One Werewolf By Night Monster Slayer Is A Muppets Regular

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is filled with interesting characters. There are aliens, gods, secret agents, mutants, wizards, Hulks, and plenty more. But now thanks to "Werewolf By Night" on Disney+, True Believers can take a journey into fear with some classic monsters of myths, legends, and classic cinema.

However, the slain beasts that adorn the walls of Castle Bloodstone aren't the only fascinating creatures found in the new Marvel Studios Special Presentation. The people that gather to commemorate the death of famed monster hunter Ulysses Bloodstone and participate in the ceremonial hunt to crown a new leader of their guild are plenty unique in their own right. 

For instance, Gael Garcia Bernal plays Jack Russell, a well-respected hunter with hundreds of kills under his belt and a well-guarded secret. There's also Laura Donnelly as Elsa Bloodstone, the prodigal daughter who returns after decades away from her family in order to claim her birthright: a powerful relic passed down through generations. And then there's Jovan, a jolly giant with a Scottish brogue and a burly beard that will not hesitate to chop down anyone or anything standing in his way.

But as cool as Jovan may be in the special directed by acclaimed composer Michael Giacchino, the actor behind the character has had a career that's far more captivating than Jovan's body count.

The many lives of Kirk R. Thatcher

While watching "Werewolf By Night," you might have thought that Jovan looked familiar. If you're like many modern viewers, you also might have gone to IMDB immediately to figure out where you know him from. Long-time "Star Trek" fan will probably go, "OH! That guy!" because you might recognize Kirk Thatcher as the punk on the bus from "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home." The actor also reprised the role in "Star Trek: Picard" and "Spider-Man: Homecoming." Although, if you look through the rest of his filmography, you'd be pleasantly surprised to find that, in addition to the MCU, he's also worked with another beloved troupe under the Disney banner with an emotional green guy as one of its primary players: The Muppets.

Thatcher started working with The Jim Henson Company in 1989 as an associate producer on "The Jim Henson Hour." He went on to fill multiple roles on "Dinosaurs" and the Emmy-winning late night show "Muppets Tonight." His contributions to the Muppets' catalogue would only grow from there as he co-wrote several of their films including "Muppet Treasure Island" and earned his first directing credit in 2002 on the NBC TV movie "It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie." He would then direct "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" and "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa" before spearheading the group's expansion onto YouTube by directing their viral "Bohemian Rhapsody" music video and several other videos that appeared on the Muppets' YouTube channel during the late 2000s and early 2010s.

Additionally, Thatcher directed content for the Muppets' live shows at the Hollywood Bowl and the O2 Arena, as well as six episodes of the Disney+ series "Muppets Now." Most recently, he wrote and directed the 2021 Halloween special "Muppets Haunted Mansion."

Creature features

As if all that weren't enough of a landmark career for this jack of all trades, Thatcher also has extensive experience in special effects, visual effects, and art design. His career began after he left UCLA Film School at 18 to work with George Lucas at Industrial Light and Magic. His first industry job (if you can believe it) was as a technical assistant on the creature crew of "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi." He would go on to do similar work on "Gremlins," "Robocop 2," and the 1985 film "House." And though uncredited, his work would also appear in "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock," and "Poltergeist." Later, he would use his knowledge as a character designer to act as a judge alongside Brian Henson and fabrication specialist Beth Hathaway on the SyFy competition series "Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge" in 2014.

With a career like this, hopefully the 60-year-old publishes a book or starts a podcast whenever he retires because Kirk R. Thatcher has got to have some amazing stories.