Why Oscar Isaac Wasn't Cast as MCU's Moon Knight at Disney Investor Day

By David Thompson Updated:
Moon Knight logo, Oscar Isaac

At Disney's 2020 Investor Day meeting, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige gave MCU fans more news than they could've dreamed of. This included an official Fantastic Four announcement, the first Loki and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier trailers, and five new Disney+ projects in the works. One of the biggest surprises of the event was the absence of one announcement: Oscar Isaac playing the title role in Moon Knight

First reported by Deadline in Octoberit seemed official that Isaac would be playing Marc Spector in the upcoming Disney+ series. Here's the official description from the official programming sheet from Disney Investor Day meeting:

"Moon Knight is a new series created for Disney+. Directed by Mohamed Diab, the action-adventure features a complex vigilante who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. The multiple identities who live inside him are distinct characters who appear against a backdrop of Egyptian iconography."

A director, brief description, but no casting news. This absence of news became even more surprising after we got official casting confirmations on Tatiana Maslany as She-Hulk/Jennifer WaltersHailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror, and Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel. There were even a few fun surprises, like Dominique Thorne being cast as Riri Williams/Ironheart and Kathryn Newton replacing Emma Fuhrmann as Cassie Lang. 

Seemingly every other potential casting news was announced, besides Oscar Isaac as Moon Knight. So what's the deal? Let's dive into a few possibilities.

Contract Disputes

The most likely scenario is that Isaac and Marvel Studios have yet to dot all the i's and cross all the t's. The report from Deadline and others are likely accurate, but if Isaac hasn't officially signed on to take on the part, Feige and Marvel had no choice but to stay quiet on Moon Knight casting. A potential reason for delayed contract negotiations is Disney and Marvel Studios' desire to sign actors on for more than one film or, in this case, season.

For example, Anthony Mackie told Men's Health that his initial Marvel contract was for 10 films, but it has been changed a bit because of the introduction of the upcoming The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Disney+ series. Isaac's longest contract was seemingly when he signed on as Poe Dameron in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. His hesitation to sign on to another long-term Disney deal could be the main reason why Isaac's name wasn't mentioned by Feige.

Reporting Mix-Up

Deadline has proven itself as a very reliable trade through its many years of entertainment reporting. However, there is a slight chance that perhaps there was some false information being spread.

While this is far from the likely case scenario, it does open up the possibility that this report isn't 100% true. There's also the possibility that in October Isaac was set to star in the role, but has now backed out for contractual, creative, or personal reasons. 

Saving Announcement for Later

Moon Knight Oscar Isaac
Moon Knight

Disney and Marvel seemed to put all their eggs in one basket at this year's Investor Meeting, because there was no San Diego Comic-Con or D23 event. They announced dozens of new Disney+ series and theatrical projects on their way from Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar, and more. For all intents and purposes, this was their version of Warner Bros' DC FanDome event from back in August.

However, there will be more events coming in 2021, including the aforementioned Comic-Con and D23. With no release set either for Moon Knight, perhaps Feige is waiting to bring Isaac on stage in Hall H, à la Mahershala Ali at 2019's San Diego Comic-Con. 

Multiple Moon Knights

This theory stems from the second sentence of Disney's official announcement, "The multiple identities who live inside him are distinct characters who appear against a backdrop of Egyptian iconography." These "multiple identities" and "distinct characters" may in fact be being played by an assortment of actors. What if Isaac is only one of a handful Marc Spectors?

This would be a bit of a different take on the character that could give us a deeper understanding of what the character goes through on a day-to-day basis. Marvel Studios appears to be really diving into the mental health aspect of Spector, and a bold move would be having different actors play these multiple personalities, unlike James McAvoy in Split. So maybe Isaac is just one of many castings that Marvel has yet to announce regarding Moon Knight. 

As unlikely as some of these may be, there must be some reason Isaac wasn't confirmed as Moon Knight, so be sure to keep up with The Direct for the latest Moon Knight series news. 

- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.