Villains are rarely what they seem, especially in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Look at the first crop of Disney+ shows, for instance. In WandaVision, the villain was Agatha All Along, but also Wanda herself. In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, there were villains left and right, between the Flag Smashers, the Power Broker, and John Walker, but none of them were really unequivocally evil. In the upcoming Loki, the titular character is the villain.
It seems like these series need a return to form, and a set photo from the upcoming Moon Knight series seems to offer one up: Marvel’s bloodiest villain yet.
The Leak — In a leak procured by The Budapest Reporter, Moon Knight star Ethan Hawke was spotted on set in Hungary wearing a tweed suit and a long, gray wig. It’s already been revealed Ethan Hawke will play the antagonist of the Disney+ series, so we’ll obviously see some sort of mad scientist role square off against Oscar Isaac’s Marc Spector.
Considering Marvel’s trend of leaning more towards the supernatural recently, could this be none other than Dracula himself? An appearance by the famous evil genius would certainly fix Disney+’s ambiguous villain problem. Moon Knight’s history with Dracula is long and sprawling as Marvel’s resident monster hunter, but there are more benefits than just making Bela Lugosi fans happy.
A Bloody Good Idea — Introducing Dracula (and the concept of vampires) into the MCU means there’s an easy transition from Moon Knight into future projects like the recently announced Blade remake starring Mahershala Ali, which is still in pre-production. But by the time Moon Knight is released, amping up to Blade will only add more foreshadowing.
However, there’s another theory as to who this mad professor-like character could be. The look echoes Betrand Crawley, an ally and informant from Moon Knight’s time as lowly cab driver Jake Lockley. While this character never was a villain against Moon Knight, there could very well be a heel-turn in store in the series.
The Inverse Analysis — Betwen Dracula and Crawley, there are two options on the table through which Moon Knight can change the MCU as we know it.
One possible path involves introducing a storybook villain. The other shows that friends-turned foes like Agatha Harkness and Sharon Carter aren’t just a trend, they’re a pattern. It would be just the first of many ways the series changes the game.
Regardless of who this new villain is, considering Ethan Hawke’s long, illustrious career, it’s sure to be one for the ages. Though Moon Knight has only just now started production, there’s already plenty of hype around the series, how it could align with the greater MCU despite Moon Knight’s less-than-stellar teamwork skills, and most importantly, when we’ll get a set leak of Oscar Isaac in costume.
For what it’s worth, if Ethan Hawke is playing Dracula? Allow me to be the first one to make the obvious Before Sunrise joke.
Moon Knight is in production now.