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SYFY WIRE Moon Knight

Marvel's Moon Knight goes hardboiled in fan film; Matt Reeves should take note

By Josh Weiss
Moon Knight fan film

Last week, Matt Reeves revealed this his solo Batman movie (sans Affleck) would focus heavily on Bruce Wayne's top notch detective skills. Many fans began to wonder how a hardboiled DC noir film could work onscreen when the answer had already been posted on January 27 to director Caden Butera's YouTube channel. 

The answer? A fan film centering on Marvel's Moon Knight, a vigilante by the name of Marc Spector, who's been compared to Batman many times over the years.

"Moon Knight has been my favorite superhero since the 8th grade, when I bought Moon Knight #1 1980 in the back issues of a local comic shop," Butera exclusively tells SYFY WIRE. "The complexity of a character like Moon Knight with four separate identities really stuck out to me and spurred my imagination. This was the ultimate detective of all time! He never took on huge Earth-threatening villains or huge Avengers-sized threats; this was a guy who operated in his own small corner of the world, hunting for information that would lead to his personal vengeance/agenda."

Check out the fan film below:

Gritty, bleak, realistic, and everything a good neo-noir should be, Moon Knight (written and directed by Butera) finds Mr. Spector (played by Tim Altevers), working as a stockbroker under the name of Steven Grant, gathering intel on mob funds. On certain nights, he's Jake Lockley, a unassuming cab driver listening in on the conversations of the bad guys who pay him little to no attention. On evenings when the moon is shining brightly in the night sky, he's the eponymous superhero, killing gun-toting mercenaries and disrupting illegal shipments. 

Created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin in the mid-1970s, Moon Knight began his life as a young rabbi's son from Chicago. Rebelling against his religious upbringing, Marc became a boxer and joined the military before going rogue and becoming a trained gun for hire.

On a mission in Egypt, he was left for dead by Raoul Bushman and nearly died in the desert, but was resurrected by the moon god, Khonshu. Marc then returned to civilization to solve mysteries and protect the innocent as a masked/caped superhero.

"Moon Knight has YEARS of amazing publication history to pull from, so it was quite the challenge to come up with a story that could fit into such a small runtime," adds Butera. "Eventually, I ended up landing on what aspects of the character are most interesting to me personally: this was a small-scale story about a broken man who tears his reality apart everyday to be a detective of self-vengeance."

You'll notice that Moon Knight's costume is not exactly faithful to the comics, but it had nothing to do with the production being ignorant of how the characters looks. The final costume design came out of a process of trial and error, Butera tells us.

"As any Moon Knight fan would know, Mooney’s signature outfit is a pure 'jet-silver.' So, we made just that! However, after we were done we came to the horrible realization: we just dressed up a dude in a full-on white hooded outfit….and he looked like a member of the Ku Klux Klan, which was NOT what we were going for to say the least. Eventually we landed on a compromise that consisted of white highlights—primarily the white mask and gloves. It made us sad we had to depart from the iconic comic book look, but overall we were satisfied to what it brought to the realism and film-noir departments."

At the end of the 17-minute movie, Butera includes the mandatory post-credits scene, which introduces viewers to Bushman. In the comics, Bushman, an unscrupulous African mercenary, is Moon Knight's arch-nemesis in the comics. Aside from his sharp metal teeth, the villain is an excellent fighter and well-versed in all kinds of weaponry, wearing a bandolier on his torso at all times.

With the MCU about to change forever in Avengers: Endgame, Moon Knight would be an excellent addition to the Marvel Studios pantheon of heroes. In recent years, directors from James Gunn to Steven S. DeKnight have voiced interest in helming a Marc Spector-based project. Ross Marquand (The Walking Dead) is also down to play the character if Disney ever pursues a film or TV series about the character. Kevin Feige teased something last April so anything's possible.