It was really only a matter of time before Ethan Hawke joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the franchise long having held a penchant for casting recognizable and esteemed character actors in either villainous or supporting roles. With four Academy Award nominations under his belt, 35 years of experience in the industry and a habit of jumping between prestige dramas and genre films, it was almost inevitable.
While we don’t know who Hawke is playing in Disney Plus series Moon Knight, we do know he’ll be the show’s big bad, and the character is apparently based on Waco leader David Koresh. That’s an interesting way to spin your approach to a role in a project geared largely towards families, but the MCU is more than established enough to take some pretty big swings these days.
The 50-year-old admitted that it was Oscar Isaac who convinced him to join Moon Knight, and in a new interview, Hawke explained why his co-star has more freedom to put his own stamp on the nocturnal vigilante than the latest name to suit up as Batman or Spider-Man.
“If you were an actor in the 50s, you know, they made Westerns. If you’re an actor in the 2020s, you’ve got Marvel. And I’m really fortunate because we’re dealing with a story that doesn’t have a lot of ancillary baggage. If you play Spider-Man or Batman, they’ve got so much baggage and the audience have such expectations.
“It’s like playing Hamlet, you can’t play it in a vacuum. You’re playing it in relationship to the other Hamlets. Whereas with Moon Knight, people don’t know much about it. It doesn’t have a lot of baggage. Oscar is giving an absolutely phenomenal performance, and it feels exciting to be a part of it with him.”
You can’t say that he’s wrong in his assessment, and there’s a reason why Christopher Reeve, Michael Keaton and Tobey Maguire are still regarded by a lot of people as the greatest iterations of their respective superheroes. It’s of huge benefit to get there before anybody else, and with nobody ever having seen Moon Knight in live-action before, Isaac is able to build his Marc Spector from the ground up without any shadows looming large in the background.