With Werewolf by Night, Marvel’s continued pushing of the envelope places them in the supernatural horror genre. The production company is given free rein to explore the sensory-rich era of Dracula and Frankenstein. Despite the trope’s success and saturation, Marvel distinguishes itself from Hollywood’s infatuation with scream-inducers by paying homage to the collision and contrast of light and sound in B&W horror films from the 1940s.
Brian Gay, the executive producer of Werewolf by Night, recently stated in an interview with The Direct that both the eponymous character from the upcoming special and Man-Thing will appear in subsequent Marvel Cinematic Universe productions.
The more recognizable cultural creatures that lurk in the shadows are nothing new in the Marvel universe. The superhero genre is particularly fond of vampires, and Marvel explored Blade’s character over ten years before laying the groundwork for the now-canonized film universe. The trilogy that completed the Wesley Snipes film is now being explored for an acclaimed revival starring Mahershala Ali. Another project that had a supernatural theme was Morbius. Brian Gay, the producer of Werewolf by Night, says
“I think one of the very cool things about the special is it’s just peeling back the corner of monsters in the MCU, right? So there are not just the monsters that are part of Werewolf by Night, but the ones that were up on the wall, there’s some of that artwork as well. What all this lends to is the idea that for centuries there have been monsters within the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and they’ve been tracked or hunted or kept at bay by these hunters. And I think, well, we don’t know exactly where they’ll pop up next, the idea is that, with this wide swath of different species and types, they’re going to pop up again. You’re going to see these guys in different ways, of course.”
Gay’s remarks follow quickly on the heels of the mostly favorable initial reviews of Werewolf by Night. Several reviewers praised the black-and-white special for being distinctive from any other MCU film or television program and praised director Michael Giacchino for successfully capturing the atmosphere of vintage horror movies.