Skip to main content

Ethan Hawke’s Early Ideas For His Moon Knight Villain Would Have Created A Totally Different Character

One of the reasons that Moon Knight is off to a strong start on Disney+ is because of the approach that Ethan Hawke is taking to Arthur Harrow, a cult leader serving the Egyptian god Ammit who uses scales on his arms to level judgement against willing participants. Like most religious zealots, Harrow believes whole heartedly in his approach to justice, comparing the lethal work that he’s doing in the name of Ammit as pulling weeds from a garden before they’re able to choke off the roses. But during a conversation with Hawke for a Moon Knight press opportunity, the character actor opened up about early ideas he had in his process, and they would have produced a different angle on Harrow.

There were times when we were conceiving of the show and thinking about it, what it might need, and I did have… oh, I think my first hit, I wanted to play him more like Fidel Castro or something. Like an old guerilla warfare leader or something. I had other ideas, but this is where we landed and by the time I was on set, I was doubling down on this.

The way that Ethan Hawke describes Arthur Harrow now, he calls it a “monk-like exterior and calmness” that envelopes the character. This is the proper foil to Oscar Isaac’s Steven Grant, a jittery, frazzled, confused, scared, and anything but calm persona who is being pursued by Harrow because of a scarab the museum employee possesses. Only Steven doesn’t know how he got the scarab, and he can’t figure out why voices in his head are leading him in different directions, and on serious missions. 

There’s a lot more coming with Arthur Harrow in subsequent episodes of Moon Knight, and we’ll learn not just his connections to Marc Spector – one of Steven Grant’s alternate personalities – but also to Khonshu, the Egyptian god the men serve. But at the moment, we’ve only scratched the surface of Arthur’s potential, and his backstory promises to unlock many more mysteries in this already mysterious Marvel Studios television series. Still, we have seen enough for Moon Knight’s director to call Oscar Isaac a genius

Moon Knight is the latest Disney+ program to expand out the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The next will be Ms. Marvel, which plans to introduce Jersey City’s own Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) to the MCU. In between the TV programs, the Upcoming Marvel Movies will bring fans the latest adventures starring Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the heroes of Wakanda, and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). 

Speaking of, where is that Thor: Love and Thunder trailer? Because that movie’s only three months away, and fans are THIRSTY for it. While we wait, read up on the new cosmic hero reaching the MCU, as well as the latest on the nine major Marvel characters we think are going to show up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. This could get wild.    

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.