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Here’s What makes Ethan Hawke’s Marvel Villain ‘Terrifying’

By Mabel Judith Andrady
January 25,2022

Marvel Studios will begin its new round of shows with Moon Knight on Disney+ at the end of March. Here they will be bringing a new hero to the forefront via streaming services. The show will feature Oscar Isaac and his hero’s multiple personalities alongside Ethan Hawke’s Marvel villain Arthur Harrow. Consequently, Marvel will explore a mythical dimension that fans have not seen thus far.

Anticipation for how Marvel Studios will bring Moon Knight to the small screens has grown. This is especially so since the show’s first trailer dropped. Nonetheless, the plot and the characters remain shrouded in mystery until the show premieres. The story revolves around Isaac’s Marc Spector as he searches for his true self amid the chaos. However, Hawke’s villain is even more of a mystery right now.

It was a challenge to get Hawke into the MCU because of the actor’s previous disdain for superhero projects. And now he has the chance to bring a new type of villain to Marvel Studios’ impressive roster of villains. Hawke recently provided some insight into exactly what it is about this new antagonist that will frighten viewers when the show debuts.

Ethan Hawke on His Terrifying Marvel Villain

Ethan Hawke Moon Knight & Spider-Man

Ethan Hawke Moon Knight & Spider-Man

Ethan Hawke talked to Entertainment Weekly about his decision to play the villainous Arthur Harrow in the upcoming Marvel Studios Disney+ show.

Hawke admitted that he had avoided villainous roles. He did so because he feared that fans would “see the demon in you” in that role and then “don’t unsee it” in future roles any given actor might take. Comparing it to how people perceive legendary actor Jack Nicholson after appearing in The Shining, Hawke also explained his desire to add “a new tool” to his arsenal as he approaches 50 years old:

“I’ve always had this theory that when you teach an audience how to see the demon inside you, they don’t unsee it for the rest of your career… Jack Nicholson can be playing an accountant and you’re still waiting for him to explode like he did in The Shining. It changes your relationship to a performer, so I’ve always been nervous about it. But I realized I’m on the other side of 50 and it’s time to put a new tool in the tool kit. Villains might be my future.”

Hawke said that for his new MCU villain, Arthur Harrow, he drew inspiration from Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung and noted cult leader David Koresh. He described his desire to confront someone who truly believes that “they’re a good person,” which he found “really terrifying:”

“Your gut leads you. The uber-rich villain mastermind isn’t interesting to me. I love the ones who believe that they’re a good person and that’s why they have to kill you. That, I find really terrifying.”

Hawke Seeking Inspiration from the Real World

Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke

To date, Marvel Studios has created a formidable collection of villains who are frightening in their own unique ways. The MCU has done a particularly good job of bringing villains as those Hawke described, ones who truly believe they are the good guys in their own story, most notably with antagonists like Josh Brolin’s Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

Despite Arthur Harrow’s nebulous motives, it was his depth and realism that brought Hawke into the MCU’s expansion into Disney+ storytelling. As Moon Knight nears its Disney+ premiere, the hope is that Hawke will be able to reveal more about what makes his character so terrifying. However, these quotes certainly get the conversation started.

In the show’s first trailer, fans saw crowds of people kneeling in front of Arthur Harrow, as they did with Loki in The Avengers. This indicated that the villain had genuine support for his cause. Even the imagery resembled how cults have been depicted on screen before. This lent credence to his comments about David Koresh and Carl Jung from historical texts.

Marvel is likely to keep Moon Knight’s secrets under wraps for the next few weeks. Nonetheless, Hawke has the fan community’s attention because of the possibility of a new Disney+ villain joining the fold.

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