10 Movies That Influenced Moon Knight According To Its Creators


marvel’s moon knight, streaming now on Disney+, has plenty of elements that make it a compelling watch. The duality of Oscar Isaac’s protagonist Marc Spector, Arthur Harrow’s villainous turn of Ethan Hawke, and deep dive into Egyptian mythology are just a few examples. The series is fresh and different, with creator Mohamad Diab taking great pains to portray a new kind of hero.

Nostalgia often fuels many art forms, and moon knight is no different, with clear influences from the action-adventure, horror, and sci-fi movies that came before it. Callbacks to the classic films that inspired the creators of the series make moon knight infinitely more interesting, and might warrant another re-watch. The show’s creators recently gave an interview, detailing the influences that influenced the MCU’s latest Disney+ series (per SlashFilm).

Free Solo (2018)

Free Solo is an adventure documentary that follows the climbing exploits of athlete Alex Honnold, as he prepares to climb a California monolith without equipment. Perhaps the greatest influence on moon knight It’s the miraculous wide camera angles that make the viewer feel every intense adrenaline rush as the climber dares an incredible feat.

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In terms of scope and scale, the show clearly takes influence from Free Solo. The use of wide shots in Episodes 3 and 4, when Marc and Layla drive through Cairo, echoes the doc’s stunning shots. Likewise, as the viewer is introduced to the world like Steven, the action is equally disorienting when unusual things start to happen, with clear parallels to the intensity of the action.

The Descent (2005)

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2005 horror/thriller film, Lowering features a group of cave explorers who encounter blind predators deep underground. The setting is in a cave system, and an overriding theme is the suspense and horror of the unknown. With its horror tropes, also present in moon knightand parallels of dark spaces and fear of disturbing creatures, it’s easy to see how this film inspired the series.

In Moon Knight fourth episode, Layla traverses the ancient passageways of Giza, and the thriller elements are directly influenced by Lowering. Just as the jump is scary between cave explorers and Crawlers, Layla’s encounter with the mummies exudes the same thrill. The paranoia and suspense that is created when the main characters are in the dark, literally and figuratively, keeps viewers deeply invested.

The Exorcist (1973)

THE EXORCIST 1973 Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil in bed

In the opening scene of the horror classic, a priest takes part in an archaeological dig in Iraq and encounters a demonic presence. This, of course, leads to the events of the film. The opening scene of The Exorcist was discussed in preparation for moon knight according to the creators, because the cleverly designed opening plunges the viewer directly into the action.

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The set of horror elements moon knight apart from previous Marvel entries. In both works, a protagonist comes face to face with deities who serve a greater purpose than initially seen. Steven Grant wrestles with his own reality, guiding viewers through scenes meant to disorient them. One scene leans heavily into the horror aspect, with Steven staring down an empty floor of his apartment to see Khonshu charging towards him.

Children of Men (2007)

Clive Owen in Children Of Men

by Alfonso Cuarón children of men is a sci-fi thriller with a masterclass in marrying action and character development. The camera plunges the viewer into chaos, using long camera shots that capture the action. The film’s use of single-shot action sequences maintains the focus on the protagonist and was a direct influence in helping moon knight feel grounded in Isaac’s character perspective.

Marc Spector and Steven Grant’s perspective, while very different from the comic iteration, is essential to the series. Episode 4, “The Tomb” follows a standard action-adventure plot until the final ten minutes. As Marc and Steven physically embrace, the camera is turned completely towards them in long shots, emphasizing the emotional moment of their union. From a cinematic lens, longer sequences allow the characters to experience the action as it is presented to them.

John Wick (2014)

Keanu Reeves as John Wick

The action sequences in John Wick are among the most memorable of recent years, with audiences praising the action movie. John Wick is lauded for its grittier action scenes that feel more grounded as audiences feel every kick and punch onscreen. Like John Wick, moon knightThe fight scenes feel organic.

moon knight definitely benefits from keeping the action grounded in reality and serving the titular hero in its brutality. The action sequences of moon knight are focused on melee combat, which makes them less fantastic than other Marvel fights. Making the action organic gives Marc Spector an edge that makes him a street-level hero.

War of the Worlds (2005)

Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi epic War of the Worlds is a camera work masterclass. A scene early in the film in which the aliens begin to attack Earth, the camera captures the fearful citizens through large camera movements. Studying how Spielberg sets up the action in his films also helps establish character. By implementing aspects of Spielberg’s directing style into the series, the creators have enriched the material.

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The end of Episode 2 sees Marc Spector come face to face with Khonshu, and for the opening lines of dialogue, the camera pans over Marc as Khonshu talks to him. Using a similar technique to go from a wide shot to a close-up here helps amplify Marc’s relationship with Khonshu as he faces his celestial master. Using camera movements to establish a character’s motivations and emotions is a great Spielberg method, and the audience has been on Marc’s side from the start.

Persona (1966)

A woman with her hand on a screen in Ingmar Bergman's Persona

The bridge between Ingmar Bergman Personage and moon knight it is the identity crisis. Personage is a psychological horror film exploring personal identity, madness and duality, focusing on a nurse and her patient. A central subject of the film is the resemblance of the two main characters, suggesting that they are one. With Marc Spector being an MCU hero with a dual identity due to dissociative identity disorder, the theme of identity is clearly influential.

Parallels between Personage and moon knight are evident, with Marc Spector and Steven Grant vying for control of the same body. Themes of personal identity and duality are depicted in Isaac’s dual role, but the cinematography eschews this. Throughout the show, mirrors and reflections illustrate the difference between the two. Matters of madness are explored in episodes 4 and 5 when Marc Spector learns that he is an asylum patient.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Freeway Fight Captain America Winter Soldier

marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier subverted expectations upon release, with the 1970s political thriller vibe and grittier tone that made it a fan favorite. The hard-hitting action scenes were unlike anything Marvel had done before. This new level of intensity became a template for future Marvel films and allowed moon knight lean into its brutality.

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Like characters in winter soldierSpector channels “emotional trauma using his fists” according to The Directthe interview with writer Beau DeMayo, so moon knightit is the action is reminiscent of the type of violence popularized in previous Marvel entries.

Ghostbusters (1984)

The supernatural themes of ghost hunters making it a clear influence on the Disney+ show. The elements of comedy and fantasy make this a much-loved ’80s film, building on the classic hero vs. villain trope. ghost hunterThe endearing and amusing characters and thrilling adventure of made it lovable to audiences and maybe that’s what made it a talking point for Moon Knight collaborators.

A big source of levity for the show is the clumsy naivety of Steven Grant, as he discovers a life from which he has always been protected. Steven’s role in this world of mercenaries and ancient gods endears him to audiences, and he typifies the excitement of the show while giving audiences someone to relate to. The light moments of moon knight allowed creators to project the tone and excitement of the classic sci-fi movies that inspired them.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark

by Steven Spielberg IndianaJones the franchise is best known in the 1981s The Raiders of the Lost Ark. The entertaining action-adventure remains Spielberg’s best film in the eyes of fans. This film is appreciated for its uninterrupted action, with Indiana Jones crossing the Egyptian jungle and deserts. The film’s plot, excitement, and theme of finding greater purpose most resemble the Disney+ series.

Although fictional adventurer Dr. Steven Grant is a clear nod to Indiana Jones, the tone of the series aligns closely with Raiders. When the action of the series shifts to Egypt, the grave robber roles of Marc and Layla are very reminiscent of Indiana and Marion. They traverse the pyramids of Giza, searching for artifacts, with a villain hot on their trail. In fact, when the creators pitched the show to Disney, they cast it as a Raiders of the Lost Ark in the MCU (per GameRant).

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