Werewolf By Night is Marvel Studios' first foray into the realm of horror. Directed by Michael Giacchino, the MCU special revolves around the story of Gael Garcia Bernal's titular monster as he joins dangerous monster hunters to compete for the right to earn the infamous Bloodstone.
A good chunk of Werewolf by Night's promotional drive was mainly focused on its use of black and white, with Marvel producer Brian Gay saying that it makes it "different" and stand out from other MCU entries. Aside from that, this color palette also allows the project to become the franchise's most violent entry yet while being inspired by the classic horror movies from the 1930s.
Meanwhile, the trailer also made it seem that Werewolf by Night is set in the distant past, but a new update from Disney changed that train of thought.
When Is Werewolf by Night Set on the MCU Timeline?
Werewolf by Night is the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As part of its release, Disney confirmed when it is set in the MCU's timeline.
Werewolf by Night is placed last in the timeline order of the MCU, right after Chris Hemsworth's Thor: Love and Thunder.
The full list of MCU projects in timeline order can be seen below:
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Captain Marvel
- Iron Man
- Iron Man 2
- The Incredible Hulk
- The Avengers
- Thor: The Dark World
- Iron Man 3
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- I Am Groot: Groot’s First Steps
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- I Am Groot: The Little Guy
- I Am Groot: Groot’s Pursuit
- I Am Groot: Groot Takes a Bath
- I Am Groot: Magnum Opus
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Captain America: Civil War
- Black Widow
- Black Panther
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Doctor Strange
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Avengers: Endgame
- What If...?
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
- Spider-Man: Far From Home
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
- Moon Knight
- Ms. Marvel
- Thor: Love and Thunder
- Werewolf By Night
The updated timeline order of the MCU, in graphic form, can be seen below:
During the Q&A at the Fantastic Fest world premiere of Werewolf By Night, director Michael Giacchino explained the many differences between this project from the comic books, such as his discussions with lead star Gael Garcia Bernal about using the name of Jack Russell:
“Well, I loved the comic book as a kid. I still have a lot of them that I bought when I was young. And the main difference is, I mean, Jack Russell in that comic run was an 18-year-old kid from Malibu, really rich, had tons of money, and seemed to stumble across… he would always forget, for some reason, that there was a full moon tonight. He’d always be like, ‘Aw man!’ … I though, ’Even in the ’70s, you’d have almanacs, you’d remember there was a full moon, c’mon.’ But you know, I think I wanted someone in this role that felt like they had lived a life… I love the idea that this character has been around a long time. And even in the name, Jack Russell, Gael and I would have these discussions about the name and… it was Gael that was like… I said, ‘How do you feel about that name?’ And he goes, ‘This is just one of many names that I have had over the many, many years I have been alive.’ You can imagine someone who has kept moving from city to city, from place to place."
The veteran composer then revealed that "it felt right" to bring Jack Russell's story into the modern age:
"So making these small adjustments– Well, that’s a pretty big adjustment. In the story, it felt right, to me, to bring it into the modern age. And Marvel was really fantastic and really supportive about all of those changes as well.”
In a separate interview with Collider, Giacchino expanded on Werewolf by Night's place in the MCU timeline, noting that he never really had a discussion on how it exactly fits with other projects.
Instead, the one they all agreed on is that "it takes place within" the MCU:
“We never had that discussion. We never talked about what this meant for past, present, or future within the Marvel Universe. The one thing we all agreed on is it takes place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yes, it’s in there. We never say when, how or why. That was a big choice that we just said... I felt like they have done so brilliantly this whole interweaving connecting world between all of these characters over the past how many years. And I didn’t know how to improve upon that. I didn’t know how to make that better or bring something new to that.”
Will Werewolf by Night Show Up in Phase 5?
Many would agree that it's surprising that the events of Werewolf By Night take place in the modern-day MCU, especially after the 1930s vibe from its trailer. Despite that, this confirmation actually benefits the main protagonists of the Halloween special since it allows them to show up alongside other MCU heroes in the near future.
Although Disney confirmed that it is set after Thor: Love and Thunder, Michael Giacchino's comments suggest that the exact time when Werewolf by Night happens is not really revealed. In a way, this makes sense, considering the off-the-grid nature of how monsters operate.
Doing this allows the MCU to create a surprising comeback for the characters whenever the franchise decides to incorporate the likes of Jack Russell and Elsa Bloodstone in a future project.
It's possible that an encounter with Oscar Isaac's Marc Spector could be in the cards, potentially in Moon Knight Season 2. Another way for these characters to return is through an appearance alongside Mahershala Ali's Blade.
Given that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige already teased that the MCU has a monster-heavy future, it's safe to say that Russell and the others are here to stay.
Werewolf By Night is now streaming on Disney+.