The Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to do a deep dive into horror by showcasing its first Halloween special, Werewolf by Night. After months of rumors, the upcoming Disney+ standalone feature was confirmed to arrive on the streaming service at this year's D23 Expo.
Werewolf by Night is directed by Spider-Man: No Way Home composer Michael Giacchino, and it will be headlined by Gael Garcia Bernal and Laura Donelly. The exact plot details of the special are still tightly under wraps, but its first trailer showcased its unique look and tone that sets it apart from other MCU entries.
During D23, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige teased that Werewolf by Night is "scary but fun scary,” indicating that it will still have a comedic element that is consistent with the MCU's branding.
Now, more details about Werewolf by Night have emerged following its D23 confirmation.
Werewolf By Night's Movie Inspirations Revealed
As revealed on the official profile document of Werewolf by Night from Disney, the upcoming Halloween special is confirmed to be inspired by horror films of the 1930s and 1940s, with the description noting that it "aims to evoke a sense of dread and the macabre:"
"Inspired by horror films of the 1930s and 1940s, the chilling special aims to evoke a sense of dread and the macabre, with plenty of suspense and scares along the way as we explore a new corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe."
Some classic examples during that time are Dracula, Frankenstein, The Raven, and The Invisible Man.
Speaking with Marvel Entertainment, lead stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Laura Donnelly shared details on what to expect in the upcoming Marvel Studios special.
Bernal, who plays Jack Russell, aka Werewolf by Night, revealed that the audience will be "scared, even if they think they won't:"
“Some people will be scared. Even if they think they won’t. Even if they arrive completely, you know, like, ‘Ah. These things don’t [scare me].’ I think they will. Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
Donnelly, who is rumored to portray Elsa Bloodstone in the special, pointed out that they are "telling a real horror story" while also infusing it with a "heartfelt" element:
“But I also love that it has proper heart in it as well. We are telling a real horror story, but we are also telling a really human, heartfelt story as well. And I love that about it.”
Will Classic Horror Characters Show Up in Werewolf by Night?
Taking inspiration from classic horror movies from the 1930s and 1940s is a no-brainer for Werewolf by Night, considering that these films not only introduced iconic monsters but also paved the way for modern cinema.
As evidenced by the trailer, the dark shadowy influence from these movies is clearly present, which begs the question of whether these classic horror characters could actually appear in the special.
Aside from the fact that Werewolf by Night is inspired by the monster of the same name, Marvel has an established history of incorporating horror characters in its stories, such as Dracula and its own version of a swamp monster, Man-Thing.
Man-Thing is already confirmed to appear in the special, and this could hint that more horror characters could follow. Dracula is a prime candidate given his connection to Blade, meaning that the special could lay the groundwork for his future clash with the vampire hunter.
Whatever the case, Werewolf by Night's arrival in the MCU is poised to be historic, and the inclusion of more horror characters could make it even more special.
Werewolf by Night will premiere on Disney+ on Friday, October 7.