredible collaborators, and it was gonna be a creative adventure.
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Diab directed episodes one, three, five and six. He also spoke at length about doing something new in the MCU, as well as the importance of portraying Egypt in an authentic way.
I come from a background of very independent, small films, usually from the Middle East. I remember the first call between me and Oscar. He said, “Mohamed, what the hell are you doing here?” It’s about making intimate stories, not exclusive to budget. Marvel was onto something. I’ve had other offers before to make big-budget movies, but I never connected to anything like this. It’s an intimate story that has some big stuff happening around them. Just imagine that line where you’re a normal person who discovers you have another identity that’s a superhero. I was drawn to that right away. I never want to forget [writer] Jeremy Slater for creating such a great concept for how to tackle the story.
The other aspect that really attracted me was the Egyptian part of it, the present and the past and the Egyptology of it. As an Egyptian, we always see Egypt or the Middle East depicted in a way that we call Orientalism, when you see us as exotic and dehumanized. Just showing us normal human beings, through Layla’s character, and seeing Egypt as Egypt, 90% of the time, Egypt is not Egypt. Imagine Paris, and you see Big Ben in the background. That’s how we see our country. It’s funny, but it hurts. So, that’s really what attracted me. I’m so lucky.
Moon Knight will be available to stream March 30 on Disney+.