Marvel's Werewolf By Night Is In The MCU But Didn't Have To Worry About Larger Continuity [Exclusive]

Ever since it was first announced, Marvel's "Werewolf By Night" has always been a bit of a wildcard. News of the project broke last year when Marvel revealed the project would be... a Halloween special? With celebrated composer Michael Giacchino is directing? That left more questions than answers, but when the trailer for the special finally dropped earlier this month, it was immediately clear that this is truly a Marvel entry unlike any other.

The black-and-white, 53-minute-long love letter to classic monster movies is a far cry from the fairly standard house style that Marvel has become known for over the years. "Werewolf By Night" looks stylish and spooky, and according to the review by /Film's Chris Evangelista, it utilizes practical creature design and retro cigarette burn transitions, among other things, to create a "quick, violent, funny monster movie homage" that's "perfect for Halloween."

With all of its originality, it makes sense that the place "Werewolf By Night" holds in the Marvel Cinematic Universe might seem somewhat unclear based on trailers. But according to Giacchino, who spoke with /Film's Ryan Scott after the special's surprise debut at Fantastic Fest, the story is definitely a part of the MCU. It's just not really a part we have to think too hard about. Giacchino explained:

"We always looked at it as a night in the life of Jack and Elsa, and we never shied away from the fact that, okay, yes, this exists in the MCU. Somewhere else in the world at this very moment, Spider-Man is swinging on something, and Captain America's doing something, but we're not going to bother with that. We're just worried about this moment right here, wherever we are." 

The filmmaker points out that the special never actually says where it is within the world of the Avengers, but that "it's within the realm of the MCU, for sure."

Should we expect more MCU monster stories?

Giacchino also reveals that "Werewolf by Night" wasn't necessarily planned as a special. He says there was never any mandate about the program's length, but it sounds like some brainstorming eventually led to the one-off special format. "It was always just like, well, what do you think if we did this? Or what would this be? How about this?," Giacchino shares. "And [Marvel President Kevin Feige] said, one day to me, he goes, 'Why don't we make it a special? And let's see what happens. We make it a special.'" The composer-turned-filmmaker says he was game for the idea, and compared the structure to that of Rod Serling's influential genre series "The Twilight Zone," pointing out how that show delivered "a self-contained story in under an hour."

As for whether or not there could be more "Werewolf by Night" in the future, that seems to be up in the air. While Giacchino reveals that the special format "absolves us from having to do too much of an origin story and too much of what happens after," he does seem to leave the door open for future monster-driven MCU installments. "We'll see where we go from here," he says of the story's place in the MCU. "Who knows?" Producer Brian Gay also kept an air of mystery around the MCU monsters' future in an interview with The Direct, saying, "we don't know exactly where they'll pop up next" but confirming that this special won't be the last of them.

"Werewolf by Night" hits Disney+ on October 7, 2022.