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Oscar Isaac says Moon Knight is so complex, you’ll need to watch multiple times

Published Mar 13th, 2022 3:02AM EDT
Moon Knight is coming to Disney Plus in March.
Image: MARZ VFX/Marvel

Marvel’s newest MCU addition premieres in a few weeks on Disney Plus. Moon Knight is a show that will introduce a character unlike anyone we have seen so far in the MCU. You might need multiple viewings to make sense of what was real and what was imaginary. That’s a teaser coming from Moon Knight actor Oscar Isaac.

The reason for that is that Marvel will be tackling mental illness with Moon Knight. Before we explain the complexity of the Moon Knight character, we’ll warn you that some spoilers might follow below.

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What mental illness does Moon Knight suffer from?

Fans of the character know that Moon Knight suffers from dissociative identity disorder. Moon Knight isn’t even his real name. It’s one of the multiple personalities residing in Steven Grant’s mind. But that’s the personality that happens to have the superpowers that turn the character into an MCU superhero. Or a troubled vigilante who has his own internal battles to fight on top of neutralizing external threats.

When Moon Knight doesn’t take over, Steven Grant is a British gift-shop employee. Then there’s also Marc Spector, an American spy/mercenary. Finally, there’s also a Mr. Knight character complementing Moon Knight. Those are the four personalities that USA Today could mention in a recent article.

Executive producer Grant Curtis explained that Moon Knight is a story about “identity and finding one’s true self.”

Moon Knight Super Bowl Trailer
Oscar Isaac playing various characters in Moon Knight. Image source: Marvel Studios

“The journey that Marc Spector is on during our whole show is: Who am I? And how do I reconcile portions of my past, present, and potential future that I don’t necessarily agree with? Coming to terms with our baggage and learning to live with ourselves is what we all deal with on a day-to-day basis.”

The producers also told USA Today they did their homework and took the responsibility of tackling mental illness for the character seriously. “Whatever we’re putting out there in the universe has to be ultimately good and uplifting and have a positive message about mental health,” writer and executive producer Jeremy Slater said of Moon Knight.

Oscar Isaac described the various characters he played in Moon Knight, and that’s enough to make you want to watch this mysterious addition to the MCU. It’s not just that we haven’t seen this character anywhere before. But we’ll see this actor deliver several different characters, not just the Moon Knight superhero.

The various characters that Oscar Isaac plays

Steven is an “English bloke who is a bit confused and doesn’t have great social skills and says the wrong things at all the wrong times and is completely sincere.” Isaac added that Steve is a character looking for connection, and he could be the “counterpoint to the classic, tortured, dark vigilante guy we’ve seen a lot.”

Steven gets random blackouts. He hears voices in his head and can’t tell the difference between the dreams at night and his alternate personas. And he’ll get into conflicts with the others, including Marc.

“I leaned into this Chicago guy who’s pushing people away,” Isaac said of the other Moon Knight character he’s playing. “You feel the way that Steven feels: ‘Why is [Marc] such a (jerk)? I don’t really want to be around him.’ As the story progresses, you see that thaw happen.”

Marc Spector in Moon Knight teaser trailer
Steven Grant/Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac) in Moon Knight teaser trailer. Image source: Marvel Studios

The actor also stressed the fact that he wanted to convey to the audience the “psychological horror of not knowing what’s happening and the slow revelations of the truth.” That’s the only way for the audience to understand what having dissociative identity disorder is like.

As for Moon Knight, the character with the superpowers, Slater said that the vigilante is “his own greatest enemy in a lot of ways.”

With all that in mind, Isaac’s promise that multiple viewings will help viewers understand what’s real and what’s in the characters’ imaginations makes sense. We’ll have to wait until March 30th to start experiencing this Moon Knight journey. Until then, you can watch additional footage here.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.