Moon Knight’s Creative Team Explains How The Series’ Darker Tone Is Driven By The Character’s Backstory
[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the series premiere of Marvel’s Moon Knight. Read at your own risk!]
About three quarters of the first episode of Moon Knight, The latest superhero project to land on Disney+, Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac) tries to escape his alter ego, Marc Spector, who confronted him in his own apartment. However, when Steven attempts to escape his building, his elevator takes him to the upper floor where a terrifying creature with a beaked nose and frayed flowing robes and a scythe blocks the way to freedom. It looks like a scene straight out of a horror movie and it’s possibly the scariest thing the Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought to the screen after more than a decade of filming and now its fifth TV show.
“There was a conversation about this being the MCU and everything we create has to blend together at the end. But I was given the green light that we wanted to do this differently,” series director Mohammed Diab told TV Guide. “And I kept pushing the boundaries as much as I could until today, a lot of people tell us, it’s like you’re taking [out] the Marvel logo, you wouldn’t know it’s a Marvel show. It’s something we’re so proud of.”
It’s not just the horror aspects where Moon Knight goes beyond. At one point in the premiere, Steven wakes up in a foreign land with a dislocated jaw and a mouth full of blood. The camera zooms in on Isaac’s face as the character snaps his jaw back into place. It’s not for those with weak stomachs, and it’s somehow more intimately gruesome than Captain America (Wyatt Russell) punching a guy’s face with his shield in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
While Marvel properties have always had elements of violence — hello, superheroes fight — the MCU has rarely ventured into horrific territory for fear of stepping out of the PG-13 comfort zone. almost all-inclusive that allows movies and TV shows to be seen by the widest possible audience. Corn Moon Knight still doesn’t reach the bloodshed or bone-crunching levels of the Netflix series Marvel (which now lives on Disney+ behind parental controls), the new series shows right away that it’s not afraid from exploring the dark side of Steven’s psyche or pushing the envelope when it comes to telling this story.
Moon KnightEthan Hawke breaks down this unsettling opening scene
However, the creative team argues that if the story takes darker turns, it’s in the service of showing audiences who the hero is with all of his different faces.
“A lot of how far we’ve come with the show on screen really depends on how far the character has come on the page. This is a Disney+ offering, but the aspect we we’re always leaning more than anything, whether it’s scary, action, adventure, or whatever it was, it was really, it’s a character study,” executive producer Grant Curtis explained. “It’s a character study on Mark Spector and Steven Grant. And then what aspects come out of that? So it wasn’t really about what is the best horror aspect to tell? It’s what aspects naturally flow into the best character study and character story we can tell.”
Marvel Studios seems set to let the series showcase a side of the MCU we’ve never seen before, exploring themes of mental health and extremist religion and not being afraid to be graphic in these depictions. . According to Diab, it was helpful to have an A-list online with the creative team to want to do something different and tell a story that hasn’t been seen in this universe before.
“I think Oscar was a great ally, Sarah [Goher], my wife who accompanied me throughout the project was a partner. Ethan [Hawke]May [Calamawy], Grant Curtis, Marvel execs and certainly the writers, all of us wanted to do something different,” the director said. “And Ethan and May and Oscar didn’t want to be here to put on the cape and have action figures. They wanted to do something special, something different, something they could be proud of, not just make money.”
Although we’ve only seen one episode of the new superhero series so far, the tone sets an intriguing proposition for the rest of the journey.
New episodes of Moon Knight drop off every Wednesday on Disney+.
Additional reporting by Kat Moon.
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