Once upon a time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe actually came under regular fire for delivering a string of fairly identikit superhero blockbusters that all hewed to the same narrative and visual template, with the filmmakers being viewed as little more than hired hands tasked to execute Kevin Feige’s vision above all else.
Naturally, the unprecedented critical and commercial acclaim that turned the MCU into the most lucrative and successful film and television property in history has given Feige the free reign and confidence to take the shackles off, which is why so many unexpected and exciting projects have defined the shared saga’s last decade.
Prime among them is Moon Knight, a six-episode supernatural event series that would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago, with big budget skeptic Ethan Hawke admitting to The Hollywood Reporter that he was shocked to discover just how much freedom Marvel Studios hands over to the talent.
“Through much of my career, the higher the budget went up, the higher the fear quotient went up, and from the people in charge, there was a lot less creativity on set because there was so much fear. But there’s something about the success that Marvel has achieved that empowers them to be confident and not be fearful. I’m only guessing here, but somehow in the DNA between Kevin Feige’s relationship to Robert Downey Jr., there’s something really good that happened between the producorial-actor relationship.
They have tremendous faith and belief in the actor’s ability to contribute. That opening scene is a great example of them using your creativity to help get you to invest in the show and to come up with original ideas. So I was really impressed by that. Oscar poured himself into this part. At one point when Oscar and I were rehearsing, I said to him, ‘You realize that they’re being so kind? They believe in us so much that if this doesn’t work, it’s our fault. We can’t blame anybody.’ But that’s really empowering as a performer. Yes, you have to work in their kitchen, but they’re going to let you work.”
Based on what we’ve seen so far, it would be an understatement to say that Moon Knight has been heavily impacted and influenced by the leeway awarded to the likes of Hawke, Oscar Isaac, lead writer Jeremy Slater, director Mohamed Diab, and others, which is one of just many reasons why fans are so hyped for next Wednesday.