Keanu Reeve’s Mr. Knight Should Already Be Established & Previously Active Anti-Heroes in the MCU When He Appear.
By Ryan Carroll.
It’s been quite some time since I wrote an article specifically about the MCU, over one year, and possibly the last article I actually wrote is still in my drafts in my LinkedIn Publishing. I believe it is on Ms. Marvel rumors and The Eternals upcoming movie by the Chinese born and raised, but British and American educated, Chloe Zhao. Who is one of the brightest American independent directors filming today. A true cross-cultural talent that will bring a unique eye to The Eternals for Marvel Studios and the MCU.
This article should be brief (maybe?) and lighthearted (most definitely!) as it’s a rainy evening in Northwest Arkansas just after the 4th of July and I am stuck at home watching too many YouTube videos about the future of the MCU and Spider-Man: Far From Home Easter Eggs.
Which got me thinking about all the talk of who Keanu Reeves should play, after Kevin “Vision” Feige officially announced that they have been after Keanu for years on multiple MCU films, and that he was originally in talks to be Yann-Rog in Captain Marvel. Before having to back out due to scheduling conflicts.
To be honest, I am glad that this happened as I think Jude Law really came into that role in a way that was better suited for him than it would have been for Keanu Reeves. Law just has that type of charisma that was needed to fit in with all the other supporting characters, from Talos to Young Fury, that Jude Law just naturally shines at play.
The rumor mill of Keanu joining the MCU is that Feige & Co. have been circling him for The Eternals a race of god-like beings that are the rivals of the Deviants (the cosmic race that Thanos belongs to). The Eternals so-far will star; Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden (GoT’s Rob Stark), Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani (HBO’s Silicon Valley), and Dong-Seok Ma (South Korean actor).
Now a more obvious choice for Keanu “John ‘Fucking’ Wick” Reeves (he killed a man with a pencil, who fucking does that!) would be Shang-Chi: The Master of Kung-Fu. Which is believed to begin shooting directly after The Eternals wraps.
While most people have been speculating that Shang-Chi will be cast as a younger Asian descent actor. It does not need to be so, as we do not need an origin story, and we could jump straight into Shang-Chi fully developed. After learning that his father Zheng Zu (possibly going to be played by martial arts legend Donnie Yen), an ancient Chinese sorcerer who has discovered the secrets of immortality, is actually evil.
This bit as a “Chinese Sorcerer” is a non-starter for the Chinese Regulators and would not be allowed to be released at the China Box-Office, as this is one of the things, along with superstition and ghosts, that is prohibited. Unless, it is shown at the end to actually be caused by something real such as; hallucinations, drugs, virtual reality and not of the supernatural itself.
Leading many speculate, after Kevin Feige cryptically speaking on the real Mandarin returning to the MCU, that the Mandarin will be retconned in the MCU to be Shang-Chi’s father. This would make sense after being confirmed to exist in the Marvel One Shot All Hail the King.
This angle of being an ancient “Chinese Sorcerer” who has lived for centuries would be explained straight from the comic source themselves. That The Mandarin’s powers come from his Ten Rings (remember the terrorist organization that kidnapped Tony Stark and put him in a cave in the first Iron Man way back in the day!?!) were taken from an alien source.
It is rumored that Ross Butler, a former Disney star, or Ludi Lin, the Power Rangers movie, are up for the part, but Keanu would be an even better choice – martial arts wise – though this is highly unlikely and I don’t think it would be the best of choices casting wise. As I believe there is a more dynamic choice for Keanu to play and that is of The Moon Knight himself.
With the original casting, or attempted casting, of Keanu Reeves in the role of Yann-Rog in Captain Marvel, her arch-rival in the comics, it may be that Kevin Feige has been after John Wick himself for a role as a villain and not as one of Marvel’s many superheroes. So, why not cast him in a role that teeters on the edge of both?
As laid out by Comics Explained on YouTube adding in Moon Knight to the MCU as a fully fleshed out character and not just an anti-hero but, say be it, a “villain” quote-un-quote who antagonizes multiple superheroes across several MCU films before joining The New Avengers or whatever they will be called. Would be a fresh and exciting way to introduce a new superhero to the MCU.
Especially, as Marc Spector has been established as not only having the powers of the “Fists of Konshu” given to him by the Ancient Egyptian god Konshu himself – but, he suffers from schizophrenia and Dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder.
Adding to the reasoning behind why he is both an antagonist to the heroes and is perceived to be a villain, until proven otherwise. It also lays the groundwork for potentially the role of Keanu’s lifetime in tackling the complexities of the character’s schizophrenia and DID. Questioning if his powers are truly those of the “Fists of Konshu” or if it is all just in his head.
Which it is not, and his powers are real.
Moon Knight is not just “The Batman” of Marvel but, especially with the Jeff Lemire run, he is a much more complex mentally and emotionally character due to his severe mental illnesses.
An interesting way to tie Moon Knight into the MCU would be to introduce him either in Shang-Chi or its sequel, as Zheng Zu aka The Mandarin, the father of Shang-Chi in the MCU – something I believe will be the case – derives his powers from Ten (alien) Rings. Meaning that Moon Knight’s “Fists of Konshu” powers could also be alien in nature as well. Tying back into Thor being once thought of as a god but now know studied in physics class!
Well China Watchers! I hoped you enjoyed this exploration into the possibilities of what is to come with the MCU’s connection to China, or those in Hollywood with Chinese ancestry. At the end of this month, after San Diego Comic Con and the release of Sword-Master in the USA on July 24th. I will be discussing both the official news from Hall H on Shang-Chi and The Eternals, along with what it means that the Marvel Comics / NetEase Comics Chinese superheroes Sword-Master and Aero have now officially joined the Official Marvel 616 Universe.
So Stay Tuned China Watchers!
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About the Author
Born and raised in the Missouri-Ozarks Ryan studied Film Production, and East Asian Culture, at the University of Kansas where he was a UGRA recipient that led him on a seven-year long, Journey From the West, to China. Where he worked with Warner Brothers, the China Film Group Corp. and the National Bureau of Statistics of China. Before returning to the States, where he specializes in Chinese Anime & Comics, China’s Box-Office, and Chinese entertainment-tech industries. He has a dog in China, Abigail, and a dog in the Arkansas-Ozarks, King Blue, who help ease his anxiety of suffering from the “Two-Dimensional Complex” that is trying to understand the Culture Industry landscapes of the Middle Kingdom.