Werewolf By Night : what we know about Marvel’s horror TV special

After a long wait, confirmation of the live action of the classic comic book Werewolf By Night. Marvel showed the first trailer for the curious production of the same name, starring Gael García Bernal, at its D23 Expo panel. The film will arrive exclusively on Disney+ on October 7. It is the answer to months of rumors that the studio was working on a puzzling project for the antihero.

The trailer did not disappoint. The first look at Werewolf by Night shows what appears to be a tribute to the old horror films of the 1950s. From the black and white to the aesthetics, akin to German expressionism. The film seems to be a step of considerable interest in the way Marvel approaches the stories in its wide universe. Which includes a novel section of its content under the moniker Marvel Studios’ Special Presentation.

Together with Moon Knight  the production directed by Michael Giacchino, Werewolf by Night will explore the supernatural dimension of “The House of Ideas”. It is expected to be, in addition to a letter of introduction to the character’s origin story, an introduction to the Midnight Sons superhero team. This includes Blade, whose solo movie is part of phase five of the superhero saga and will hit theaters next year.

For now, there are not many details about the plot. Nor about how Marvel will approach a superhero directly related to the horror genre. What is clear is that the feature film will revisit the story of the classic comic book from the 1970s. One of the publisher’s most curious and which may allow the studio to explore unpublished places in its cinematic world.

A dangerous creature in the middle of a disturbing night

Werewolf By Night made his comic book debut in 1971’s Marvel Spotlight #2. Created by Gerry Conway and Mike Ploog, it was a version of the classic werewolf mythos, tied in with the idea of transformation at will. This last detail is of special interest because it completely differentiates it from other legends about similar creatures.

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Warewolf By Night

The antihero has a long history of changing his name, nationality and other details in his fictional biography. The best known includes a curious combination of myth and supernatural beliefs. Jack Russell, the original Werewolf by Night was born in Transylvania as Jacob Russoff and is a descendant of Grigori Russoff. The latter became a creature capable of changing his form to that of a wolf after killing Dracula in the year 1795. Also, in the first bearer of a hereditary curse that condemns his descendants to a fate similar to his own.

Nevertheless, Grigori managed to keep the unexplained physical condition dormant and passed on his way of how to do it to the rest of his descendants. But, finally, Jack’s grandfather unleashed it by using the Darkhold. The dark spell he employed not only caused Grigori’s inherited savage nature to manifest in full force. It also caused each of his descendants to suffer the ravages of the transformation.

Werewolf by Night: a superhero related to darkness

Jack Russell, in the basics, shares the same characteristics as the well-known legend about lycanthropy. Every full moon he transforms into a wild wolf with supernatural abilities.

But, unlike other myths, it retains human lucidity. Also, it should be added, the character possesses extraordinary physical abilities, such as super-strength and agility, even without transforming. With his classic version, he shares a weakness for silver.

In his origin story, Jack travels from Europe to North America with his mother. But, due to a supernatural nature, he ends up persecuted, and his mother killed, by the so-called Criminal Committee. This violent event will unleash the darker side of the character, who seeks revenge. A good part of his initial arc concentrates on Jack’s most brutal and savage aspect. In addition to his struggle against hatred and, finally, his transition to a somber, sometimes unclassifiable hero.
From his solo series, published since 1972, Jack fights villains of mysterious origin and guards the Darkhold. What could link his version live action with the recent events narrated in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness..

A select team of superheroes

In addition to the cinematic novelty of Werewolf by Nightthe film is also an opportunity to introduce a unique team of superheroes. Midnight Sons could be the group that brings together characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe related to the supernatural and mystical worlds.

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In the comic, the members fight the mother of demons, Lilith, and her children, the Lilin. In 1990, it was established that this was an organization apart from the rest of the publisher’s heroes. In fact, it functions with nothing more than the intention of each of its members to join forces in specific situations.

At different times in its history, Midnight Sons had Ghost Rider, Doctor Strange, Moon Knight and Blade as members. In 2009, Werewolf by Night joins the group, according to the story told by Marvel Zombies 4.

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The movie about the peculiar lycanthropic hero could be the essential piece for a project that seems closer and closer. Especially with rumors of a new face in the movies for the character of Johnny Blaze and those of a new season for Moon Knight. Also, a possible third story of the Sorcerer Supreme and the arrival of Blade in 2023. Everything seems to indicate that the more sinister side of Marvel is coming.