Wrapped in its black-and-white tint and second-rate but engrossing set design, it’s clear that the creators of “Werewolf by Night” made a conscious effort to hearken back to the Universal horror classics of yesteryear. It works effortlessly, of course. Seeing the tables turn on Gael García Bernal’s monster hunter, only for him to retaliate by baring fangs and flipping said table violently, makes for a great and surprising special from Marvel Studios.
For every prominent figure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though, there’s a core comic book story that inspires what ends up on the screen, and co-writers Heather Quinn and Peter Cameron had many “Werewolf by Night” comics to choose from when it came to bringing one of Jack Russell’s stories to life. Still, one tale about our hairy hero stuck out to them more than most, and they locked it down tight to make it to the small screen.
A frightening trip to the fair helped Werewolf by Night come to life
While browsing the back catalog of Jack’s exploits, Heather Quinn spotted a story that stuck out to her and her co-writer (via Collider). The location and its threatening host may have differed from the Marvel Studios Special Presentation we got, but there’s no denying that the bare bones of “Werewolf by Night” howls with echoes of Jack’s memorable trip to the fair.
“There [were] two that sort of haunted us, which was, oh goodness, what are they? The first one was Carnival of Fear. They’re both from around the same time,” Quinn explained. “Carnival of Fear is basically about Jack getting captured by this kind of magic man who works at a circus and throwing him in a cage and transforming him in front of people, charging people money to watch him get transformed as part of a freak show.” You can certainly pick up the scent of the aforementioned story arc, with Jack forced to display his true nature … and nature taking over.
The result was commendable, with “Werewolf by Night” being critically met with an overly positive reception. How that affects Jack’s future is unknown, but wherever he ends up, we sure hope it’s not a fairground.