Moon Knight's Disturbing Opening Scene Came From The Mind Of Ethan Hawke

As far as the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes, "Moon Knight" occupies a strange place. Starring Oscar Isaac in the lead role, it involves a superhero with a personality disorder, with the whole show steeped in Egyptian lore. It's unique in and amongst the vast sea of other superhero stuff out there. That was made clear even from the show's opening moments, which see Ethan Hawke's villain Arthur Harrow pouring broken glass in his shoes before walking around in them somewhat casually. It was a twisted moment, particularly for the historically PG-13 MCU. It turns out this moment came from the mind of Hawke himself.

In a 2022 interview with Yahoo, the actor, known for his work in movies like "Training Day" and "Sinister," was asked about the moment in question. Hawke explained that it all stemmed from him trying to figure out the character. In the end, he ended up taking inspiration from people like St. Francis who suffered for their faith. Here's what Hawke had to say about it:

"That idea came from me trying to figure out my character. And I was trying to figure out what was his secret? You know, a lot of deeply spiritual people you find out later — like St. Francis and other people — would wear a hair shirt or do strange things to overcome suffering, right? And so I thought, what if this guy secretly poured glass in his shoes? I don't exactly know how the idea came to me."

Ethan Hawke's unusual idea became the first scene in Moon Knight

The series follows the mild-mannered Steven Grant (Isaac) who finds himself dealing with intense blackouts and memories of a different life. Steven soon finds that he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with a mercenary named Marc Spector, and realizes they have to work together to stop Arthur and his evil ploy. Speaking further, Hawke explained how he pitched the idea to the Marvel brass:

"I had this kind of vision. I pitched them that, 'What if he was listening to Bob Dylan and pouring glass in his shoes?' And the whole Marvel team loved the idea. I kind of thought of it as a single page portrait in a graphic novel, like, what would that be? And so we just shot it, and we weren't sure what we're going to do with it. And then they decided to open the series on it. But I think it gives the villain a little strangeness."

Once the idea of the glass came into play, it was shaped into a scene and brought to life by the episode's director, Mohammed Diab. It helped set the tone for the show and let audiences know that they weren't in for a "Batman" rip-off with an Egyptian backdrop. This was something else entirely.

As for whether or not we'll see more of Steven, Marc Spector, or some of his other personalities in the future of the MCU, that still remains to be seen. "Moon Knight" season 2 remains theoretically possible, but Isaac only signed on for a single season. So if Disney ever wants to revisit this corner of the MCU, they'll have a lot to work out, logistically speaking.

"Moon Knight" season 1 is currently streaming on Disney+.