The recently-concluded first season run of Moon Knight represents some of the most unique storytelling in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to-date. Following the blueprint of the comic character, Moon Knight sees Oscar Isaac playing multiple different characters living within the same body, fighting as the avatar of the Egyptian god Khonshu. It’s a premise that could have easily folded on its way from comics to live-action, especially with big changes made to the character of Steven Grant and his relationship to Marc Spector. The team behind the series ultimately nailed the assignment, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t scared to pitch something so out of left field.
“Oh, it’s terrifying,” Slater said. “It’s absolutely terrifying because, look, not to get sappy or anything, but Kevin Feige is one of my heroes. He is up there with Spielberg in the ’80s as one of the greatest producers to have ever lived. I am one of those Marvel fans that is at every MCU movie on opening night. I’m one of those guys in the theater at [Avengers: Endgame] screaming my head off. So, as a super fan, when Kevin Feige walks into the room and you’re sitting in a Marvel pitch room surrounded by like, ‘Hey, there’s one of the original Iron Man Mark IV helmets, and here’s Thor’s hammer sitting in a glass case.’ You are surrounded by not only film history, but my childhood came to life.”
“To have Kevin take that thing from my childhood and turn it into the biggest cultural force, the biggest blockbuster franchise out there. It really feels like vindication, like the good guys won to some extent,” Slater continued. “It’s terrifying to be in a room with those people because, look, Kevin is incredibly nice and incredibly smart. He’s a great guy, but you don’t want to look stupid in front of your heroes. You don’t want to say something dumb and walk out of the room they’re like, ‘Oh, Jesus Christ that guy.’ Yeah, it’s the scariest pitch I’ve ever had in my life, but it worked. I must have said something right.”
Slater went on to say that he had quite a lot of time to reflect on the pitch before he really knew how it went. Weeks had passed by the time he was fully brought on board.
“It was weeks later,” he said. “It was a protracted thing where there was never one official call. It was like, ‘Seems like we’re moving in the right direction, and it seems like we’re moving in the right direction.’ There was a lot of chaos with making sure I could get out of other script commitments that I had at the time so that I could actually take the job. Right up until the last second, everything was up in the air. By the time I found out that I actually had the job, I had kind of already been working on it for a couple of weeks and just being like, ‘God, I hope I’m not wasting my time here.’ But we still went out. My wife and I had an amazing celebratory dinner and popped some champagne. It was a pretty awesome night.”
All six episodes of Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight are now streaming on Disney+.