Marvel’s Moon Knight miniseries is set to premiere on March 30, 2022 but it’s causing a lot of stir even now, not long after the release of the first proper trailer. The series is set to expand on the character database of the MCU, with Oscar Isaac playing the titular anti-hero of the series. But, among the other characters, one seems to be standing out – Midnight Man.
This mysterious figure is going to appear in the series and while the character might not have gotten this much attention initially, he came into the spotlight because it is the last role of the recently-deceased French actor, Gaspard Ulliel. In this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about Midnight Man.
Midnight Man is a master thief specialized in stealing valuable art, who appears as a minor supervillain associated with the character of Moon Knight. He is a relatively unknown villain and a character whom we know little about. In the original comics, he died while fighting Moon Knight and was succeeded by his illegitimate son, Jeffrey Wilde.
The rest of this article is going to provide you with additional information on the character of Midnight Man, but also about the late Gaspard Ulliel, who portrayed him in the Moon Knight series. This article is, thus, going to serve a double purpose – it is going to be an informative text about the character, but also as a dedication to the late French actor. Gaspard Ulliel tragically passed away on January 19, 2022, and with this dedication, may he rest in peace.
Who Is Midnight Man (Anton Mogart) in Moon Knight?
In case you’re not a hardcore Moon Knight fan, the name Midnight Man will probably be unknown to you; there’s a chance that you might know a bad horror flick with the same name, but that one has nothing to do with our story. Midnight Man is actually a comic book supervillain (okay, he’s not super- in any way, he’s just a regular villain, but that’s the official term) that appears as a minor antagonist of the anti-hero Moon Knight in Marvel’s stories.
The character debuted in Moon Knight #3 (January 1981), and was created by Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz. He is, in fact, a costumed criminal who steals art treasures and valuable original manuscripts. As part of his schtick, he “always struck at midnight.” His connection to Moon Knight is based on him targeting valuable art and ancient scriptures, which is a recurring theme in the Moon Knight series.
Since he was never a truly important character, not much is known about Midnight Man outside of the stories in which he has appeared as an enemy of Moon Knight. The character was never given a proper origin story nor has he been revisited after his apparent death in a 2007 story. His real name is actually Anton Mogart, but Mogart is a character about whom we know even less than we know about Midnight Man.
The paragraphs that follow will provide you with all the information we have on the character of Midnight Man.
Midnight Man: Origins
Nothing is known about Anton Mogart’s past before he started stealing great works of art, jewels and the like, the thefts taking place punctually at midnight. He lived in an opulent mansion in New Jersey and stole these things simply to own them, not for the money.
He stole a rare oil painting by Monet from the Ramadan Art Gallery. He was later stopped by Moon Knight and fell into the river, presumably drowning. In reality, he is carried by the current to New York and the mouth of a drainage viaduct. There, sewage in the drain melts his face, leaving him disfigured.
After hiding in the sewers for three days, he returns to his home to find that the police have taken all his stolen goods. He blames Moon Knight for this incident and his disfigurement and vows revenge. Having gone mad, he lives in the sewers and starts collecting garbage instead of treasures.
He collaborates with Bushman, who lures Moon Knight into a flooded sewer chamber where Midnight Man is located. Moon Knight manages to carve an escape route in the brick and Midnight Man is once again flushed down a river.
When he later learns he is dying of cancer, he tracks down his illegitimate son Jeff Wilde. Anton taught Jeff his trade secrets, but begged him not to become a criminal. He then tried to challenge Moon Knight one last time and apparently died in the process. After his death, Jeff took the alias Midnight and tried to become Moon Knight’s henchman, but ended up as a villain instead.
Midnight Man: Powers and Abilities
Midnight Man has no inherent superpowers, like Moon Knight does. He is simply a regular human with some unusual skills, who wears a mask to hide his true identity, so he can commit crimes. That’s pretty much it as far as his powers and abilities go. Sadly, Midnight Man is a character that has not been used often in comics and has, therefore, not been developed properly by the authors.
We do know that Midnight Man is an accomplished art thief, escaping from authorities across the globe. The fact that he is a master thief, though, doesn’t really count as power; it is more of a skill or an ability than anything else, but we do have to give him credit for that, as he was truly one of the best in his line of work.
We also know that he is a solid martial artist, as he was able to hold his own against Moon Knight in a fight. He ultimately lost to Moon Knight every time, but he managed to hold his ground in a fight against a much more skilled opponent. How he fares comparatively to other characters is an enigma, but we don’t think that he is in the upper echelon of Marvel’s martial artists. He’s solid, but nothing more than that.
Who’s Playing Midnight Man in Moon Knight?
During the production of the Moon Knight series, it was revealed that Midnight Man would, naturally, be making an appearance in the series alongside the titular anti-hero and the series’ main antagonist, the cult leader Arthur Harrow, who is played by Ethan Hawke. So, who’s playing Midnight Man in the Moon Knight series? The actor who portrayed Midnight Man was French actor Gaspard Ulliel.
Coming from a family with roots in the fashion industry, at the end of his high school studies, he studied cinema at the University of Paris VIII and worked alternately as a male model and then as an actor. His career as an actor began on television in 1997 with Mission protection rapprochée and several short films.
He then played a small role in Brotherhood of the Wolf, along with the celebrated actors Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel, who were the stars in this movie. His first major role was in 2002, called Embrassez qui vous voudrez (distributed in the US under the title Summer Things), a film by Michel Blanc, as the character of Loïc. He won the “Prix des Lumieres” and the “Gold Star” for a best new actor for this film.
His next notable role was as Yvan, Emmanuelle Béart’s lover in Strayed (Les Égarés in the original language), directed by André Téchiné. He starred in Un long dimanche de fiançailles (which was distributed in the US under the title A Very Long Engagement) alongside Audrey Tatou, and participated in Paris, je t’aime, but his international breakthrough was as the lead in Hannibal Rising, the origin movie of the titular villain and the last film in the Hannibal Lecter saga; that movie was actually a prequel, as it went back to Lecter’s childhood and youth, showing how he became the person he was.
He also played fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent in Bertrand Bonello’s 2014 film Saint Laurent, which earned him critical acclaim, an award and several additional nominations. In 2016, he participated in the film Juste la fin du monde (distributed in the US under the title It’s Only the End of the World) by Xavier Dolan. For that work he won a César award in the category of best actor and was nominated for the Lumière and Globe de Cristal awards.
He was known for playing roles of eccentric and rebellious gallants with villainous features. He appeared in several commercial spots for well-known brands of personal products.
What Happened to the Late Gaspard Ulliel?
Sadly, Gaspard Ulliel won’t be making his return as Midnight Man, with the character’s future in doubt, because he tragically passed away on January 19, 2022 after a tragic accident. He died as a result of a head injury sustained the day before, after an accidental collision with another man while skiing, without a helmet, on a slope in the resort of La Rosière (Savoie). Ulliel was rushed to the hospital but his injuries were so grave that he died the next day.