Marvel Studios is gearing up for another packed year of movie and TV content. The creators of the world’s biggest cinematic juggernaut have no less than seven productions on the way in 2022, but perhaps the most intriguing of all is Moon Knight, the Oscar Isaac-starring Disney Plus show.
This “globetrotting action-adventure series featuring a complex vigilante” is one of the most exciting additions to the packed Marvel Phase 4 release slate. Exploring both mental health issues and “an action hero who jumps out of buildings and gets into fights”, it’s a unique and enticing mix – especially when you throw in the headline-grabbing fact that Star Wars and Dune star Oscar Isaac is playing the eponymous anti-hero, whose real name is Marc Spector.
Where most superheroes have a single alter-ego, however, Moon Knight has at least three. In the comics, Spector (a former US marine) suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID), a condition that creates multiple personalities – including those of a successful businessman and a cab driver. But, outside the confines of his mind, Spector is also the conduit for an Egyptian god, whose superpowers help him fight crime as the mysterious Moon Knight.
With Moon Knight set to make his live-action debut on Disney Plus later this year, we’ve pulled together everything you need to know about a series that could be Marvel’s answer to Batman. Just bear in mind his costume is white and not black, unlike DC’s iconic vigilante.
Here’s a brief rundown on the main points worth noting. If you want to know more about the show’s potential release date, cast, plot and more, though, scroll through the rest of our hub.
Release date: It’s been confirmed that the show is coming to Disney Plus in 2022, though the exact timing remains TBC.
Story: The six-episode TV series will tell the story of Marc Spector – aka Moon Knight – a hero with dissociative identity disorder, who gets his powers from Egyptian god Khonshu.
Cast: Oscar Isaac plays the lead role of Spector, with support from May Calamawy (Ramy, Together Together). Training Day and Before Sunrise star Ethan Hawke takes on villain duties.
Moon Knight release date
Moon Knight release date: 2022
There’s no hard release date for Moon Knight just yet, but we know it’s coming some time in 2022. During November 2021’s Disney Plus Day, a Marvel Studios showreel, which you can view via this YouTube video, the first footage of Moon Knight was unveiled alongside a “coming soon” stinger. Some viewers, however, may have also clocked a brief sighting of the Moon Knight logo among the upcoming TV shows listed under “All of these and more streaming in 2022” during the fan event.
Additionally, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told journalists at a WandaVision press day (via Collider) in January 2021 that the Moon Knight story will run to six episodes, the same length as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki and Hawkeye.
With Ms. Marvel already confirmed for a summer 2022 launch, we’re expecting Moon Knight to land later in the year. Whether it comes before or after She-Hulk is yet to be determined but, seeing as She-Hulk was first to finish principal photography (two months ahead of Moon Knight’s reported October 2021 wrap), the smart money would be on the courtroom comedy landing first.
If that’s the case, Moon Knight may end up being Marvel’s late 2022 Disney Plus offering. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever lands in theaters on November 8, while there are no Marvel releases (Ms. Marvel aside) planned for release after Thor: Love and Thunder arrives in cinemas on July 8.
Taking all of that into consideration, if Moon Knight is to launch after Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk, we think it’ll be released between September and November 2022. Of course, we’d be delighted if we’re wrong and it lands earlier, though.
Moon Knight story
Moon Knight story: what will the plot be about?
Right now, there’s very little information available about Moon Knight’s plot. Disney’s official summary of the Moon Knight TV show’s story (via Deadline) describes it as a “new globetrotting action-adventure series featuring a complex vigilante who suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID). The multiple identities who live inside him find themselves thrust into a deadly war of the gods against the backdrop of modern and ancient Egypt.”
Instead, we’ve dug into the Marvel comic archives to give you more information about this anti-hero, his powers and why he does what he does.
Created by writer Doug Moench and artist Don Perlin, Moon Knight made his comic book debut in Werewolf by Night #32 in 1975. He originally appeared as an antagonist to the story’s lycanthropic hero – hence all that werewolf-related moon and silver iconography – but eventually came to terms with the idea that the titular Jack Russell (yes, that’s the character’s real name) was a victim rather than a villain.
Marvel didn’t take long to realize they had a star on their hands, however, and – after several further guest appearances in the late ’70s that that emphasized Moon Knight’s heroic side – gave him his own ongoing series in 1980.
In the comics, Spector is a former US marine who becomes a conduit for Egyptian moon god Khonshu, giving him super-strength, speed and endurance that are influenced by the phases of the moon. He’s also a Batman-like vigilante, with a fortune, arsenal of specialist gadgets to match, and army training that make him a formidable long-range and hand-to-hand combatant.
What makes Moon Knight a particularly intriguing addition to the MCU, though, is the fact he has DID. The condition means that Marc Spector has additional personalities/alter-egos – most notably taxicab driver Jake Lockley and billionaire businessman Steven Grant – that help him to move through a variety of social environments. Some stories also speculate whether Moon Knight’s superpowers really originate from Khonshu, or if they’re a manifestation of Spector’s mental illness.
Circling back to the show’s synopsis provides several clues about what to expect from the show, too.
Firstly, it’s clear that Marc Spector’s DID is going to be an important component of Moon Knight’s live-action arc. In December 2020, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told Emmy magazine that “the mental health aspect is a unique aspect of the program”. So we’re hoping Marvel will explore the subject with the sensitivity that characterized WandaVision’s powerful exploration of grief and trauma.
Feige also pointed out that “it’s been a while since we’ve had an action hero who jumps out of buildings and gets into fights,” suggesting that we’ll be getting plenty of Batman-style action when Marvel’s own caped crusader decides to take the law into his own hands.
The “deadly war of the gods” line, meanwhile, could open the door to some kind of crossover with Thor. Moon Knight’s deities may be Egyptian rather than Norse but, with the god of thunder’s latest adversary going by the name of Gorr the God Butcher in Thor 4, they clearly operate in similar territory. Moon Knight and Thor have fought against (and alongside) each other in the comics, too, so there’s previous for them crossing paths.
The horror elements traditionally associated with the Marc Spector character could also bring the Moon Knight story into the supernatural orbit of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch) has already described the Sorcerer Supreme sequel as “a very scary movie” (per ScreenRant) and there could also be links with the upcoming Mahershala Ali-starring Blade reboot, too.
Don’t forget, we heard the Daywalker’s voice talking to Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman in Eternals’ end credits tease, so this could be the start of a recruitment drive for the Midnight Sons. This Avengers-like group deals with supernatural threats, and has boasted characters like Wong, Iron Fist, Punisher, Ghost Rider and Doctor Strange on its roster in the comics. Could they join forces in the MCU? We’d like to see it happen.
Moon Knight trailer
Moon Knight trailer: is there one?
There’s no full Moon Knight trailer yet, but Marvel teased around 30 seconds of footage as part of 2021’s Disney Plus Day celebrations.
The sneak peek starts with Marc Spector waking up in a room full of ancient Egyptian relics, seeing reflections of himself that appear to move independently, and ghostly apparitions in the background. “I can’t tell the difference between my waking life and dreams,” he says in an English accent, which presumably belongs to one of Spector’s distinct personalities.
This opening is followed by shots of Spector looking concerned in corridors illuminated by flickering lights, as another voice – possibly belonging to Ethan Hawke – says: “The voice. In your head. It devours you.”
We then see Moon Knight in his trademark white cape, pummelling an unknown figure, before he makes a Batman-like leap between buildings with a crescent moon in the background. It’s a pleasing piece of iconography, if nothing else. A few additional shots later on provide a closer look at the Moon Knight outfit, a confused Spector waking up in the middle of a fight, and the character running from some unknown threat.
It’s interesting to note, too, that many of the scenes in the teaser appear to be set in Europe, rather than the character’s traditional New York stomping ground – seemingly delivering on the “globetrotting” promise of the summary. Indeed, in addition to the show’s Atlanta base the show has filmed scenes in Budapest, Hungary, and Wadi Rum in Jordan – the latter also provided desert locations for Dune, Rogue One and The Rise of Skywalker.
Once a full trailer is released, we’ll update this section.
Moon Knight cast
Moon Knight cast: who is playing who?
Curiously, Isaac’s Spector is the only confirmed character set to appear in Moon Knight. As mentioned previously, Ethan Hawke and May Calamawy will co-star, but neither actor’s role has been revealed yet. The below list, then, is all we have to go on for now:
- Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector/Moon Knight
- Ethan Hawke as TBC
- May Calamawy as TBC
As if we needed proof that the MCU’s Disney Plus shows are just as big a deal as the movies, Marvel has lined up a genuine silver screen star to lead the Moon Knight cast.
With Star Wars and Dune already his resumé, Oscar Isaac is arguably the highest profile actor to make his MCU debut in a TV show, and we’re sure he’s relished the opportunity to play numerous roles in one project.
He’ll be facing off against an antagonist played by indie darling Hawke. There’s been plenty of speculation he might be playing a comic-book villain known as the Sun King. But all we have to go on so far is Hawke’s own description of his caracter, telling Seth Meyers (via the Hollywood Reporter) that “I’ve based my character on David Koresh”, the leader of the Branch Davidian cult responsible for the Waco siege in 1993.
According to Deadline, Calamawy has also joined the Moon Knight cast, though again, her role remains undisclosed. Regular Moon Knight sidekick/love interest Marlene Alraune seems a likely candidate. Meanwhile, ScreenRant has reported that Hannibal Rising lead Gaspard Ulliel has joined the Moon Knight cast as villain Anton Mogart (aka Midnight Man), but this is currently unconfirmed.
Behind the camera, the show’s lead writer is Jeremy Slater. As a veteran of both The Umbrella Academy and The Exorcist TV show, his resume ticks off boxes for both superheroes and horror.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Moon Knight’s lead director is Clash filmmaker Mohamed Diab, and the four episodes he helms will mark his English language debut. Indie directors Justin Benson and Aaron Benson (Endless, Synchronic) will reportedly call the shots on the remaining two episodes (per THR), though ComicBook.com suggests that Hollywood legend George Clooney may come on board for an episode. This would be his first dalliance with superheroics since the infamously bad Batman & Robin so, unless he’s looking for some kind of redemption, we’d file this one under ‘pinch of salt’ for now.
Moon Knight in the MCU
Moon Knight in the MCU: will he star in a Marvel movie?
We certainly believe so. With a major A-list star in Isaac on board, it’s only a matter of time (in our view) before Moon Knight makes the leap from his own Disney Plus show to a Marvel movie.
As we speculated above, that could be as part of the MCU’s potential live-action Midnight Sons. He could have a cameo in the upcoming Blade film, which may even lead into Midnight Sons or another fantasy/magic-based Marvel property alongside Blade, Black Knight and Doctor Strange.
Moon Knight has also been a part of the Avengers and Heroes for Hire line-ups in the comics, too. Given that the world needs a new Avengers team, and Shang-Chi and She-Hulk’s MCU appearances possibly teasing a Heroes for Hire team-up, Moon Knight could be part of either in an ensemble superhero flick. Make it happen, Marvel.