Marvel Studios often comes in for some pointed criticism due to the overuse of green screen and virtual sets. The arguments for this are manifold: it’s cheaper to render a set than build it, you don’t necessarily need all your actors in the same place at the same time, working in a studio helps stop spoilers from getting out, and it’s a lot easier to alter things in post-production without needing expensive reshoots. Even so, there’s an artificiality to it that may not age well.
But Moon Knight is something different. The Disney Plus show features extensive location shoots in London, Hungary, and the Jordanian desert. In a Moon Knight press conference attended yesterday by We Got This Covered, star Ethan Hawke said shooting in the desert “elevated” the show.
In response to a question about the most memorable location shoot, he said:
The one that comes to mind is getting to be in the desert in Jordan and literally being on location where they shot Lawrence of Arabia. One of the things that was a surprise to me about the Marvel universe is that it’s kinda fun acting in front of lots of green screens. I come from theater training and I enjoy pretending that something’s there and pretending you’re on top of a pyramid.
But then when you’re really in the desert it’s so beautiful and you feel some kind of connection to the cinema history of the desert. It elevated our collective imagination and broadened the scope of the show.
Director Mohamed Diab also went into detail during the press conference about how important it was that the show captures the reality of these environments rather than the stereotypical portrayal of them. Diab is Egyptian and wanted to ensure that Moon Knight didn’t fall into lazy cultural clichés about his country — a point he raised in his recent criticism of Warner Bros’ upcoming Black Adam.
You’ll get to see if all this hard work paid off very soon. Moon Knight will premiere on Disney Plus on March 30 and run for six episodes. Marvel Studios has sent WGTC the first four episodes in advance, so you can believe us when we say this is a show to be excited for.
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