Marvel’s Werewolf By Night Special Has A Funny And Weird Connection To Spider-Man And Star Trek

Projects that come out of Marvel Studios are typically filled with all varieties of Easter eggs and special references to the existing canon, but there are some that feature a few more “layers” than others. This story is about one of them.

For the upcoming Marvel Studios special presentation Werewolf By Night, director Michael Giacchino has brought together a wonderful and talented ensemble of actors – including Gael Garcia Bernal, Laura Donnelly, and Harriet Sansom Harris – but if you’re a hardcore Marvel nerd, there is one name that might stick out among the cast: Kirk Thatcher. In the horror-centric Disney+ original, Thatcher stars as a monster hunter named Jovan, but some of you may note that this is his second time appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (having previously cameoed in Spider-Man: Homecoming), and his previous appearance in the franchise happens to have a funny and weird connection to Star Trek.

This past weekend, I participated in the virtual press day for Werewolf By Night (opens in new tab), and it was while interviewing Michael Giacchino that I asked about Kirk Thatcher’s involvement in the project. As it turns out, the composer-cum-director and actor are close pals, and it was actually because of their pre-existing relationship that Thatcher made his aforementioned cameo in Spider-Man: Homecoming (a film that Giacchino composed the score for). Said the filmmaker,

Well, Kirk and I are best friends. We've known each other for a very long time, and I always thought he was a great actor…Actually, it's funny because when Kevin Feige found out that I was friends with Kirk Thatcher, that blew Kevin's mind, because Kevin is a huge Star Trek fan. He loves everything about it and he knew everything that Kirk has done. And I'm thinking, 'What? Kirk? Really?' So Kevin was the who goes, 'Do you think he'd want a cameo in Spider-Man,' and this and that. And I was like, 'Sure!' So I put them together and Kirk got to do that.

For those of you who don’t quite remember Kirk Thatcher in Spider-Man: Homecoming, nobody has the right to berate your memory. He appears in an early montage in the Marvel blockbuster while the web-slinger is performing friendly neighborhood hero tasks. He appears in the moment with Zach Cherry, who notably requests that Spider-Man do a flip while standing on a nearby rooftop. You can see him in the screengrab below sporting a big white beard:

kirk thatcher and zach cherry in spider-man: homecoming

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

You’ll notice that the character – credited as “Punk on Street” – is carrying a boom box on his shoulder, and that’s where the Star Trek connection comes in. Back in 1986, Kirk Thatcher made his feature film debut with a small role as Punk On Bus in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Walter Koenig’s favorite Star Trek movie). He appears as a punk who is annoying fellow passengers on public transit by blasting music, and Leonard Nimoy’s Spock memorably knocks him out with a Vulcan nerve pinch:

Kirk Thatcher in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Years after the Spider-Man: Homecoming cameo, Michael Giacchino was hired by Marvel Studios to direct Werewolf By Night, and his high opinion of Kirk Thatcher’s acting skills led the filmmaker to personally ask Kevin Feige if he could cast his friend:

When I mentioned him for this, Kevin was like, 'Oh yeah, for sure! We have to.' And I think Kirk did such a great job. I thought he did wonderful. And I'm really excited for the world to see like this other side of Kirk, that is a little more than just the sort of one note thing, you know? Kirk did a great job, we had a blast, and it's always fun when you get to work with your friends too. Like that's a really wonderful thing as well.

That just leaves us with the last big question: is Kirk Thatcher’s “Punk on Street” from Spider-Man: Homecoming actually Jovan from Werewolf By Night in disguise (perhaps on the streets of New York hunting monsters)? I asked Michael Giacchino what he thinks, and he said,

I don't know about that. That's a different conversation. I feel like that would be... it does make sense to me that the punk on the bus could be the guy in Spider-Man. You could make an argument for that somehow. I think it'd be a harder argument to connect them to this. But we'll let the internet do that for us! We'll see what happens.

kirk thatcher in werewolf by night

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Fans will have the opportunity to connect the dots when Werewolf By Night arrives on October 7 exclusively for Disney+ subscribers.

Check out our Upcoming Marvel Movies and Upcoming Marvel TV guides for all of the information you’re looking for when it comes to the future of the MCU, and our Marvel Movies In Order feature is a perfect tool to use for your next big rewatch.

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.