With the release of Werewolf by Night, the MCU debuted a brand new Disney+ umbrella known as a Special Presentation. These one-off specials even come with a brand-new introductory fanfare to highlight these unique releases.
Following the success of the classic black-and-white horror, Marvel Studios will soon deliver its second of these standalone adventures with The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. Strangely enough, this was actually the first of these specials to be announced before Werewolf by Night swooped in to release first.
Now, Marvel Studios is going all-in on this format with plenty more projects on the way featuring new heroes and existing favorites. And ahead of the late November release of the Guardians' Disney+ outing, the studio has delivered another special, but not quite what fans were expecting.
MCU Surprise Drops Second Disney+ Special
Following the release of Werewolf by Night, Marvel Studios has just debuted a documentary on Disney+ focussed on the man at the helm of the project, Michael Giacchino, and his early filmmaking origins with his brother, Anthony Giacchino.
Surprisingly, the documentary special was labeled on the poster and on Disney+ as a Marvel Studios Special Presentation. This marks the second special release and means The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will instead be the third.
Despite being marketed under the promotional umbrella, Director by Night does not open with the Special Presentation nor Marvel Studios fanfare, much like the Assembled documentary episodes.
The full synopsis for the intimate Disney+ documentary special can be read below:
"Director by Night tells the story of two Academy Award® Winning brothers and their different ways of telling stories. Michael Giacchino, renowned film composer, makes his directing debut with "Werewolf By Night". His brother, veteran documentary filmmaker Anthony Giacchino, chronicles the experience, and explores the duo’s filmmaking origins in the small New Jersey town where they grew up."
Marvel Studios Goes Big on Special Presentations
There's no telling for now when the next "Special Presentation" after The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special delivers all its festive action. But as Marvel Studios will have released three projects under this umbrella in just over a month, one can only imagine the wait for another won't be too long.
Both Nova and Silver Surfer are reportedly on the cards for their own specials while some upcoming series may be getting cut down to a one-off outing. Whatever the case, Marvel Studios clearly has big plans for the format as it allows it to produce content that doesn't fit into the usual movie or series templates.
Marvel Studios appears to be using this "Special Presentation" label rather liberally for any one-off productions on Disney+ Usually, that honor will go to actual MCU story content, but occasionally it may be used for documentaries like Director by Night that doesn't exactly fall under the same bracket as the Assembled episodes.
Aside from Spider-Man: No Way Home, due to the rights being held by Sony, every Phase 4 project so far has received an Assembled documentary. This originally began as an episodic series of its own on Disney+, but each new documentary since Eternals has now been listed separately for unclear reasons.
What makes Director by Night different from these, and therefore fit under the "Special Presentation" description, is that it does not focus on the production of its MCU namesake. Instead, this documentary explores the filmmaking career of Michael Giacchino which has led to him now making his directorial debut.
For now, it remains unclear whether Werewolf by Night will also be receiving an Assembled episode to focus on its brief shoot or if this will serve as a replacement. As the MCU horror was actually filmed in just 12 days, perhaps there simply wasn't enough there to justify a whole behind-the-scenes documentary.
Werewolf by Night and Director by Night are streaming now, exclusively on Disney+.