How Chris Evans' Captain America Influenced Moon Knight's Violence (Exclusive)

By Russ Milheim Updated:
Moon Knight, Captain America, Oscar Isaac

Chris Evans' Captain America: The Winter Soldier was one of the biggest departures for the Marvel Cinematic Universe at the time. Not only was the genre, a 70s-esque political thriller, completely new, but the Russo Brother’s first MCU project also featured the evolution of action scenes for Marvel Studios. At the time, many audiences claimed them to be the best the company had put forth yet.

The biggest improvement was how hard-hitting the action was. Every punch, kick, shield-smash—the viewers could feel each impact. This new level of intensity became the new norm for future projects.

Now, enter Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight. The project is just over halfway through its first season on Disney+, and many have already considered it to be the most violent Marvel Studios project to date.

So what do these two projects have in common? Well, it’s all in the fists.

The Captain America Influence

Moon Knight Oscar Isaac Violence

In an exclusive interview, The Direct's Russ Milheim got to sit down with Moon Knight writer Beau DeMayo to discuss the violence in Moon Knight, and how the Captain America movies helped find the right level of intensity without going overboard.

When asked how hard it was to find that balance of violence in Disney+'s Moon Knight, DeMayo noted the Russo Brothers' Captain America movies were used as a barometer, which featured their fair share of punching, weapons, and blood. These movies, like Moon Knight, depict "people who are clearly channeling emotional trauma through fists," allowing them to "honor the spirits of the comics" that they're based on:

“It was and it wasn’t. I think if you look at Captain America, especially like Civil War, and Winter Soldier, and like the violence in those movies particularly… you’re sitting in an arena that sits very close to the violence that you see in Moon Knight. It doesn’t go as bone-crunching, or [scenes like] Moon Knight cutting people’s faces off particularly. But it does sit in a place where these are people who are clearly channeling emotional trauma through fists. And I think that gave us a certain degree of comfort to know that we can take Moon Knight to a place where we felt like we were honoring the spirits of the comics."

Captain America Winter Soldier

The writers were specifically told that they could sit within the "Captain America violence realm," where they all "just kind of knew to stay [in]:"

"We had been told we can sit in the Captain America violence realm, and we just kind of knew to stay there. I don’t think we, too my memory—this was pre-covid, we actually wrote those scripts right before the world went into shutdown. So pre-covid brain in me says that I don’t remember a time of us getting a note that we had gone too far."

Captain America


Watching Over Moon Knight’s Rage

Many might be surprised not to hear Daredevil pop up in the discussion when the writers were figuring out how violent Marc Spector could get. After all, the Netflix show is one of the more grotesque live-action Marvel stories in recent years.

However, one has to remember that Charlie Cox’s hero wasn’t under Marvel Studios’ watchful eye at the time of creation. So it probably isn’t used as a barometer for its own content outside the use of Matt Murdock himself.

As for how successful Moon Knight has been at curbing his intense violence while also not holding back, they seem to be doing a great job so far. But, of course, one of the biggest factors of that has been editing, with strategically placed cuts taking fans away from the moment before it would get to be too much.

With it having now been explained, it’s clear to see how movies like Winter Soldier and Civil War, with their particular style of brutality on display from Chris Evans, were some of the biggest influences on the Oscar Isaac-led project.

Hopefully, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe evolves, and characters like Deadpool or Punisher return, those at the studio will become a little more comfortable pushing the boundaries even further.

Moon Knight is currently streaming on Disney+. 

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.