Marvel Studios' newest series, "Moon Knight," debuts today on Disney+.
The show centers on Oscar Isaac's Steven Grant, a geeky museum gift shop employee plagued by blackouts and haunting visions of another life. He suffers from dissociative identity disorder, sharing his body with Marc Spector, a mercenary who was gifted the power of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu.
- 3January 18, 2022
Grant/Spector can summon the power to become Moon Knight, a powerful hero with mummy-like wrappings, glowing eyes and a flowing cape, who first appeared in the pages of Marvel Comics in 1975.
Isaac told "Good Morning America" the show treats dissociative identity disorder "with a lot of respect."
"In some ways the whole show is an outward expression of his internal struggle with that," Isaac said.
He added that the team spoke with a lot of mental health professionals and did a lot of research "so that it's not just an element of his backstory, but the entire thing is really about that and that struggle."
The other side of the coin is Ethan Hawke's cult leader Arthur Harrow, who's been given the ability to bring life-or-death judgment on people through the power of the Egyptian goddess Ammit.
"So Oscar plays the Moon Knight, but he's suffering from severe mental illness, which creates a riddle for me playing the villain because usually in the history of movies the villain is the one suffering mental illness. So I had to kind of come up with a villain who thought of himself more as a saint," Hawke told "GMA."
Hawke said part of the fun of filming "Moon Knight" was that few people were familiar with the character.
"Moon Knight" executive producer Mohamed Diab, the first Egyptian director in the MCU, called the shots on four of the series' six episodes. Egypt is central to the story and Diab told ABC Audio he tried to be as authentic as possible to the country, unlike other shows and movies.
"We call it Orientalism, seeing our world through a lens of like, falling into all the tropes," Diab explained. "Seeing us as exotic, women are submissive, men are terrorists or bad. The cities themselves, sometimes they're shot in a way that [appears] a bit exotic and primitive. It's always the pyramids and you see the desert."
In reality, he continued, "If you just like turned a little bit, [they're] in the middle of a big city."
While the show features ancient gods and far-flung locations, Diab said "I always felt like the journey that Marc and Steven go through is something very personal, very small and very deep. The idea of someone learning to live with themselves. We all can feel connected to that."
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Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News and "Good Morning America."