It seems not everyone is in love with Oscar Isaac as the titular “Moon Knight” from Marvel’s upcoming Disney+ live-action adaption.
“Moon Knight” comic book writer Alan Zelenetz, the man responsible for bringing Moon Knight’s human persona, Marc Spector, to life in the comic books, recently addressed the casting controversy.
Why Are Fans Unhappy With Oscar Isaac Playing ‘Moon Knight’?
The controversy all comes down to the ethnicity of the character. In the comic books, the character is Jewish. Oscar Isaac is not. He said that he has some connection to Judaism through his father but also admitted that his father raised him in a “very Christian” household.
Marvel Studios had reportedly been looking into actors like Daveed Diggs and Nick Kroll to play the titular character before they eventually settled on Isaac. After his casting, many fans wondered if they would still portray the character as Jewish, or just cut that aspect of his character out of the storyline entirely.
In an interview with an American Jewish media outlet called The Forward, Zelenetz shared his thoughts about the casting controversy. According to the “Moon Knight” creator, Marvel is “certainly not bound by any origins” when they chose to convert a comic book hero into a live-action TV series.
Zelenetz seemed to sum up the online discourse by saying:
“Moon Knight has to be Jewish — ‘Oh, we’re watching Marvel! The boycott is around the corner.’ I can smell blood in the water already! ‘How could they not make him Jewish? Oscar Isaac is not Jewish, even though he has the name ‘Isaac.’ And they’ve got an Egyptian director — what’s going on here?’”
He also pointed out that the character of Arthur Harrow, who is being portrayed by Ethan Hawke in the series, is also very different than the character he created on the page.
“And Arthur Harrow won’t be the character I created. So what?” Zelenetz asked. “If he’s not Jewish because there’s a good artistic reason he’s not Jewish, that’s perfectly OK. I don’t care.”
However, he did admit that he thinks the series “would be a great place to explore an ancient Egyptian God and a Jew” and ventured that “Maybe the ancient Egyptian God wants to make up for all those ancient Egyptians who couldn’t keep up with Moses! That would be a good storyline.”
What Do We Know About Marc Spencer From The Comic Books?
In the comic books, Marc Spector is a son of a rabbi who becomes a former Marine and CIA operative, despite his conflicted feelings about violence. While in Sudan, he watches a fellow mercenary kill an archeologist. Spector is able to save the archeologist’s daughter but is then killed by the mercenary. As he lays dying, he is brought into a recently unearthed tomb and placed in front of a statue of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. Khonshu resurrects Spector, fully healed, and asks him to become the “Moon’s Knight” and redeem his life of violence by protecting the innocent.
Later on, it’s revealed that Marc Spector has dissociative identity disorder, and his personality shifts between the four main phases of the moon: the traveler, the pathfinder, the embracer, and the defender of those who travel by night.
In most of his appearances, Moon Knight has no supernatural abilities aside from occasional visions. He is proficient in combat and utilizing high-tech equipment from his former military days, and he can sometimes display increased strength, speed, and endurance, depending on the cycle of the moon. Spector has also died and then been resurrected by Khonshu, although it’s never been clearly stated if there’s a limit of how many times he can die and then come back to life.
What Do Fans Think Of The Upcoming Disney+ Release?
Comments to the trailer were overwhelmingly positive. Many fans seem to be embracing the darker tone of “Moon Knight,” which drew parallels to another Marvel superhero, “Daredevil.”
“All I ever wanted is darker themes in the MCU like Daredevil, this looks like a great start, I hope it has this tone throughout,” one fan wrote.
Another commented, “This is the most anticipated series of the year for a reason! I cannot wait!”
“I love how an underrated comic character makes the largest leap to the screen,” another fan commented. “I read Moon Knight comics and always thought he wouldn’t find his footing in society. Now Marvel fans are hyped? Sign me up!”
“Wow!! I’m loving the intense psychological angle of the show and LOVE Oscar Isaac in the role!” commented another fan. “Seriously so excited.”
“Can we just talk about how talented Oscar Isaac’s acting is??” another fan asked. “Insane.”
The Disney+ series will be available to stream on Wednesday, March 30, and some fans suspect there is a reason for that. The trailer was released on January 17, which was a full moon. The series will be released on March 30, which is a crescent moon.