With “Werewolf by Night,” the Marvel Cinematic Universe is getting spooky.
The new 53-minute movie, dubbed a “Marvel Studios Special Presentation” and directed by Michael Giacchino, debuts on Disney+ next week. Starring Gael Garcia Bernal as the title character, it evokes the spirit of Universal monster movies from the 1940s, with its black-and-white photography, scratchy soundtrack and somewhat exaggerated performances.
But how does “Werewolf by Night,” with its rampaging creatures and ancient curses, fit in with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? A new featurette (which you can watch above) has some clues.
Dubbed “Monstrous New Side,” the featurette has interviews with Giacchino, Bernal, star Laura Donnelly and various behind-the-scenes personalities. One of those personalities is executive producer Kevin Feige, who also serves as president of Marvel Studios. “We’re introducing a world that will ultimately become quite important to the future of the MCU,” Feige says in the featurette.
While typically vague (Feige is the ultimate entertainment politician), it makes sense. Darkness has been creeping into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially this year, with projects like the Disney+ series “Moon Knight” (where Oscar Isaac played a schizophrenic, occasionally murderous hero) and this summer’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” directed by horror legend Sam Raimi and featuring a climax where Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) inhabits the body of his rotting doppelgänger.
Also on the docket is feature film “Blade,” starring Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali as the half-human/half-vampire “day-walker,” and upcoming Disney+ series “Agatha: Coven of Chaos,” a “WandaVision” spin- off centered around Kathryn Hahn’s witchy character.
“Werewolf by Night” is probably the most openly horror-flavored Marvel Studios offering – there’s tons of blood and monsters galore. Even the rousing Marvel Studios logo gets a thunder-and-lightning remake that wouldn’t be out of place in Transylvania. If this is the opening except for what’s to come, then that is very exciting indeed.
“Werewolf by Night” premieres on Disney+ on October 7.