marvel’s moon knight features some of Marvel’s most stunning costumes to date. Played by Oscar Isaac, Moon Knight is one of the most unusual Marvel superheroes in the MCU. The character has been diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, which means Isaac plays multiple Quirks of the same superhero – with two distinctive costumes in four episodes. The outfits are mostly true to the comics, but upgraded for live action.
In truth, moon knight was a kind of challenge for the whole production team. Although Moon Knight is often described as Marvel’s answer to Batman, he’s known for his all-white outfit that stands out from the shadows rather than sinking into them. As he explained in the comics, it’s because he doesn’t want to hide; he wants his targets to know that he is coming for them and that they react in fear and dread. White is a difficult color to work with on screen. So Marvel’s costume department felt the pressure to create something both iconic and practical.
Screen Rant had the opportunity to speak to costume designer Meghan Kasperlik about the show’s superhero outfits and the incredible attention to detail throughout. She further shed light on the supporting cast, including the villainous Arthur Harrow, and even revealed secrets about the hippo god Taweret who was introduced at the end of Episode 4.
Screen Rant: In any superhero TV series, the focus is on superhero costumes to begin with. How much inspiration did you draw from the comics when designing the main Moon Knight costume, and how did you make it a reality?
Meghan Kasperlik: I worked with Marvel to create the costume. The inspiration was taken from the comics, but you have to elevate it and take it to the next level. I really like texture in the costumes, so I wanted to make sure there was a lot of texture in the Moon Knight and Mr. Knight costumes.
For the Moon Knight costume I created a custom fabric – multiple custom fabrics – using EuroJersey and 3D printing on all fabrics. I worked closely with the VFX company, who did all the 3D printing, when building the costume. The grand total of patterned pieces was 803 pieces, so [there’s] thank you for working with me on this, as each strip was cut individually for the main part of the suit. It was two different colors; there were two different textures, so that was for the upper part. For the bottom, there were four different textures 3D printed and modeled from that.
It was an extreme amount of work, but obviously people love it, so it was worth it.
Screen Rant: The irony with Moon Knight, of course, is that there are really two suits. How did you make the Mr. Knight costume work so well? He looks so different too.
Meghan Kasperlik: In the comics, it’s a three-piece suit. I was a bit afraid to put on a white three-piece suit, because it doesn’t always go very well. I was very adamant with my team when we researched the fabric that there had to be texture, but it couldn’t be so strong that you were just looking at the texture and the fabric. I ended up using upholstery fabric; there was a bit of silver in it, so when the light hits it it gives it a glowing feel which I think really helps with the character.
In Episode 2, we filmed it at night, so I wanted the light to bounce off it. I found it to be very effective. We customized the lapels – they are the symbol of Khonshu. Also on the vest there are custom-made Khonshu buttons, so they were a symbol. You have to look very closely, but they are there. Personalized gloves, personalized shirt… Everything has been tailor-made to give it a very special touch.
Screen Rant: The attention to detail is huge. When it comes to attention to detail, do Moon Knight’s various alterations affect the clothing choices he wears on a daily basis? Does Marc tend to choose slightly different clothes from Steven, and did we maybe even see hints of that third change in some of the clothing choices as well?
Meghan Kasperlik: I wanted to make sure that Steven and Marc were two different characters; two different people. Their costumes were very different. I worked closely with Oscar [Isaac] work on both characters. But also in these choices, there are small rhythms… [There are] pyramids in some of their suit prints, or the hoodie that Marc is wearing. I wanted to make sure that was a little hint of where we were going, because it’s kind of a soft gray tone.
There are small hints in the costume to indicate who the character is and what his relationship is, either to Khonshu, to Egypt, or to something referenced in the comics.
Screen Rant: Every superhero story is only as good as their villain. Arthur Harrow is quite interesting, since he has so little of a presence in the comics, so you probably had a lot more wiggle room and experimentation. How did you design the different costumes he wears?
Meghan Kasperlik: I worked closely with Ethan Hawke to make sure there was a simple look to it, and also that Harrow is one of his people; he is with the people. We talked a lot about monks and cult leaders, and I discovered that cult leaders always had pretty simple outfits. There was nothing too over the top; they weren’t super flashy. It could have been the haircut which was a bit different, or a pair of glasses.
In this case, I wanted the costume to be very simple in dress and silhouette, but then I added some heavier sandals so they could weigh the character down. Also, you don’t see him in every scene, but Harrow still has a pair of bracelets. He has one on each wrist. Ammit’s death prayer is engraved on the bracelet, based on an ancient Egyptian mortuary book on display at the Met Museum in New York. I took a reference from it. It’s hard to see, but they’re engraved; it is an inscription.
Screen Rant: So far we’ve seen a few hints of gods, with Khonshu and now Taweret. Could you tell us a bit about how you also designed the costumes for these gods?
Meghan Kasperlik: Khonshu is referenced in the comics. I wanted to develop a costume that could be worn, [because] there is an actor who wears this costume. I know there are CG elements, but any character that is CG… A costume has been created. With Khonshu, I wanted to take the mummy wrappers and different stitches from the comics and bring them to life. There are about six different fabrics in the Khonshu costume, which are interwoven and mummy wrapped.
Everything ended up being sewn by hand, as we needed to be able to put it on the actor with a bit of a stretch. My lovely team in Budapest custom made and hand sewn the entire costume including the gloves and shoes. And there is a custom-made leather collar and hand-painted leather straps with the Khonshu symbol. Very weak, but they are there. Everything was very personalized for him.
For Tarawet, I was very excited about the costume because there was so much more light and color than some of our other costumes. I had an in-house blacksmith, who hammered and placed all the parts on the helmet by hand. [There] is an ancient relic that dates back to Egyptian times, in some of the tombs. Taweret means “birth” and “mother”, so it’s like a birth stamp on her. There are hieroglyphs all along which are hand hammered. I had an amazing artist do the beetle jewelry that sits on her chest, so I had a phenomenal in-house team that did all of that.
After moon knight Interviews
Moon Knight follows mild-mannered gift shop clerk Steven Grant, who is plagued by power outages and memories of another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector.
More: Moon Knight’s Black Panther Tease Sets Up A Future Avengers Villain
moon knight releases new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.
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