Werewolf By Night has been receiving high praise from critics due to the fact that Marvel Studios managed to do a deep dive into the horror genre like never before. Directed by veteran composer Michael Giacchino, the Halloween special is confirmed to fall under the "Horror" genre, with the House of Mouse changing it from the earlier "Comedy" category.
While Giacchino admitted that he always assumed that Werewolf By Night would be R-Rated due to its blood and gore, the special landed a TV-14 rating instead, much to his surprise during one interview. Moreover, the Marvel director and Spider-Man: No Way Home composer pointed out that "the black and white did help keep us within a certain range.”
Now, new comments from the show's producer have further proved why Werewolf By Night leans toward more violence.
Why Werewolf By Night is Marvel Studios' Most Violent Content
Werewolf By Night producer Brian Gay sat down with ComicBook's Phase Zero to talk about the decision behind incorporating black and white into the Marvel Studios' special.
When Brandon Davis of ComicBook asked Gay if he thinks they would've gotten away with some of the violence by showcasing the special with a black and white color palette, the Marvel producer admitted that it all boiled down to its "story."
Gay acknowledged the fact that the special revolves around "vicious monster hunters," noting that there's an eventual clash that is going to happen:
"Now, I want to ask that question to Michael. What I think it is… It’s about the story. We knew we were going to tell the story. These are vicious monster hunters. They’re not going to sit around and just like, ‘have a nice dinner.’ We’re gonna get them out there. They’re going to be fighting. They gotta be hunting. And with that, the story requires that we sort of give you that scare, give you that element of what it is."
The Werewolf By Night producer then explained why the black and white color palette is the right choice for this project, saying that it makes it "different" and stand out from other MCU entries:
"I think the black and white is something that makes it special and makes it… I’ll call it just a little bit of an extra twist on top that makes you think, ‘Oh this is really different, and this is cool.’ There’s a stylization to it that not only that it is a homage to these classic monster movies, but it just feels new within the MCU."
Gay's comment clearly suggests that Werewolf By Night will further dive into violence, and this was further cemented by the first reactions from critics below.
Ernesto Valenzuela of Full Circle Cinema proclaimed that Marvel Studios' Halloween special is the "most violent thing Marvel has done yet:"
"I’ve just attended a theatrical screening of Marvel Studios’ #WerewolfByNight. Unexpected to see the MCU at Fantastic Fest but man. That was such a fun time at the movies. Most violent thing Marvel has done yet. [Michael Giacchino] has made a hell of a directorial debut!"
Mark Saldana, a member of the Austin Film Critics Association, also revealed that Werewolf By Night is "probably" Marvel Studios' most violent offering on Disney+:
"It is probably Marvel Studios' most violent offering on their streaming network, but is still so much fun! #FantasticFest2022"
Slasher Reviews described the project as "extremely violent for Marvel standards:"
"Marvel did it. Made something that’s beats and bleeds everything for me. As a fellow werewolf myself we call this representation.
WEREWOLF BY NIGHT is extremely violent for Marvel standards but horror fans are in for a treat with this 30’s style classic monster movie."
Veteran journalist Eric Vespe said that Werewolf By Night is "surprisingly violent," pointing out that Marvel Studios managed to get away with that due to the "lack of color:"
"Werewolf By Night was the first Fantastic Fest secret screening. Super fun and great use of black and white and that classic Universal Monsters style. Surprisingly violent that they can get away with because of the lack of color. Lots of neat Easter eggs for Marvel Monster kids."
Will Werewolf By Night's Success Lead to Rated R MCU Projects?
While the black and white color palette might've allowed Werewolf By Night to go full blast with violence, it seems that it's only a matter of time before Marvel Studios decides to go all in with Rated R content, especially after the latest announcement about Deadpool 3.
The fact that Werewolf By Night is being described as Marvel Studios' most violent entry yet is pretty telling as it allows fans to be intrigued about how much gore and violence will be included in the special. In addition, it also gives viewers a chance to witness a unique MCU entry, making it stand out in the franchise's Phase 4 slate.
Although projects like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and WandaVision had horror elements, Werewolf By Night is vastly different due to its scary ensemble and seeing Gael Garcia Bernal's Jack Russell ripping his enemies apart, although in black and white, would further cement that claim.
Not only is Werewolf By Night making history by introducing more monsters in the MCU, but it is also poised to kickstart more Rated R projects in the future.
Werewolf By Night premieres on Disney+ on Friday, October 7.