New Marvel Disney Plus series Moon Knight stars Oscar Isaac as his titular hero, a troubled mercenary whose identity is split between two personalities: grizzled tough guy Marc Spector and diffident nerd Steven Grant, both vying for control as they try to save the world from a supernatural threat.
It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Isaac in the challenging central role – but the actor has now revealed that he had serious doubts about signing on to another massive franchise so soon after exiting Star Wars.
“For me, it was all reservations,” Isaac told RadioTimes.com. “It was months of smashing my head against a stone wall like, ‘Is this the right thing to do?’ I thought, ‘I shouldn’t do it. Maybe maybe…’
“I had just kinda got out of the whole, you know, big machinery of Star Wars. And I was like, ‘I just really want to do character studies. And I don’t know.’”
However, the more Isaac thought about the story that Moon Knight could tell, the harder it was to get out of his head.
“I couldn’t help but feel that there was this opportunity there,” he told us.
“That’s the risk, sometimes you have an idea of what you want to do. And then something comes to you. And I just kept thinking about it.
“And then suddenly Steven Grant started appearing for me, and I started doing it around the house for my kids and my wife, and they kept asking me to do it. And I was like, ‘Alright, well, maybe there’s something here. ‘”
Apparently, Isaac’s fumbling, British take on the character was radically different from the version Marvel had pitched him, but when he suggested the changes Marvel supremo Kevin Feige was enthusiastic.
“It wasn’t necessarily written that way at all,” he explained. “And so I thought, ‘OK, well, let me see what Kevin says about this.’ And so I had a meeting with Kevin, I said, ‘This is how I’d want to do it.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, OK, go for it.’
“And it’s funny, because afterwards he told me they didn’t know what the hell I was doing. And they weren’t sure it was going to work at all. But you know, in the end I’m glad we did that, because everyone says it kind of makes the show.”
Altogether, it sounds like getting Isaac on board was a fairly long and collaborative process – and with the series soon to debut, he now says he’s glad he took the risk in getting involved.
“It took a lot of figuring out if this was the right thing, and to take that risk,” he said.
“But part of that was also getting the people that I was going to trust. And what was amazing about Kevin and everyone at Marvel is that there was a lot of faith and a lot of trust in my opinions about it, and my feelings about it.
“So like talking to [director] Mohammad [Diab] about where we wanted the story to go, getting Ethan [Hawke] to be part of it. And already, it started to become a very personal story.
“Because all of those things, push it into the hope of what it could be… if that makes sense.”
Moon Knight begins on Disney Plus on Wednesday 30th March, with new episodes dropping on Wednesdays – sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year now.
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