A Moon Knight Star Has Died

By Michileen Martin | 4 months ago

moon knight

Only two days after the release of the first full trailer of Disney+’s Moon Knight comes the tragic news that one of its stars has died. The 37-year-old French actor Gaspard Ulliel died after a skiing accident. Variety reports Ulliel is survived by his 6-year-old son Orso and his girlfriend Gaelle Petri.

According to Variety, the Moon Knight actor was skiing in the Savoie region of France when he suffered brain trauma after colliding with another skier. Ulliel was brought by helicopter for emergency medical care to Grenoble. Local authorities are reportedly looking into the accident and Ulliel’s death.

gaspard ulliel hannibal rising
Gaspard Ulliel in Hannibal Rising (2007)

Gaspard Ulliel was one of France’s most famous screen actors, and he wasn’t an unknown quantity on the other side of the Atlantic. To American viewers, the Moon Knight star was perhaps best known for his work on the 2007 prequel Hannibal Rising in which Ulliel played a younger Hannibal Lecter — a serial killer more closely associated with Anthony Hopkins and Mads Mikkelsen. Other leading roles with which Ulliel made waves on both sides of the ocean include the 2004 romance A Very Long Engagement, the 2014 biopic Saint Laurent about French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, and the 2016 drama It’s Only the End of the World.

Variety later reported Gaspard Ulliel played the wealthy villain Anton Mogart, aka Midnight Man in the upcoming Moon Knight series. In the source material, Midnight Man is merely a thief when he first appears in 1981’s Moon Knight #3. While battling Moon Knight, Anton is shot in the back by the titular hero’s love interest Marlene, and tumbles into a river. While the heroes believe he’s dead, he shows up later having suffered a facial deformity because of the incident and wanting revenge on the Fist of Khonshu.

gaspard ulliel a very long engagement
Gaspard Ulliel in A Very Long Engagement (2004)

After news of the Moon Knight star’s death began to emerge, condolences and remembrances began to show up on social media, particularly from the stars of France and even from the top levels of its government. France’s prime minister Jean Castex posted to Twitter on Wednesday, and wrote (translated to English by Variety) “Gaspard Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew with him. They loved each other madly. It is with a heavy heart that we will no longer see his most beautiful interpretations. We have lost a French actor.” You can see his tweet below.

Along with Jean Castex, there were other tributes from French actors like Alexandra Lamy, who wrote of Ulliel, “A heavy heart. From you I keep only these moments of joy, we laugh so much. You embodied beauty, kindness, talent, elegance, we will miss you so much. All my support to your family and loved ones.” Pierre Niney — who, like Ulliel, played Yves Saint Laurent in a different biopic — wrote of his colleague, “Broken heart. Gaspard was benevolence and kindness. Beauty and talent. Thoughts to his family.” Disney conveyed their thoughts to Variety, saying, “We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of our friend and colleague Gaspard Ulliel. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time.”

You will be able to see Gaspard Ulliel in his final screen performance in Moon Knight starting on Wednesday, March 30. According to IMDb, Ulliel will appear as Midnight Man in all six episodes of the first season.