Oscar Isaac: Marvel Has ‘Taken the Place of Big Comedies’ at the Box Office

Oscar Isaac is proud to be part of the legacy of escapism when it comes to superhero installments.

The “Moon Knight” star revealed in an Esquire cover story that he believes there is a reason why the MCU has dominated box offices for years.

“Marvel has taken the place of big comedies, to a certain extent, in the theater,” Isaac said. “There was a time when you’d go and watch the big comedies. You’d watch ‘Hangover,’ you’d watch all the great Judd Apatow films. And now it feels like these are the movies that people go to, to have a really good time and to laugh. These superhero movies, particularly the Marvel movies — exclusively the Marvel movies. That’s a really important element.”

The star and executive producer of the Disney+ limited series continued, “But tonally, what [Robert] Downey [Jr.] started — which was just amazing — was kind of the slightly self-referential, really cynical, but beautiful character. If you go back and watch that first ‘Iron Man,’ that thing’s got teeth.”

Isaac previously compared his take on the Moon Knight character to Peter Sellers entering the MCU, even drawing on Russell Brand and Karl Pilkington for comedy inspirations. And like Downey Jr.’s “Iron Man,” Isaac set out to make “Moon Knight” as a character study where the superpower of its hero is actually…his own mind.

“It’s basically saying, ‘We have a superpower and it’s the human brain,’” Isaac continued to Esquire, “particularly for those who deal with trauma and sustained abuse. There’s this thing that the brain can do to allow them to survive.”

“Moon Knight” brought on board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Paul Puri to ensure a well-rounded portrayal of Dissociative Identity Disorder, from which Isaac’s character Steven/Marc/Moon Knight suffers from

“My uncle suffered with mental-health issues,” Isaac said. “He started crying watching an episode of ‘Moon Knight’ because, I think, it just felt like being seen. There was something there that felt like an acknowledgment of the pain and what people do with pain, and the forgiveness, of how you forgive yourself, and how to come to terms with the child within you.”

IndieWire’s Ben Travers wrote in his review of the series that “Moon Knight” relies on a “playful tone” with Isaac “finding special moments” to shine onscreen.

“Moon Knight” also stars Ethan Hawke and May Calamawy. The first episode is now streaming on Disney+.

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