James Gunn’s Moon Knight pitch got us thinking: who would be a good fit to play the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The hype for the property to get adapted to live action has been on the rise, we now just need actors to start campaigning.
However, I’d first like to begin with some background on the character. Marc Spector, a.k.a. Moon Knight, was a CIA agent turned mercenary where he made millions. His wealth from being a mercenary and investments land him anywhere between $50 million to $3 billion in net worth, granting him a suave Bruce Wayne-style life. Yet during his last mercenary job in Cairo, Spector was left for dead by a former colleague.
Spector dragged himself through the sands of the desert to the tomb of Konshu, the Egyptian moon god. There he was pronounced dead but resurrected at the hands of Konshu. The resurrection took a toll however, as he developed multiple personality disorder. When he returned to New York, he created two new personalities, Steven Grant, and Jake Lockley. Grant was the millionaire womanizer, while Lockley was a cab driver.
It was after developing his other personalities when he took on the mantle of Moon Knight. Konshu granted Spector with increased physical capabilities and periodic prophetic visions at night; yet even Spector himself was unsure whether Konshu was yet another personality of his own creation. Even still, Moon Knight operates with an arsenal of technology, vehicles and costumes to suit his needs.
Originally, Moon Knight was also the son of a rabbi, so he could also mark the first (granted non-practicing) Jewish superhero in the MCU.
So as you can see, we’d need someone as suave and built as Batman, yet more capable of playing with mental trauma. Another factor would be whether the property gets adapted for Netflix or film; as that could affect the caliber of actor. So with all of this into consideration, I came up with the top ten actors I’d like to see play Moon Knight.
10. Tom Hardy
Certainly physically capable for the role, Tom Hardy’s gruffness makes him perfect for the suited-up side of Moon Knight. And he’s no stranger to superhero films either, having played Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. He would likely be able to do the suave millionaire mercenary angle of the character as well, but with a character like Moon Knight, all aspects of his personality must be done well. And I’m not sure if he’d pull off the multiple personality side of Marc Spector, which leaves him at number 10 on my list. I don’t think his coarse voice would convey the psychosis of the character well enough, even if he might have the physicality on lock.
9. Jon Hamm
Likely best known for Mad Men, Jon Hamm wins in the playboy aspect of Moon Knight. His corporate looks could definitely pull off being a wealthy mercenary, and he’s done plenty of action as well. Yet again, I’m not fully sold on his ability to do the mental trauma, which is key to the character. The actors further up on the list have a complete grasp on all angles of Marc Spector, but Hamm definitely would still be a fine pick.
8. Damian Lewis
A potential contender for James Bond could go one further by playing a mentally tortured superhero version of 007, which is why Damian Lewis is on the list. Best known for Homeland, Lewis could certainly have the chops to play a mentally unstable character. But with no uncertainty, he’d have the physical appearance and strength of the character down. As an actor more suited towards television appearances, he’d be great if the show went the Netflix route.
7. Scott Eastwood
While he had one superhero film outing the past year in Suicide Squad, we barely got to see him. Eastwood certainly has a lot of heat behind him and is becoming one hell of an action star. With upcoming appearances in both Furious 8 and Pacific Rim: Uprising, Eastwood would definitely be able to take on a superhero role. He has the look of a suave mercenary but does he have the chops for multiple personality disorder?
6. John Krasinski
Former The Office star-turned-action hero, Krasinski would fit well in a Netflix series budget. Unfortunately, his upcoming Jack Ryan series could prove an obstacle should Marvel want to go this route. Krasinski could add levity to the series with his former comedy chops, while also perfectly handling the physicality of the role. His serious and comedic sides could also play well with developing distinguished personalities.
5. Zachary Quinto
Another actor used to the superhero genre, Quinto would be nearly perfect for the role. He has proven able to play a tortured anti-hero in Heroes, while also a cold calculating individual in Star Trek. While not the most physically dominating contender on the list, his history with mentally complex characters gives him an edge. Not only that, but he’d work well for either a film or Netflix adaptation of the character.
4. Ethan Hawke
Previously having been in talks for Doctor Strange, Hawke could be sought by Marvel once more. While certainly one of the older actors on the list, Hawke could show a Moon Knight more out of touch with the world. Perhaps a long period as a pronounced dead man has thrown him further into seclusion and mental distress. Hawke could certainly pull off the insanity of the character but may be lacking the strength needed. Another issue would be Hawke primarily sticks to independent films and a big budget film wouldn’t suit him. Granted he seems to be branching out a bit more with appearances in both Magnificent Seven and the upcoming Valerian.
3. Michael C. Hall
His most well-known role as Dexter makes him perfectly suited for Moon Knight. Having prior experience playing an insane serial killer helps plenty in pulling off Spector’s complex psychology. While he’s been relatively quiet after Dexter ended, he’d be one of the better candidates should Marvel go the Netflix route. Hall has also voiced Batman in the Justice League: Gods and Monsters film and mini-series, so he’s no stranger to comic properties. He would certainly have to bulk up again should he take on the role, but I feel he could pull it off.
2. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Another comic book veteran on the list. Having been in The Dark Knight Rises, and attempting to bring Sandman to life, Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be near perfect for a younger adaptation of the character. Levitt certainly has the acting chops and looks required, but is slightly lacking in terms of physical strength. I have no doubt he could bulk up for the role, and he’d bring a great amount of star power to the relatively unknown hero. His slimness works well for the more recent Moon Knight run in which the character operates primarily with a white suit, and his want for a Sandman adaptation could help lend itself to Moon Knight’s more magical ties.
1. Jake Gyllenhaal
Perhaps the best-equipped actor on the list to tackle Marc Spector’s tortured mental state, Gyllenhaal has proven himself well rounded enough for the character. Able to handle both the physicality, looks, and emotional pain of Moon Knight makes him a perfect candidate for the role should Moon Knight become a film. His roles in Nightcrawler and Donnie Darko have proven how mentally dark he can take himself as an actor, while also proving to be physically menacing. While Moon Knight may not be a villain, the character certainly has his fair bit of horror mixed in.