Moon Knight Star Oscar Isaac Initially Didn't Want The Role

It's a great week to be a "Moon Knight" fan — or an MCU lover in general. Following last night's Super Bowl trailer, Marvel released some exclusive new images from the series and now we're finally hearing from the star of the show himself, Oscar Isaac, on all the mysteries soon to unravel. But beyond vague hints at the storyline and explaining the reason behind his bizarre British accent, Isaac has also cursed us with a tragic what-if scenario: he almost didn't accept the titular role. As he recently revealed to Empire Magazine in the April Issue set to arrive later this month, Isaac's initial instincts were to turn down the role of Marc Spector.

When first approached about the show, Isaac said his "gut was telling him: 'No.'" This was back in 2020 and in the wake of his recent projects, Isaac was fatigued by the prospect of big studio titles. He had just starred in a comic book movie ("X-Men: Apocalypse") which was sandwiched between some of the biggest blockbusters of all, the latest "Star Wars" trilogy. In retrospect, neither of these were particularly positive experiences for Isaac: he once described shooting X-Men as "excruciating" because he spent the time "encased in glue, latex, and a 40-pound suit" that he now dubs a "walking sarcophagus." So really, his response to the "Moon Knight" call should come as no surprise. As he told Empire:

"My initial thing was, 'No I don't want to go back into that kind of machinery. I did that already. The last thing I want is to be on a massive set, [thinking], 'What am I doing here?'"

But beyond his fear of being glued into yet another uncomfortable superhero costume with a cooling mechanism as his only solace, Isaac had a particular vision for what he wanted next. Creatively speaking, Isaac has purposely edged away from Hollywood machinery and towards projects that are more "handmade."

"Often on these big movies it can feel like you're building the plane on the runway. The idea of getting back to 'handmade' films, character studies ... I was desperate for that feeling."

This past year, Isaac dazzled on both the big and small screen with slow-burn character studies in "The Card Counter" and "Scenes From a Marriage." In the end, he was drawn into "Moon Knight" because, in spite of the inherent scope of an MCU series, this particular project gave him space to get creative.

"[Moon Knight] felt 'handmade.' And it's the first legitimate Marvel character-study since Iron Man. Plus, I thought, 'Maybe I can hijack this thing. Maybe this is the chance to do something really f***ing nutty on a major stage."

Getting Nutty With Oscar Isaac

Clearly, Isaac took the nuttiness to heart. And it's no wonder – when you're playing a violent comic book hero imbued with the powers of an Egyptian God, there's lots of space to get weird. Not to mention the inherent complexity of Isaac's Marc Spector, a man with dissociative identity disorder who jumps between various personalities. 

Honestly, the closer we get to the release of "Moon Knight," the more I jump between excitement and utter confusion. Who is this mummy man? What part of the UK is he supposed to be from? For those of us unfamiliar with the eponymous character, it's fitting then that Isaac compared his hero's debut to that of Iron Man's way back in the distant past of 2008. Back then, the tech-clad billionaire playboy was considered a B-list hero but since the MCU has begun its bid for world domination, he's become a household hero. This could very well be the fate of "Moon Knight" if he plays his cards right. Here's what we know of the story so far:

Moon Knight follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc's enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.

The upcoming issue of Empire hits shelves on Thursday, February 17, 2022, and "Moon Knight" premieres on Disney+ next month, on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.