Ethan Hawke is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the villain in the upcoming “Moon Knight” television series on Disney+, THR reports. The casting choice will make “Moon Knight” hard to resist for indie movie lovers, as the MCU series pits Hawke against Oscar Isaac, who is starring in the title role. “Ramy” breakout May Calamawy is also set to star in “Moon Knight,” which is being directed by Mohamed Diab and “The Endless” and “Synchronic” filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. Hawke’s specific character is remaining under wraps, but he is set to play the series’ lead baddie.
That Hawke is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe might raise some eyebrows, given his buzz-worthy comments from August 2018 in which he shared his belief that superhero movies are overly praised by critics. In an interview with The Film Stage to mark his lifetime achievement award at the Locarno Film Festival, Hawke showed ambivalence toward the superhero genre and cited the Oscar-nominated “Logan” as an overpraised example.
“Now we have the problem that they tell us ‘Logan’ is a great movie,” Hawke said at the time. “Well, it’s a great superhero movie. It still involves people in tights with metal coming out of their hands. It’s not Bresson. It’s not Bergman. But they talk about it like it is.”
Hawke continued, “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.”
In a follow-up interview with Collider, Hawke said he was making “a nuanced point about money in America and what our obsession with the accumulation of wealth is.” The actor added, “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.”
Hawke is coming off rave reviews for his Showtime limited series “The Good Lord Bird,” and towards the end of last year he wrapped production on “The Northman,” the new Viking epic from “The Witch” and “The Lighthouse” director Robert Eggers. Hawke is playing an Icelandic king in the film opposite Nicole Kidman as his queen. Hawke’s most recent film, “Tesla,” was released last summer. According to THR, “Moon Knight” is eyeing a production start this March in Budapest.