Laura Donnelly Would Return For A Werewolf By Night Sequel

"Werewolf by Night" is a real departure from the previous Marvel Cinematic Universe projects. Released as "A Marvel Studios Special Presentation," the short and sweet 52-minute feature felt like a blast from the past. First-time director and acclaimed composer Michael Giacchino crafts a comic book story that feels like a love letter to the Universal Monster pictures of old. From the black and white cinematography to the "cigarette burns" on the "print" of the film, the project's aesthetic has everything you'd expect from a horror film. While it's definitely a lot more restrained than typical horror projects, there is still plenty of bloody violence that the MCU hasn't seen before. At the center of it is Elsa Bloodstone, played excellently by Laura Donnelly.

Elsa's character is the "final girl" of "Werewolf by Night," a capable hunter ostracized by the monster hunting community and her own family. Donnelly brought a snarky but charming attitude to her character, serving as a great co-lead alongside Gael García Bernal's character, Jack Russell. The Marvel Studios special ended like most stories in the MCU — with the characters in a position to carry their stories into other projects. 

As much as "Werewolf by Night" felt like a separate stand-alone project compared to the rest of Phase 4, it's still part of the greater MCU, meaning that there's always a chance for a sequel or an appearance in another project for a character like Elsa Bloodstone.

'I wasn't beholden to the character from the comics'

In an interview with The Wrap, Laura Donnelly talked about her approach to bringing a comic book character to life and the freedom she found in not being tied down by either the deep lore of the comics or the greater MCU. "It was just the mixture of bringing in what I learned about her and trying to make that seep in there in any way I could," she explained. "But it was lovely just to be able to treat this as exactly what it was, which was just a one-off stand-alone thing where we weren't beholden to everything else. I wasn't beholden to the character from the comics, and we didn't have to connect everything up to the rest of the MCU. It felt like we were making a Halloween movie, exactly what Michael [Giacchino] had pitched to me."

It certainly feels rare this far into the MCU to have a project so isolated from the larger "Multiverse Saga" (as far as we know). "Werewolf by Night" introduces genuine monsters in the MCU, with characters like Man-Thing making a brief appearance. It's a darker and weirder corner of the MCU, but a welcome one. It's also a world that Donnelly would jump at the chance to return to, feeling like the special was just an entry point for Elsa:

"The thing that I love about this particular story for Elsa is that we get such a sense that we're only at the beginning of something for her; she's not introduced as the character that we know from the comics. It's her pre-that, or maybe she has been that, and something has happened — we don't know. And so it does feel like it's only this little taster of many, many layers that are there underneath and a huge backstory."

Always an opportunity for a continuation

In the comics, Elsa Bloodstone has deep ties to the magical world of the Marvel Universe. As a monster hunter, Elsa has recently crossed paths with characters such as Deadpool and Doctor Strange. As for the MCU, Donnelly would like to see Elsa team up with Jack Russell again in some capacity:

"Any opportunity to explore [a follow-up], I would leap at, and I would also love to explore that relationship between Elsa and Jack as well. That's just one that is just touched on, and you see the beginning of something blossoming, and we don't know what that is. And I love working with Gael [García Bernal]. I would be very, very happy to — just call me."

"Werewolf by Night" was aesthetically and thematically a departure from anything in the MCU at that point. However, there will always be a chance for a continuation if there's a Marvel Studios logo before the project. If Marvel Studios' creative teams continue experimenting with genres and various forms of storytelling similar to "Werewolf by Night," then the MCU shouldn't have a problem keeping things fresh and exciting. That's especially the case if you have talent like Laura Donnelly ready to jump back into her monster-hunting gear.