Warning: The following article contains potential spoilers for the upcoming Disney Plus series Moon Knight.
When the trailer for Marvel’s Moon Knight touched down in January of 2022, it wasn’t the moody atmosphere, unsettling mystery, or chilling reveal of its key superhero that caught people’s attention. It was Oscar Isaac’s accent.
Isaac plays the titular hero, Steven Grant, who comes across as a mild-mannered gift store worker in London. Viewers couldn’t help but notice his southern English accent as the character narrates his troubled life, and began to wonder if Moon Knight is British.
As you might expect, it’s not that simple. Grant’s sleep disorder hints at the complex background behind one of Marvel’s darkest heroes. We have a few months before we’ll find out exactly what the Disney Plus series has in store for us when it launches in March, but it looks like the show will follow the character’s modern comic mythology. Moon Knight’s origins took a while to settle down on the page, but the current continuity can help unravel some of the show’s mysteries.
At one point in the trailer, Steven is surprised to receive a call from a speaker who calls him Marc. As Steven starts to doubt the reality he’s come to recognize, his crucial question is, “Why did you call me Marc?”
Moon Knight’s Personalities
In current comic book continuity, Moon Knight is Marc Spector, a mercenary with dissociative identity disorder (DID). In the guise of Moon Knight, who is revealed spectacularly at the end of the Disney Plus trailer, Marc is the avenging warrior for the Egyptian moon god Khonshu — literally the Moon’s Knight.
When he’s not enacting vengeance, Marc’s DID means he also has to contend with multiple personalities, all of which are unaware of the others. The official synopsis for the series suggests Steven is about to discover he’s just one of the personalities sharing a body with Marc Spector.
Steven’s blackouts could indicate periods when a different personality is in control, and the first season will likely contain others. That includes the Indiana Jones-like Marc Spector, a character that executive producer Kevin Feige described as “an action hero who jumps out of buildings and gets into fights.”
While the Steven Grant personality is taken from the comics, he’s not a shop worker on the page but a billionaire businessman. So it looks like the show will make some MCU alterations to the character’s background, but his DID will remain front and center. Spector’s identity disorder has been described as a “unique aspect” of the Marvel series. Steven and Marc will deal with their complex identity issues while tackling a deadly mystery that drags them to darker supernatural parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Thus, it’s fair to say that Steven Grant isn’t British. Instead, he is a personality of Marc’s who thinks he is.
As the character moves into live-action, some markedly different accents should help us to more easily distinguish between Moon Knight’s personalities. We can expect to meet other personalities too — including cab driver Jake Lockley — each of which reflects distinct facets of the Egyptian god who gave Moon Knight his powers.
It sounds like a concept that will fully utilize Oscar Isaac’s talents, though his British accent hasn’t exactly attracted the right publicity so far. Some viewers quickly compared his exaggerated cadence to Dick Van Dyke’s in 1964’s Mary Poppins. It’s not quite that extreme, though it is fascinating to hear an American taking on a British accent for the MCU after so many British actors adopted American accents for December’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Spektor’s DID may explain the accent and even why it’s so extreme — based on the reaction of Isaac and Ethan Hawke during the publicity rounds, there seems to be more to the accent than meets the ear. Whatever the truth, it’s probably not going to be the only accent Isaac will utilize throughout the series’ six episodes, along with any subsequent MCU appearances.
Moon Knight premieres exclusively on Disney Plus on March 30.