6 Thoughts on Werewolf By Night
Who would have thought we’d ever have a quality Werewolf By Night project from the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Definitely not me! I am an avowed Marvel Zombie through and through, but I have never cared about Werewolf By Night. I don’t know too much about the property, but isn’t the dude just a werewolf riding on the craze from the 1970s? Does he not matter at all? Shows what I know!
Special Presentation Rating: 9/10 – Great
Werewolf By Night was such a great little project from Marvel Studios. I had no idea what to expect, but that first trailer a month ago really set the tone, and then the show itself captured that tone perfectly. Like everyone else on the internet, I want Marvel to do more. I want more projects from this circle of characters, and I want more projects like this, with a real artistic vision. It’s a fun Halloween special and a fun addition to the MCU.
Join me after the jump for my review and thoughts on Werewolf By Night. Expect FULL SPOILERS. And feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments down below!
6. Pitch Perfect
Werewolf By Night is a pitch perfect adaptation of a specific vision. Obviously none of us are in director and composer Michael Giancchino’s head. But I have to imagine he’s happy with how Werewolf By Night turned out. I’m no expert on classic 1930s monster movies, but Werewolf By Night matched how I understand it perfectly! The black and white, the lighting, the cinematography, the film grain, the cigarette burns, the tone; this thing is such a perfectly executed love letter. I’m impressed at how cleanly it was pulled off, and I really do hope Giancchino and his collaborators are pleased. They did a wonderful job capturing the look and feel of exactly what they were going for.
5. Proof of Marvel Studios’ artistic drive
Allow me to pontificate like only a fanboy can for a moment. So there’s this big debate out there about artistic drive and monetary drive. Are the executives at Disney and Marvel Studios only doing things to make money? Or is there actual artistic drive at work somewhere? Personally, being an artist myself, I definitely believe that real artists are at work on a lot of Marvel Studios projects. And I think Werewolf By Night is a perfect example of Marvel Studios doing things for the art instead of the dollar.
Think about it: Why even make Werewolf By Night the way it was made? As an hour-long “special presentation” on Disney+? Why not make it a feature length film and put it in theaters to make money? And then it’s not like Marvel was hurting for more Disney+ content. Some people have said they have too many Marvel shows on the streaming service. And it’s not like this specific property is going to greatly drive up new subscriber numbers. Nobody is suddenly playing the money for Disney+ just to watch Werewolf By Night.
So I think this is a pretty solid example of making art for art’s sake. Giacchino has established a very good working relationship with Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios. He comes up with this great idea for his directorial debut, which he’s apparently always wanted to do. Surprises Feige with his interest in such an obscure character. And Feige and Disney give him the greenlight to make this weird and awesome little production with his specifically weird vision. And we’re all the better for it.
4. Give Blade movie to Giacchino
I don’t give much attention to behind-the-scenes drama when things are in pre-production, but apparently the gossip columns have been saying that the new Blade reboot has had some troubles. And that they need a new director or script? Well…uh…how about give everything to Giacchino? The man clearly has vision. He clearly has a love of the monster side of the MCU. I’m not saying make Blade like a classic 1930s Dracula movie. But I know I’m not the only one now wondering with a Giacchino-directed and scored Blade movie would look like.
3. Werewolf and Man-Thing effects were great
Enough praise for the director, how about the actors and the effects? I thought Gail Garcia Bernal was very charming as Jack, the titular werewolf. He was very calm, very personable and did a great job once he was in all those prosthetics — which were also perfect, in my opinion. Some people might have expected a big, CGI werewolf, but I thought going with the classic 1930s makeup look was the better choice. Great design. And then we had Man-Thing! Honest to goodness, full CGI and all his glory, Man-Thing! That’s pretty insane. The black and white helped, but even that color bit at the end looked really good. The two main monsters looked fantastic and really helped elevate this project as a whole.
2. Laura Donnelly needs a franchise
Laura Donnelly is really cool. She had a supporting role in Outlander. Then she had a lead role in The Nevers, which crashed and burned thanks to Joss Whedon being a scumbag. She needs an opportunity to really shine and grow. She’s great as Elsa Bloodstone, and I’d love for her to show up in more Marvel stuff in order to be awesome. In fact…
1. I want to see all these characters again!
Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Jack, Man-Thing and Elsa Bloodstone. They were all super fun and very well-acted. They are all welcome additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. I’m not saying they should be Avengers, but maybe future Thunderbolts? Maybe Marvel does make a Midnight Sons movie or special presentation someday? Maybe some cameo appearances in that Blade movie? A whole batch of fun new characters have been added to the MCU and they should definitely show up again somewhere else, sooner rather than later.