After years of speculation, and at least one near-miss, Marvel Studios fulfilled the wishes of countless fans on Friday with the announcement at the D23 Expo that a Moon Knight live-action debut in a series on the Disney+ streaming service. Beyond the logo, no details were provided about the project. However, the news arrived on the heels of a report that Game of Thrones star Kit Harington will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, making the timing difficult to ignore.
It's certainly no joke to Moon Knight is one of Marvel's most psychotic characters. Created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin, Marc Spector debuted in 1975's Werewolf by Night #32. A decorated soldier turned mercenary left for dead in the Egyptian desert, Spector was saved by the moon god Khonshu. The revival imbued him with superpowers, but also shattered his mind, leaving him dissociative identity disorder. An expert detective and martial artist, in the vein of DC's Batman, Spector displays multiple personas. The usual three are himself (Marc Spector/Moon Knight), the wealthy entrepreneur Steven Grant and the street-savvy cab driver Jake Lockley. If you're looking for street-level crime fighters of the Marvel Universe, look no further than Moon Knight.
The idea of Harington stretching his acting abilities in a role like Moon Knight is certainly appealing. While beloved by Game of Thrones viewers, Jon Snow didn't exactly call for great range.
Moon Knight would probably require a lot from Harington, but he could certainly deliver. Imagine how enjoyable it would be to see him dig into the various elements of the character's fractured mind. Or even the simple prospect of getting to see him beat up bad guys in what will hopefully be a killer costume. There's a lot to be cautiously hopeful about.
Harington could even portray a side character of the Moon Knight mythos. One of Spector's closest allies is French pilot Jean-Paul Duchamp, typically referred to as Frenchie. He often appears as a supporting role in Moon Knight comics, but he's often pivotal in helping Spector remain grounded in reality. Harington could easily fill that role as well. It would be a complete waste of his talents, and his star power, but it's nevertheless a fairly valid idea.
With Daredevil and Jessica Jones being so widely popular, many fans expected the logical next step for Marvel would be to bring Moon Knight to Netflix. Although Iron Fist showrunner Raven Metzner confirmed Moon Knight was brought up "many times" in the writer's room for Season 2, the character obviously never made it beyond that stage (Daredevil foe Typhoid Mary was instead introduced). When Netflix canceled its Marvel series, hopes for Moon Knight began to dwindle. So this news from D23 comes as a miraculous, surprising gift.
Although the hero has been around for more than four decades, he's had few character-defining arcs. Writer Jeff Lemire's run is perhaps the most critically acclaimed, sending Spector to an insane asylum, and having him combat the voices in his head. It's a great example of how to write a story with an unreliable narrator, and would be superb inspiration for the Moon Knight live-action series.