Following the successful conclusion of the Infinity Saga, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now working towards setting up the Multiverse with Phase 4. To achieve that, Marvel Studios is creating movies and TV shows with direct links to each other, as the production releases fresh content across theaters and streaming partner Disney+.
Marvel Studios’ next project in line is Moon Knight. The psychological thriller series is set to debut Oscar Isaac as the titular hero. Isaac plays Marc Spector, a former mercenary suffering from dissociative identity disorder who becomes a host for the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. The hero will be seen navigating his path between his multiple identities, one being Steven Grant. Moon Knight premieres on Disney+ on March 30, and consists of six episodes.
MCU shows usually do not follow a pattern of revealing their villains beforehand. The recently released trailer for Moon Knight teases the show’s villain, Arthur Harrow, played by Ethan Hawke. But who is Arthur Harrow and what does he have to do with Marc Spector?
In the Marvel Comics, Arthur Harrow is a renowned doctor who was a candidate in line for the Nobel Prize for his research of pain theory. But then, Victoria Grail, a fellow doctor, grows mistrustful of his experiments. When she goes looking, she finds information leading to secret work by scientists at Auschwitz-Birkenau. However, the documents went missing one day. And the think tank organization known as O.M.N.I.U.M. was behind it. As Grail continues to look into her suspicions about Harrow, she ends up falling victim to his experiments.
Moreover, Arthur Harrow does not possess any special powers, except his excellent knowledge. The villain is a surgeon and scientist. However, Harrow does lack one thing. He has a medical condition known as trigeminal neuralgia. The disease has caused the left side of his face to paralyze. Which is why it makes sense that the doctor is so invested in his research related to pain theory.
The Clergy of Khonshu once manipulated Marc Spector’s mind to show him visions of Dr. Arthur Harrow, his subject, Dr. Grail, and the pyramid. Driven to go where they were, Marc Spector ends up witnessing the capture of Grail by O.M.N.I.U.M. in Yucatán. This is when Spector takes the form of Moon Knight and saves Grail, and eventually learns about Harrow. By the time O.M.N.I.U.M. helps Harrow get away, it is too late as the pair comes face to face with the mad scientist.
In Harrow’s lab, Moon Knight and Grail are counting their chances of hurting the doctor without risking his patients’ lives. But all their efforts were in vain. Thus, Moon Knight and Grail flee the scene. This caused Harrow to escape unscathed. And the O.M.N.I.U.M. chief gets him to set up his lab somewhere else.
Marvel Studios confirmed the entry of Ethan Hawke in Moon Knight in January 2021. Fans theorized him as being cast as Khonshu, the Sun King, Werewolf by Night, or Mephisto. When Marvel revealed that Gael Garcia Bernal will play Werewolf by Night in an upcoming Disney+ Halloween special, the speculations were narrowed down to a few. Now, with the recent trailer, fans finally know of Ethan Hawke’s involvement as Arthur Harrow in Moon Knight. But as it appears, the actor will not portray the character exactly like in the comics.
Moon Knight’s first trailer gave a sneak peek into Marc Spector’s narrative. But nothing much about Arthur Harrow’s. However, Hawke once mentioned that his character draws motivation from David Koresh, a cult leader of the Branch Davidians. In the trailer, we see Hawke’s Arthur Harrow leading a cult, with Marc in the middle of a crowd. Also, there is Harrow’s voice saying how it must be “very difficult for him”. Is it possible that Harrow tries to enlist Marc/Steven because of his personality disorder.
With that said, Arthur Harrow could eventually lead to becoming one of the MCU’s most terrifying villains. Because his doings as a cult leader could have many consequences for the greater universe.