Marvel launches on Disney+ Werewolf by night
Marvel studio innovates by launching a small movie of less than one hour with Werewolf by night, this small movie tells the adventures of the werewolf of the Marvel universe. It follows an organization that brings together the most fearsome monster hunters of the Marvel universe. After the death of the great Bloodstone Temple, his wife organizes a tournament to see who of the various hunters will inherit the Bloodstone – a magical artifact and a formidable weapon against the monsters of the Marvel universe.
What’s unique about this new Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) production is that it’s shot in black and white. It is the very first movie of the MCU to propose a colorless rendering (even if WandaVision had already tried the experiment in its first episodes). On the casting side, the production brings together Gael Garcia Bernal and Laura Donnelly. Finally, Michael Giacchino signs here his first directorial work.
At first, Michael Giacchino is a composer of film music who has worked extensively at Disney, including on Pixar and Marvel productions. He wrote the scores for The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Cars 2, Vice Versa, the Spider-Man trilogy in the MCU, Doctor Strange, Coco, The Incredibles 2 and Thor: Love and Thunder. He also signed the music for films such as the last Star Trek trilogy, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Jojo Rabbit and the Jurassic World trilogy. With Werewolf by night, he goes behind the camera for the first time.
Brian Gay is the producer, Werewolf by night is a proposal that is anchored in the MCU, but that allows the audience to go to other horizons. Producer Brian Gay notably told ScreeRant that Werewolf by night is :
Basically, it was supposed to be a short film, but it’s supposed to give you a taste of a different story or a very different area of the universe (…) That was the idea behind the concept, to set up something that relies on the idea that you don’t know everything about the universe. We want to present the characters in the context of a world that makes the MCU even bigger.
The goal with this Marvel Studios Special Presentation is to take a fresh look at the MCU, a darker one that moves away from the traditional recipe dominated by humor and comedy. As for the aesthetic approach in black and white, it is quite different from what has been done so far.
The little film Werewolf by night tells the adventures of the werewolf of the Marvel universe. In the comics, the werewolf made his first appearance in 1972 in Marvel Spotlight #2 under the pen of Roy Thomas. To summarize quickly, Jack Russell is the descendant of a werewolf family. He inherited his father’s lycanthropy. This one manifests itself the day of his 18th birthday. From that moment on, every full moon, the poor man turns into a bloodthirsty creature that is totally uncontrollable. With time, he learned to control his bestiality to become an anti-hero.
After his transformation, Jack Russell stands over six feet tall and possesses overdeveloped strength, speed, durability and agility. He has a superhuman sense of smell, sharp teeth and claws, and is resistant to many types of conventional injuries. He can, however, be killed by silver weapons.
The scenario was then revived in 2020. Indeed, Jack Russell left his place to Jake Gomez, who became the new werewolf of the Marvel universe. But Marvel Studios preferred to keep the original character, since Gael Garcia Bernal plays Jack Russell in Werewolf by night. Note that Werewolft by night was the very first opponent of Moon Knight in 1975 in Werewolf by night #32 by Doug Moench and Don Perlin.
The great originality of Werewolf by night lies in the introduction of a new character in the MCU: Man-Thing. Indeed, Man Thing is an iconic hero of Marvel comics.
At the beginning, he is a biochemist called Theodore Sallis. He works at the beginning of his career with Dr. Connors (aka The Lizard) on cell regeneration. When his lab, located in the Florida Everglades swamp, is attacked by AIM, Dr. Sallis injects himself with a supersoldier serum he is working on. After a chase, his car crashes into the swamp. Theodore drowns in a remote corner of the swamp, transforming into an inhuman plant creature with limited consciousness.
In the comics, Man-Thing is not just a freak show. He is in fact the nexus of all realities. In addition to his impressive plant mass, and his tenfold strength, he uses the fear of his opponents. On physical contact with Man-Thing, his enemy literally catches fire, only if he feels fear towards him. This reaction is due to Man-Thing’s super sensitivity to emotions. Depending on the mental state of his interlocutor, he can be an extremely docile and welcoming creature, as well as a mortal danger.
Moreover, he is immortal when he is in his swamp. At the heart of his swamp is a portal that allows him to change dimensions. But Man-Thing rarely leaves his swamp. The more time he spends away from his environment, the weaker he becomes. He has already been teased in the MCU, in Thor: Ragnarok. But Werewolf by night marks his first real appearance. However, Man Thing has already had his own movie, soberly entitled Man Thing (2005), directed by Brett Leonard. But it’s a first on the front of the stage in the MCU that makes us happy!