How Werewolf By Night Is Setting Up For Monsters In The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Horror is getting set to become a more significant part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Director Sam Raimi delivered tastes of the genre earlier this summer in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, and looking ahead to upcoming Marvel movies and upcoming Marvel TV shows sees the forthcoming arrival of vampires and witchcraft in Blade and Agatha: Coven Of Chaos. It’s an exciting time for MCU fans who like their fiction to be spooky – but the project that is truly laying the ground floor for developments in the franchise is director Michael Giacchino’s Werewolf By Night.

The Disney+ special presentation is arriving on the streaming service next week, and it’s an offering that is unlike any before it in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Part of its design is that it introduces a new flavor to the existing canon, and co-executive producer Brian Gay recently told me about how part of the intention with the project is to show fans a different side of the well-established franchise. Said the filmmaker,

I think that the fun of this is it starts and you're like, 'Oh, I know what the MCU is. It's superheroes, aliens, alternate dimensions, different planets, space travel, what have you.' And then this was like, 'Well, what about this little corner over here? Let's peel it back and sort of reveal that this whole time centuries monsters have existed in the MCU. You just haven't seen them yet.'

Written by Heather Quinn and Peter Cameron, Werewolf By Night begins as a collection of monster hunters gather together to participate in a competition to acquire the powerful relic known as the Bloodstone. They are led into a labyrinth to hunt a dangerous creature, and the only weapons they are allowed to use are those that they can find. What the group doesn’t know is that that while they are hunting a beast, there is actually a beast among them.

The special presentation stars Gael García Bernal , Laura Donnelly, Harriet Sansom Harris, and Kirk Thatcher (an MCU Easter egg unto himself).

Much like how Doctor Strange was a project that opened the door to the mystical and magical side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the television special is designed to give audiences a peek into the monster-centric lore of the franchise  – which ties back to the long history of horror comics published by Marvel, most notably in the 1950s. Brian Gay noted that Werewolf By Night provides audiences with a glimpse at what’s possible, and it will be up to filmmakers in the future to grab the baton and run with it:

That's sort of the idea of setting up the lore of the hunters and the fact that all these things exist. So where it goes from here, I'm not exactly certain, but the idea is there are new toys in toy box to play with, right? There's a whole bunch of monsters out there and what are we gonna do about it?

As far as the future is concerned, Blade won’t arrive until November 2023, and Agatha: Coven Of Chaos is on the Marvel calendar for winter 2023/2024, but Werewolf By Night is nearly hear. After first being announced last summer, dropping its debut trailer at D23 Expo 2022, and earning buzz with early screenings, the special will be available to stream on October 7 (so make sure you’re all set up with a Disney+ subscription).

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.