The Marvel Cinematic Universe kicks off this year's release slate the same way it began in 2021. Before Marvel Studios movies make their way to theaters this summer, the franchise restarts on Disney+ with Oscar Isaac's Moon Knight. Just as WandaVision opened up 2021 as the first MCU streaming series, Moon Knight represents the first time a Marvel Studios rookie will debut on Disney+.
Moon Knight will follow Steven Grant, a calm gift shop employee whose life is turned upside down when revelations about his past begin to surface. Isaac is pulling double duty in this series, as Grant is just one of the multiple personalities within his character. Mix in the worlds of Egyptian gods and "David Koresh"-inspired cult leaders, and Isaac's character has enough internal and external conflicts for lifetimes.
While many of those aspects are teased in Moon Knight trailers and have been pieced together from comic inspiration, the core of this series remains a mystery. Even though this series is said to have "no attachment" to the current MCU, it still bears big similarities to an aforementioned acclaimed Marvel show.
Moon Knight's WandaVision Parallels
Embrace the Chaos Magic.
Speaking during the Moon Knight premiere, Marvel Studios president and show producer Kevin Feige drew a "mystery" parallel between the Oscar Isaac-led series and Elizabeth Olsen's WandaVision:
"This series is very much a mystery, and the audience is right with the lead character, Steven Grant. He wakes up in the morning and he struggles to figure out what is happening to him and what is going on. The audience is with him on that journey throughout all six episodes. For us, it's really fun, almost akin to WandaVision, as each episode something else is uncovered. We travel down that journey with Oscar's character."
Unlike the beginning of 2021 during the middle of the pandemic, Marvel Studios was able to roll out the red carpet ahead of Moon Knight's Disney+ debut on March 30. Feige emphasized that he loves reading the "amazing feedback" from every Wednesday for streaming releases, but hearing the "cheers" and "gasps" of a premiere event is an added bonus:
"It's great fun, especially for the Disney+ series where we get to see all the amazing feedback online and read it, but on the premiere night, we get to be in an audience and hear the laughs and hear the cheers and hear the gasps, as there may be tonight. That's wonderful."
Unwrapping Another Marvel Studios Mystery
2021 was a tale of two tones for Marvel Studios. While all four live-action releases were met with an overwhelmingly positive response, chatter revolving around WandaVision and Loki outweighed online discussion about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Hawkeye.
The biggest reason for that was the mystery of both Westview and the Time Variance Authority. The secrets of both Olsen and Tom Hiddleston's solo shows bred significantly higher speculation compared to the adventurous aspects of Anthony Mackie and Jeremy Renner's respective projects. Putting Moon Knight in a similar spot does not guarantee it will live up to the quality of 2021 MCU streaming shows, but it does put it in a position to succeed.
Marvel Studios thrives off online discussion. WandaVision's snowball-esque momentum was generated by the week-to-week fan theories, even if most of them were proven false by the series' finale. Looking at you, Mephisto.
Moon Knight is the first of three Marvel rookies debuting on the House of Mouse's streaming service. It's up to the Fist of Khonshu to ensure the streaming side of the MCU gets off to a hot start, and if Kevin Feige's words are to be believed, fans are in for a treat.
Moon Knight premieres Wednesday, March 30, on Disney+.