Marvel fans are in for a real treat (not trick) this spooky season as Disney Plus is dropping the MCU’s very first Halloween special this October. While we’re still waiting on Blade to get here, Werewolf by Night is due to jump the gun and introduce audiences to the horror side of the Marvel universe for the first time. Described as a “special presentation,” which we think means it’ll be somewhere between a TV special and a movie, WbN promises to be a winningly kitschy thrillride.
As well as the titular anti-hero, the special will also feature a bunch of other characters pulled from Marvel’s horror comics. The trailer — as debuted at D23 — kept most of its secrets close to its chest, but it did leave fans howling at the moon with excitement by slipping in some brief first glimpses at a number of underrated figures from the comic books that we can’t wait to see realized in live-action.
There might be still more surprises to come (could Mahershala Ali pop up for a cameo?), but here’s every Marvel horror character confirmed for Werewolf by Night to date.
Werewolf by Night
Yes, obviously, Werewolf by Night revolves around the eponymous lycanthropic character himself. Also known as Jack Russell (see what they did there?), Werewolf by Night is very much Marvel’s equivalent of Universal’s the Wolfman. The latest recipient of an ancient family curse, Russell — real name Jacob Russoff — differs from most werewolves in that, in addition to transforming involuntarily around the full moon, he can also voluntarily trigger his transformation on other nights.
Gael Garcia Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle) is set to bring the character to life for the first time in the upcoming special. It’s unclear where the Werewolf could go from here, but a team-up with other supernatural heroes like Blade and Moon Knight seems a good bet. The Legion of Monsters is a possibility, although Midnight Sons might be a more likely option.
As the trailer teases, the premise of Werewolf by Night involves a group of monster hunters gathering at the Bloodstone Temple on a dark and stormy night — when else? — in the wake of the death of their leader, Ulysses Bloodstone. Although, by the looks of it, Bloodstone is more undead than dead as his corpse is shown to be conversing with his mourners from his coffin. The actor playing Bloodstone is unknown at this stage.
In the comics, Ulysses Bloodstone was once a caveman who become immortal after an extraterrestrial gem known as the Bloodstone lodged itself in his chest. It’s unclear if this backstory will be upheld for the MCU, although obviously something is supernaturally prolonging his life beyond its natural endpoint.
From one Bloodstone to another. One of the monster hunters gathered at Bloodstone Temple glimpsed in the trailer is played by Laura Donnelly (The Nevers). At one point, we see her cowering in fear from what looks to be the shadow of Werewolf by Night. Although, if Donnelly’s character is anything like her comics counterpart, she’ll be able to handle herself.
Donnelly is playing an aged-up Elsa Bloodstone, daughter of Ulysses. Typically portrayed as a teenager or young adult, Elsa is often called Marvel’s answer to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Elsa inherited her father’s immortality and his superhuman reflexes and strength, thanks to the fragment of the Bloodstone that she usually wears via a choker. Elsa is another character who could have a big impact on the MCU moving forward.
The character cameo that really made fans lose it in the Werewolf by Night trailer, though, was the tease that Man-Thing was a-coming. Marvel experts will know that the swamp monster — often compared to DC’s Swamp Thing, although he actually debuted on the page a month earlier — was previously brought to life in the little-remembered 2005 Man-Thing movie.
Ted Sallis was a brilliant biochemist working to recreate Captain America’s Super-Soldier serum when his laboratory in the Everglades was besieged by A.I.M. thugs. Hoping to save himself, Sallis injected himself with the formula and fell in the swamp, being reborn as the monstrous Man-Thing.
Interestingly, Man-Thing has served as the guardian of the Nexus of All Realities in the comics, so he may prove to be of importance to the overall Multiverse Saga.
Werewolf by Night claws its way onto Disney Plus on Oct. 7.