Marvel already has a very impressive list of movies and TV shows planned for the next parts of the new Multiverse Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From the return of Wakanda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to the next big ensemble movie, Avengers: Secret Wars (2025), it’s hard to believe that the MCU has room for any more characters or ideas. Still, they are, and at this year’s D23 Expo, studio head Kevin Feige took the stage to finally talk about a new project that had been kept secret.
Werewolf by Night (2022) will be Marvel’s first holiday-themed special. It will come out just a couple of months before The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022).
The special was announced in August of last year, but there hasn’t been much information about it since then. For example, there wasn’t even a hint about it at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Still, we got our first look at this completely new addition to the MCU at the panel, where we also got some long-awaited details about this hour-long deep dive into the supernatural side of the Marvel universe.
When And Where To Watch “Werewolf By Night”?
Werewolf by Night will only be available on Disney+ when it starts on October 7, 2022. This is just in time for the scary holiday of Halloween. The special presentation will probably last about an hour.
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) September 30, 2022
What Are The Comic Origins of “Werewolf by Night”?
Werewolf by Night is a comic book character that has been played by more than one person. However, the first person to play the character was a man named Jack Russell, who will also play the character in the special. Even though his real name is Jacob Russoff and his family is from Transylvania. Jack was a normal American kid until he was 18. On the night of a full moon, when he was 18, he changed into a horrible werewolf. Jack eventually found out that his sudden lycanthropy was caused by his ancestors. One of his ancestors was bitten by one of Vlad Dracula’s werewolves, and another used the Darkhold, which we saw in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, to curse his entire bloodline with werewolf transformation (2022).
As a werewolf, Jack has all the skills you’d expect, like increased strength, agility, and speed. Like other monsters like the Hulk and Morbius, the Werewolf by Night doesn’t always have full control over himself. He sometimes puts innocent people in danger and doesn’t mind killing. Werewolf by Night and Moon Knight run into each other a lot in the comics. The only thing they have in common is that they are both okay with killing. The two are often rivals, but they have sometimes worked together, so maybe there will be a scene at the end of the episode with Khonshu’s avatar or maybe even Mahershala Ali’s Blade coming back.
Since Elsa Bloodstone is already going to be there with a monster hunter, it wouldn’t be strange for a vampire hunter to show up. Elsa was the daughter of Ulysses Bloodstone, a famous monster hunter who owned the Bloodgem. The Bloodgem is an extraterrestrial stone that gives the person who uses it better skills and makes them immortal as long as they have a sense of revenge. Before Elsa got the stone and took over the family business of hunting monsters, Ulysses put her through a hard and, to be honest, cruel training. Her travels around the world and never-ending adventures have also brought her into contact with other Marvel characters. She is even dating Deadpool, who is also immortal.
Last but not least, there’s Man-Thing, who is basically Marvel’s Swamp Thing. Man-Thing used to be Dr. Ted Sallis, who was a close friend of Curt Conners, the man who would become the Lizard. Sallis was a brilliant scientist who was researching serums that could help people heal themselves. That was until he made a shady deal with AIM, who also wanted a serum for bad reasons. They shot down his plane, but not before Sallis injected himself with the one sample of the serum he made. He then crashed into a swamp and turned into the horrible Man-Thing. Man-Thing is a mix of science and the magic of this strange swamp. He has super strength, can teleport, and can fly, but the most important thing he lost was the ability to speak. The Nexus of All Realities, a doorway to all realms in the multiverse, was the source of the swamp’s magic. If that’s the case in Werewolf by Night, that could make Man-Thing a very important character in the Multiverse Saga.
Who Is Making “Werewolf By Night”?
As was said above, this will be Michael Giacchino’s first time directing, and Kevin Feige will be the executive producer. Giacchino said that Poltergeist (1982), which scared him as a child, was one of the movies that influenced him, and he promised that the special will really scare fans who want something with a bit more grit. Peter Cameron (Moon Knight) and Heather Quinn, both of whom have worked at Marvel Studios before, also wrote parts of the script (Hawkeye). Zo White is also making the movie’s movies (Westworld).
“Werewolf By Night” Cast
Gael Garca Bernal, who played Miguel in Coco, leads the cast as Werewolf by Night, also known as Jack Russell. Laura Donnelly, who plays Elsa Bloodstone, is a major supporting character in the lycanthrope’s rampage. She works with him. Harriet Sansom Harris plays Verusa, Eugenie Bondurant (The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It) plays Linda, Kirk R. Thatcher (Gremlins 2: The New Batch) plays Jovan, and Al Hamacher (True Memoirs of an International Assassin) plays Billy Swan. All of these characters seem to have been made for the special. No one has been chosen to play Man-Thing yet, which is probably because the character doesn’t talk and we won’t see him in his human form. However, the Halloween special is sure to have some scary surprises in store.
“Werewolf By Night” Trailer
Kevin Feige brought the show’s two leads, Gael Garca Bernal (Old) and Laura Donnelly (The Nevers), to the stage with director Michael Giacchino, who will be making his directorial debut after writing some of the most famous film scores of our generation for movies like Up (2009) and the Spider-Man: Homecoming trilogy. The new trailer was shown for the first time.
Right away, the trailer shows that this is different. Instead of the usual “A Marvel Studios Special Presentation” followed by growling, it says “A Marvel Studios Special Presentation,” which is a whole new thing. Even though it was all shot in black and white, the footage shown looks like it came straight out of an old Universal monster movie. A mysterious group of hunters is brought together by a benefactor who looks like an animatronic zombie. Verusa, played by Harriet Sansom Harris, tells them that one of the creatures they will be hunting is one of the hunters themselves. What happens next looks like the MCU’s most overt horror take yet, with the Werewolf by Night beating up goons and Donnelly’s character, Elsa Bloodstone, being scared for her life in a cage. It also comes as a big surprise that Man-Thing, a fan favorite from the comics, will be in the special.
If you want to learn more about the lycanthrope’s first live-action movie, William Watson II of Collider just did a full analysis of the trailer.
Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.