HomeEntertainment‘Moon Knight’s’ Director Mohamed Diab Responds to Criticism Over Depiction Of Mandarin

‘Moon Knight’s’ Director Mohamed Diab Responds to Criticism Over Depiction Of Mandarin


On the heels of Moon Knight’s finale, Collider had the opportunity to speak with Mohamed Diab, who directed four episodes of the Disney+ series and also serves as an executive producer. Over the course of the interview, which you can read below, Diab spoke about the elements of the series he was most proud of in terms of bringing Egyptian representation to the small screen, why it was so important to see Layla come into her own as a superhero and how it serves as its own cultural moment for his home country, and which scene from the finale was down in the script before it was filmed. He also spoke about whose idea it was to have Jake Lockley exclusively speaking Spanish in the post-credits scene, whether Layla can officially be referred to as Scarlet Scarab, if he’s heard any news about a potential Season 2, and more.

Last month, actor Simu Liu criticized a scene from Disney’s “Moon Knight” series on his social media account.

The scene in question involved Ethan Hawke‘s character, Arthur Harrow, having a quick conversation with one of his disciples in the Mandarin language. Liu pointed out that the duo mangled the language, saying, “Alright, Arthur Harrow needs to fire his Mandarin teacher.”

At the time of Liu’s post, several of the show’s fans also added their voice to the actor’s criticism, berating the showrunners for not conducting enough preparation to enable the proper usage of the Asian dialect in the scene.

“Moon Knight” director Mohamed Diab has now responded to the criticism, claiming that contrary to popular belief, the essential work for the scene was actually carried out and that if given a second chance, things would be different.

Director Mohamed Diab Said He ‘Wasn’t Upset’ With Simu Liu’s Criticism
In a recent chat with Screen Rant, Diab discussed Liu’s critique of the misuse of Mandarin language in a scene from the show’s “Summon the Suit” episode. The director made light of the situation and praised the actor for pointing out the unintended goof. He then revealed that they had consulted a professional for such parts of the series.

“In episode 2 (Moon Knight) , Harrow was speaking Mandarin, and Simu Liu commented that this is not accurate,” the Egyptian screenwriter said. “I wasn’t upset. I actually told him, “Thank you for pointing that out.” We had an expert, and we tried to do our best. But you know what? Next time, we’re going to do better.”

The filmmaker went on to claim that for any future features, he would provide a more quality depiction, adding that he passionately believes in proper representation in his work.

He continued: “There’s still room if one day we’re expanding this, and I think we’re all ears. You won’t meet anyone who believes in representation and that everyone’s voice should be heard more than mine. Definitely, when we have round 2 – if I’m allowed, and if there is round 2 – we’re gonna hear every comment and try to make everyone even more pleased.”

Fans And Critics Positively Reacted To ‘Moon Knight’
Despite criticism of the series’ usage of Mandarin, the show was greatly received by critics and fans since its premiere. Oscar Issac’s portrayal of the different personas of Moon Knight deeply wowed fans and also served as an educative insight into the realities of those with dissociative identity disorder.

Fans were also appreciative of Marvel’s deeper exploration of Egyptian mythology, an angle which was last seen in 2016’s “X- men Apocalypse” – three years before Disney purchased the rights to the mutant franchise.

“Moon Knight” also acknowledged Marc Spector’s Jewish heritage, which was a huge gain for film diversity and would go a long way for more inclusion in forthcoming movies.

Apart from starring Isaac as Marc Spector / Moon Knight and Steven Grant / Mr. Knight, the series also starred May Calamawy, Karim El Hakim, F. Murray Abraham, Ethan Hawke, Ann Akinjirin, David Ganly, Khalid Abdalla, Gaspard Ulliel, Antonia Salib, Fernanda Andrade, Rey Lucas, Sofia Danu, and Saba Mubarak.

The showrunners had wanted to film the series in Egypt at the start of production but were unable to do so due to the country’s political situation and censorship concerns. From April to October 2021, filming then took place mostly in Budapest, as well as Jordan, Slovenia, and Atlanta, Georgia.

Following the completion of filming, postproduction began immediately, with the series premiering on March 30th, 2022. It lasted six episodes and ended on May 4th. The show is part of the MCU’s Phase Four and shares a connection with the franchise’s upcoming films.

What’s Next For ‘Moon Knight’
Now that the limited series has come to a close, the lingering question is what’s next for Isaac’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The showrunners’ decision to debut the show in the middle of Phase 4 suggests that the new superhero will appear in additional MCU films, so fans should stay tuned.


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