Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight is just around the corner. As fans wait out the three months since the last MCU project, journalists were treated to an unprecedented four-episode preview of the six-episode series.
The series takes a look deep into the psyche of Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift shop employee who shares his body with Marc Spector, a mercenary who has been gifted with superpowers thanks to the Egyptian god of the Moon. Oscar Isaac plays the titular character(s) alongside Ethan Hawke’s villainous Arthur Harrow.
As well as many supernatural and cultural elements, the series brings with it an international feel, as the story moves across the world from previous MCU projects. No longer is the action set in New York City, the setting for so many previous MCU films and series; in fact, the series will not set foot in the United States. Instead, Moon Knight will take audiences to London and Egypt, locales not generally at the centre of the MCU.
In the comics, the character Moon Knight primarily operates in New York City, alongside the dozens of other heroes that protect the city that never sleeps. So why make such a drastic change to the character’s origin? The answer is pretty simple: New York City is too overcrowded.
During the global press conference for Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight, star Oscar Isaac was asked how he came up with the accents for Marc Spector and Steven Grant. The actor also talked about why the series takes place abroad.
Isaac’s first point was that the show was “set in London”, a change that Marvel Studios made because “they just have too many characters in New York.”
“I don’t know… well, it was set in London and when I asked why, it was like, ‘We just have too many characters in New York…’ So, it seems like, let’s just change it up… I mean, I love English humour, like The Office and Sath Lets Flats… There’s just so much of that humour that I find funny, and I thought, ‘there’s an opportunity here to make something maybe… What if we make him English?’ I was like, ‘What if Peter Sellers was approached for a Marvel project? What would he do?’ So I started thinking about that, which led me to Karl Pilkington from An Idiot Abroad, not so much for the accent, but just for his sense of humour where he doesn’t know he’s being funny.”
There have so far been at least thirteen Marvel Studios films and Disney+ shows that have major plot points relating to New York City, including The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man 2, Avengers, Avengers Age of Ultron, Doctor Strange, Spider-man Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Hawkeye and Spider-man No Way Home.
Isaac also went on to talk about how he’d considered the Jewish community in London and how he paid attention not just to Steven’s accent but his timidness and how he connected with people, by not quite knowing how.
“And then I thought about the Jewish community in London and where a lot of that community is from and Enfield is an area, so I started to listen to accents from North East London, and I just committed to that and found this guy. It wasn’t just about his accent; it was about his timidness and also wanting to connect with people, but not quite knowing how… Russell Kane was another, and he was a comedian I listened to as well.”
It makes sense that Marvel Studios would want to tell a new story away from Ney York. Not only does Moon Knight switch the location up, but it gives Steven Grant and Marc Spector their own unique identities, allowing their tormented story to stand on its own and carve a new, unique part of the MCU.
It is, of course, possible that Marc or Steven will eventually end up in New York, but for now, the series has its base of operations in London, which could perhaps mean crossing paths with Kit Harrington’s Dane Whitman or Mahershala Ali’s Blade.
Moon Knight debuts exclusively on Disney+ on March 30th. Be sure to check back in with us later this week to read our comprehensive review of the series, and of course, we’ll be breaking down each episode week to week.