[Article] MOON KNIGHT & The Genre Meld
Courtesy Marvel Studios
In MOON KNIGHT, audiences follow 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.

Recently, Nightmarish Conjurings took part in the global press conference for the release of Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT. Attending the press conference were Oscar Isaac, Ethan Hawke, May Calamawy, Director Mohamed Diab, Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, and Executive Producer Grant Curtis. Devan Coggin from EW.com moderated.

As we’re knee-deep in the middle of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 4, the blending of genres and risktaking has become one of the major highlights. For horror fans, the embrace of the dark side has been noticeable. We dabbled in cosmic horror in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and the soon-to-be-released Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. We tapped into the glory of sitcoms in WandaVision. The Loki series channeled its inner Doctor Who shenanigans, and Marvel Studios’ What If…? served as a genre dabbling playground. Needless to say, it is no surprise that we see this blending of genres in MOON KNIGHT.

Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector/Steven Grant in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT l  PC by Gabor Kotschy

The topic was brought up during the press conference by Coggin. Given the multiple different genres that MOON KNIGHT bounces around in, it could be easy for the tonal thorough line to get lost in the chaos. So, it made all the sense in the world when Coggin asked how the directors of the series managed to narrow down the tone for the show. For Diab, the tone seemed set from the get-go, but explained that it shifted with each person’s contribution to the series:

“For me, I think part of it — I’m going to talk about myself as an Egyptian.  Egyptians are funny in the most dire situations.  So in a funeral, we’re gonna crack a joke.  That’s the way it is.  I felt already there is a Marvel tone to the show before I even came in.  Definitely Oscar’s take took it in a different direction a little bit.  I’m sure each one of the people sitting here and other people even that were participating, each one of them put something, but it pushed it a bit different.  If you saw the reaction to it, a lot of people are saying even the humor feels a bit different than the norm which is something I’m so proud of.”

Moorhead further explained that the team did a lot of prep work prior to arriving on set. Given how much was shot on location, preparation was essential prior to shooting. However, as anyone in production knows, sometimes things change. He elaborated further on how the tone of a scene would sometimes shift based on people’s suggestions and experimentations:

Oscar Isaac as Mr. Knight in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT

“[I]n our kind of war room rehearsals or even just on the morning of, someone will come in with an idea and honestly, it could change the whole tone of a scene right then and there…And that was actually one of the most exciting things [for us], just making sure to do service to the work that was getting done, to the ideas, to chase [and] make sure we’re capturing the good idea rather than sticking to a plan that was made four months ago that may or may not still apply.”

There are many things that the team behind MOON KNIGHT is proud of accomplishing. But of the many things they are proud of, establishing the show’s tone and getting all of those genres to work together in harmony stands tall.  Wrapping up this particular topic, Diab summarized everyone’s thoughts on all of the hard work they put into getting this area right:

“One of the things that I’m really proud of — again collectively every one of us — is putting all those genres together and blending them in a way that doesn’t feel alien.  You have horror, you have action, you have comedy, and you have very serious drama.  And you never feel like, okay, this is not going well.  It all blends in a very good way.” 

MOON KNIGHT premieres on Disney+ on March 30, 2022, with new episodes airing weekly.

All images courtesy Marvel Studios.

To learn more about Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT, check out our spoiler-free review!

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