Amidst news of the release of the “Snyder Cut”, and characters from Fox’s X-Men movies showing up in MCU’s WandaVision, a startling bit of news in the comic book movie community slipped quietly under the radar recently. Ethan Hawke, who has a long history of being somewhat dismissive towards the comic book movie genre, was announced to be playing the main villain in the upcoming Moon Knight Disney+ series starring Oscar Isaac. In a recent interview, Hawke explained why he agreed to do the project.
“Well, it’s where I’m at as an actor. A lot of it, to be honest, I love the fact that Moon Knight is a lesser-known story and allows more creative freedom. The director is Mohammed Diab and he’s a brilliant guy. A lot of it is Oscar, to me, to be honest with you. I find him to be a very exciting player in my field. I like what he’s doing with his life. He reminds me of the actors, when I first arrived at New York, that I looked up to. Oscar’s younger than me, and I like the way he carries himself, and I like the way he thinks. And in general, good things happen when you’re in the room with people that you like the way they think, right?… You have to speak to your time, right? You can’t pretend you don’t live in the time period that you live in. You have to try to make your time period better.”
Ethan Hawke has a long and contentious history of commenting on comic book movie culture. The actor once recalled turning down the role of Batman because he did not want to be associated with that kind of film. Most recently in 2018, Hawke complained the industry was trying to set Logan up as a great movie, even though, according to the actor, “It’s not Bresson. It’s not Bergman. But they talk about it like it is. I went to see Logan cause everyone was like, “This is a great movie” and I was like, “Really? No, this is a fine superhero movie.” There’s a difference but big business doesn’t think there’s a difference. Big business wants you to think that this is a great film because they wanna make money off of it.”
Naturally, some comic book movie fans resented Hawke’s implied dismissal of Logan’s cinematic potential. The actor later clarified his remarks, saying that, “I was talking about a much more nuanced point about money in America and what our obsession with the accumulation of wealth is. Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange is amazing, Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight, James Mangold’s Logan, I cited those because they’re my favorites, and people took [it as] me criticizing them. What I was trying to say [is] we need a community that’s making all kinds of movies.”
Hopefully, Moon Knight will be closer in spirit to what Hawke wants to see in cinema, even though it will be a streaming series. Directed by Mohamed Diab, Justin Benson, and Aaron Moorhead and written by Jeremy Slater, Moon Knight does not yet have a release date. The series will debut on Disney+. This news was first reported by The Ringer.