Kevin Feige 'Added Pressure' to Marvel Director Over Man-Thing's MCU Debut

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Kevin Feige, Man-Thing, MCU

The MCU has been expanding in significant ways in Phase 4, with the biggest change coming from introducing the Disney+ series and now specials. This fall will bring two "Marvel Studios Special Presentation[s]" in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and Werewolf by Night.

Coming from composer-turned-director Michael Giacchino, Werewolf by Night will offer an MCU spin on classic horror, bringing several of Marvel's most iconic monsters into play. Among them is Man-Thing, a monster will close ties to the Multiverse that may play into the current saga.

Marvel Man Thing

Just days away from Man-Thing making his first appearance since the flopped 2005 solo outing, which Kevin Feige recently reacted to, Giacchino director has expressed the pressures he felt in bringing all these monsters into the MCU,

Werewolf by Night Director Addresses Pressure of MCU Special

During an interview with Fandom, Werewolf by Night director Michael Giacchino explained why Man-Thing became a part of the Disney+ Halloween special and how that added pressure on him.

Marvel Studios Man Thing

Giacchino revealed Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was the first to pitch Man-Thing's inclusion in Werewolf by Night, which excited the director due to him coming from "one of [his] favorite comic runs in the world:"

"We had so many of those conversations as you’re in development. You’re working on the story and there were multiple ideas for different things and different characters. But, the thing that made the most sense...I remember it was Kevin Feige who asked me what I thought about him. And I was like, ’What, are you kidding me? [Man-Thing] is one of my favorite comic runs in the world."

As the special was already placed to introduce Jack Russell and Elsa Bloodstone to the MCU, the director explained that bringing Man-Thing into the equation "added a lot more pressure:"

"And again, it just added a lot more pressure to me going, ‘Oh, not only is this [introducing] Jack Russell and then Elsa… These are two of my favorite characters and I’m gonna bring them in, but now you’re gonna give me this too?’ And I’ve got to bring all of this to the table. But it was all done out of love for these things. And hopefully, that comes through, and hopefully, you feel that. Because I do love these characters.”

The composer-turned-director went on to discuss his feeling that too often "monsters are just used as something to kill" so he instead chose to use them as "allegories for people with afflictions that need help:"

“Too often, even in Marvel movies, a lot of times monsters are just used as something to kill, something to defeat. And I’m like, no, monsters are nothing but a person with a problem, who can’t solve it and needs help solving it. Everything that I loved as a kid about these [monster] films is that they were allegories for people with afflictions that need help. And I felt like that’s the point of view we need to take with this. It cannot just be about ‘Oh, there’s something different, let’s destroy it!’ There’s too much of that going on in our world these days."

Going into Werewolf by Night, Giacchino wanted to "peel back the layers of the onion" to go deeper into the psyche of these monsters, as opposed to just making them violent and thoughtless killers:

"I wanted to do something that was about, no, let’s peel back the layers of the onion and understand what’s behind this thing being a monster. Why is it happening? None of these monsters want to be monsters. They don’t want to go around indiscriminately killing people and destroying things. It’s just, that’s their lot in life. Everyone has a lot in life, we all have some struggles, some sort of thing that we’re struggling to solve or deal with within our own selves. And that’s where I want it to go with this story.”

Michael Giacchino's Monsterous Marvel Future

Clearly, the composer-turned-director has an original perspective to bring to the monster genre. Michael Giacchino's unique outlook on monsters ought to only add to Werewolf by Night, and may be one of the many factors in why the Disney+ special is already receiving rave reviews from critics

This approach of treating monsters as characters and not just an obstacle to overcome should help audiences build a real connection with them, creating excitement to see the likes of Werewolf by Night and Man-Thing return - particularly with monsters poised to be integral to the MCU's future.

With this understanding in mind, Giacchino may be the perfect director to take a more expansive role in the future of the MCU's supernatural side as it continues to expand. Mahershala Ali's Blade is currently on the hunt for a new director amid the positive response to Werewolf by Night, could Giacchino be the man for the job?

Nonetheless, Kevin Feige clearly has big plans to push these monsters down the line, and his desire to include Man-Thing may signal bigger plans. Perhaps Feige is even planning to utilize the monster's close ties to the Multiverse, which is the focus of the MCU's current saga after all. 

Werewolf by Night will premiere on Disney+ on Friday, October 7.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.