There are lots of intriguing action scenes and hints of mystery in the new trailer for Marvel’s Moon Knight. Oscar Isaac portrays both desert-bound mercenary Marc Spector and timid English shopkeeper Steven Grant, but you may have noticed that the episode is a bit scarier than your normal MCU offering!
The preview is full of jump scares, and Ethan Hawke’s cult leader Arthur Harrow gives off disturbing feelings. A terrifying, skeleton monster appears, who is very certainly the Egyptian deity Khonshu, who resurrects Spector and appoints him as his earthly emissary.
Because Moon Knight’s origins are in horror, the tone shouldn’t come as a surprise. As a bounty hunter hired to apprehend the lycanthropic Jack T. Russell, the character first appears in Werewolf by Night #32 (1975). Moon Knight co-creator Doug Moench and illustrator Don Perlin have a lengthy history of collaborating on horror comics. From Marvel’s Godzilla series and Eerie anthology comic to the Batman-as-vampire novella Red Rain, he penned it all. Bill Sienkiewicz, who would later draw the horrifying “Demon Bear Saga” in New Mutants, joined Moench for Moon Knight’s debut solo series.
Marvel engaged independent horror directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead to helm two episodes of the series to bring that tone to life (the last four are directed by Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Diab). Spring and The Endless, two otherworldly character studies by Benson and Moorhead, cemented their fame.
“They absolutely complement one other,” Benson said of his and Moorhead’s horror flicks, Moon Knight, and the Netflix series Archive 81 to The Playlist. Moorhead went on to say that Moon Knight has a lot of similarities with their past flicks. He continued, “It’s something that’s sort of like what we currently do.”
Of course, Benson and Moorhead aren’t the first or last horror directors to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Scott Derrickson directed Doctor Strange in 2016 and co-wrote it with C. Robert Cargill, who had worked together on Sinister and The Black Phone. Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, which will be released in May, promises to be a return to superheroes for director Sam Raimi, whose Spider-Man films from the 2000s are still considered classics in the genre, as well as a chance for him to experiment with the supernatural themes he explored in films like Evil Dead and Drag Me to Hell.
If Moon Knight goes full horror, it will take the MCU down a road it has already begun to go. WandaVision concluded with the first sight of the evil book known as the Darkhold, in addition to the supernatural themes established in Doctor Strange. There are also rumors that a Werewolf by Night Halloween special starring Gael Garca Bernal is in the works, as well as a Blade relaunch starring Mahershala Ali.
When the program starts on March 30, we’ll finally get to witness exactly how terrifying Moon Knight is willing to be.