Back in April, Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige said that they had plans for the character of Moon Knight, and most people took it as a coming Moon Knight film. While Feige didn’t say that specifically, and what he did say basically gave a wide-open description on when, hinting that it could be 10 or 15 years down the line — I’d like to state very clearly that I think a Moon Knight movie is a horrible idea.
Moon Knight is a very interesting character that was created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin as a antagonist for Werewolf by Night in issue #32 in 1975. He was a mercenary who ends up with werewolf blood in his system that makes him stronger during the full moon and is given a costume by an evil corporation and sent to capture Jack Russel. He was essentially a clone of Batman, right down to the flying Moon-Copter and his pilot/friend Frenchie who was basically Alfred.
When the character became popular, Marvel let Moench continue with him, creating a character with multiple personalities and a very convoluted origin story that may or may not involve the Egyptian god of the Moon, Konshu. As for his personalities, there’s mercenary Marc Spector, billionaire Steven Grant, and cab driver Jake Lockley. For him it’s more than just an alias — he becomes these other versions of himself.
Now, even if they go through the 40+ year history of the character and decide on a specific origin, whether it involves a werewolf, an Egyptian god, or an African mercenary, they still have the personality issues to deal with. I can’t see all of that being set up and paid off in a two-hour movie. It’s too complex of a character and story. This needs the long-form storytelling that you can only get on television, and in this case, I think it specifically needs to go to Netflix to join their series.
In a 13-episode format, the writers could take the time to establish each of the personalities as unique characters, better selling the mental issues. You can bring in his girlfriend, Marlene, and spend some time developing Frenchie. You could also explore his time in Egypt and the mythological aspects of the character that would have to be quickly brushed over in a film.
And while Moon Knight has an interesting costume, he doesn’t have the spectacle aspect that would make a movie work. Spider-Man has his villains and his web-swinging. Iron Man has his tech. Big and bold visions that need to be splashed across the big screen. Moon Knight is a street-level vigilante whose biggest villains are another mercenary named Bushman and his brother Randall. This isn’t a cosmic story; it’s more likely to take place on the backstreets of Flatbush.
I am a fan of Moon Knight, and I want to see a live-action version. But I think the perfect home for him is in the world already home to Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and the Punisher. Giving him is own movie, with all the financial expectations that go with it, is a horrible idea.