No one told Oscar Isaac to give Moon Knight’s apparent main character a British accent. But when audiences meet Steven Grant in Episode 1 of the new Marvel show, he’s speaking in a questionable cockney dialect. So what gives?
In interviews, Isaac says he made the decision because he wanted to inject the Marvel Cinematic Universe with something new, citing Peter Sellers, Russell Brand, and Karl Pilkington as his inspiration. But is it possible that Moon Knight is actually using Grant’s bad accent to make a broader comment on the MCU? Let’s take a closer look.
Why does Oscar Isaac have a British accent in Moon Knight?
There are a few different explanations, though the most obvious seems to be simply: because Oscar Isaac wanted it. However, from an in-universe perspective, it’s possible to explain this weirdness fairly easily.
In the comics, Marc Spector (Moon Knight) uses several alter egos in his crime-fighting efforts. There’s Jake Lockley, a streetwise cab driver; and Steven Grant, a high-society millionaire. But what starts as simple disguises become distinct personalities as Spector loses control of his own psyche due to either Dissociative Identity Disorder or sci-fi magic, depending on who’s writing the comics.
Notably, the comic book version of Steven Grant is not British, but in the Moon Knight show, he is. As soon becomes clear, Grant is not the original persona inhabiting his own body, that honor belongs to Marc Spector. That’s likely why Grant’s English accent sounds weird — because he’s supposed to be an American pretending to be British.
But perhaps that’s not the only reason...
Moon Knight and Marvel accents
Oscar Isaac’s accent might be inspired by British comedians, but it also seems like a response to one of the weirdest trends in Marvel movies: A lot of the biggest superhero roles go to British actors using American accents. Out of the three Peter Parkers in Spider-Man: No Way Home, two were British (Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield, in case you were curious), not to mention Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange.
This isn’t limited to Marvel either. In the DC universe, the latest live-action versions of both Batman and Superman were played by Brits (Robert Pattinson and Henry Cavill, respectively). The list goes on.
In this context, it’s almost ironic to see Oscar Isaac putting on a fake accent as he ceremoniously joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s as if he’s sniping back at Holland and Cumberbatch.
Then again, if Marvel really wants to reverse this trend, maybe the studio should try it with a character who’s actually meant to be British. Is it too late to cast Ben Affleck as Captain Britain?
Moon Knight is streaming now on Disney+.