Ethan Hawke was openly skeptical about starring in a superhero movie for years. He pointed out that the job inevitably combines performance with “salesmanship”, and he doesn’t like being sent out to promote a big budget studio blockbuster.
As he’s now playing the villainous Dr. Arthur Harrow in Moon Knight, his stance has clearly softened, though he was right about having to do press tours.
The latest issue of Empire sees him quizzed about his enigmatic Moon Knight villain. Which is understandable, when even comic book experts might be unfamiliar with the obscure 1980s villain. In the pages of Marvel Comics, he’s a renowned scientist known for his study of human pain, though was discredited after it was discovered he was using data from Auschwitz in his research.
In the Disney Plus show, however, he appears to be some kind of cult leader, as described by Hawke to the magazine.
[He’s] the head of a kind of certain religious sect. Like a lot of zealots. He has his own ideas about what might make the world a better place and they may not include you.
Oscar Isaac’s Marc Spector is bonded with ancient Egyptian deity Khonshu, which is likely why Harrow’s religious sect has an interest in him, as the title hero’s arch-nemesis outlined in further detail.
When you build a new character, you create a blender and throw things in. So I threw in David Koresh, Fidel Castro, the Dalai Lama, Tolstoy. The best villains are the ones that think they’re heroes and that’s definitely Dr. Harrow. He sees Moon Knight as an obstacle to him healing the world.
The recent trailer showed off a little more of Harrow’s supernatural powers, though we’ll have to wait until the show releases to find out more, but recent images hint that Harrow may initially feel like an ally to Spector, especially as he looks to be in a position to provide answers on why giant scary bird men are haunting him.
But, let’s face it, anyone called Dr. Harrow in a comic-book show isn’t going to be on the side of the angels. Either way, Hawke and Isaac are top-tier actors, and watching them square off should be a treat.
Moon Knight premieres on Disney Plus on March 30.