As you watch the first trailer for Marvel’s Moon Knight series, a few things quickly become clear about Oscar Isaac’s take on the titular hero. The first: like his comics counterpart, this Moon Knight will grapple with having multiple personalities. The second: one of those personalities is meant to be believably British, despite his having one of the most ludicrous British accents recently captured on camera.
In Marvel’s comics, Moon Knight — created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin — is both a codename and one of the alternate personalities coexisting within Marc Spector, a former Marine turned mercenary who appears to gain otherworldly abilities after dying and seemingly being resurrected by an Egyptian moon deity known as Khonshu. Though the specific details of Marc’s mental health and how it factors into his life as a costumed hero have shifted over the years, many Moon Knight stories, including the new show, have revolved around the complications that arise when Marc’s other alters begin to surface and assert dominance over their shared existence.
After alluding to the issues that Isaac’s character has been having with sleeping, the Moon Knight trailer makes sure to highlight how he takes one of London’s iconic, red double-decker buses to work and that he very much prefers to be called “Steven” by his colleagues at the British Museum. It all almost works, even as the trailer smoothly shifts into Moon Knight’s more supernatural elements, but the Marvel magic of it all never manages to come together because of how gobsmackingly weird Isaac’s choice of accent is here.
What’s strange about the way that the Moon Knight trailer alludes to Steven and Marc being the same person is the implication that “Steven” has somehow managed to build a life in Britain where actual British people believe he’s one of them, despite his sounding as if he’d wandered off the stage of a Pygmalion revival. The offness of Steven’s English accent is likely meant to be an unsubtle hint at the fractured nature of Marc Spector’s mind, but Marvel’s history with iffy accents makes it so that those kinds of details are easy to interpret as straight-up bad decisions.
In the years after Wanda Maximoff first hexed her way onto the Avengers in Age of Ultron with her Sokovian accent fully intact, the vaguely Eastern European lilt in her voice faded much in the same way that she gradually became a redhead. Though those choices initially felt somewhat inexplicable and arbitrary, WandaVision partially retconned them to have much more emotional significance than they appeared to, and Moon Knight could very well do something similar with Steven / Marc. What might also be the case, though, is that Moon Knight is about to join Doctor Strange in the pantheon of MCU projects that should have just stuck with their leads’ actual speaking voices.
Moon Knight hits Disney Plus on March 30th.