Werewolf By Night Director Michael Giacchino Doesn't See The Difference Between Superheroes And Monsters [Exclusive]

When watching Marvel Studios' recently released "Werewolf By Night" special on Disney+, viewers are easily clued into the fact that director Michael Giacchino loves monsters. This is not only obvious on an aesthetic level, but also through characterization. The titular werewolf, Jack Russell (Gael García Bernal), is not wholly defined by his abilities and is primarily framed as a skilled hunter with a heart of gold. Much like Larry Talbot in 1941's "The Wolf Man," his humanity is a bigger focus than his monstrosity. In an interview with /Film's Jack Giroux, Giacchino revealed that this framing was 100% intentional.

"I always felt sorry for these characters and that was the whole approach to this, was to say, 'Yes, monsters exist, but the monsters, in the typical sense of things we need to kill, I don't believe they exist,'" he explained. "I believe they need to be looked at, understood, listened to, and treated as equals."

In a way, so-called monsters such as Jack aren't all that different from the MCU's superheroes. The latter just get more positive attention.

"It was a discussion I wanted to kick the door open on, and just say, 'Okay, that's fine. We all love Captain America. We get it,'" Giacchino said. "But here we have somebody that has these incredibly gifted powers, but they can't control them — or they're powers that cause them to do crazy, wild things. How do we deal with that? What does that mean?"

'Being different is super'

One of the fundamental ideas derived from horror academia is that monsters are almost always a stand-in for some sort of societal woe. According to Paul Wells in his book "The Horror Genre: From Beezlebub to Blair Witch," monsters with some sort of continued grasp on humanity represent how "societies are constantly having to address the things which threaten the maintenance of life and its defining practices." These creatures are viewed as the Other that innocent civilians should run away from.

In the world of the MCU, they have similar abilities as the heroes we see in teams such as the Avengers. However, because they aren't as socially acceptable or easily controllable, they are cast aside or hunted for sport. Jack, in theory, is a capable hunter and could likely take on some baddies, but because his transformation as a werewolf is more deadly and not easily controlled, he is seen as a monster. Ted, also known as Man-Thing, is a mostly-benevolent creature who just wants to live a quiet life, but the abilities he has make that extremely difficult. That doesn't mean they both are not deserving of respect, and what makes them different ultimately gives them power, according to Giacchino.

"Being different is super — that's the greatest thing you can be," he told us. "I want to embrace the different, I want to embrace the new, and I want to embrace the people that have not had the support and have not been embraced by society."