Disney surprised Marvel fans at the recent D23 expo with the first trailer for Werewolf by Night, an upcoming horror comedy special coming to the streamer just in time for Halloween. The campy comics adaptation serves as the directorial debut of renowned music composer, and Disney darling, Michael Giacchino known for his incredible scores for films like Disney’s Up, Coco, The Incredibles, Rogue: One a Star Wars Story, and LOST, to name a few.
Gael García Bernal stars as the titular werewolf also known as Jack Russell who must keep his supernatural identity a secret as he gathers with a group of other monster hunters challenged to find the imposter among them — and make it through the night alive. In addition to Bernal the special stars Laura Donnelly as Elsa Bloodstone aka Jack’s counterpart the Vampire by Night, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It‘s Eugenie Bondurant, Addams Family Values alum Harriet Sansom Harris, special effects legend Kirk Thatcher, Leonardo Nam and Al Hamacher. Giacchino directs from a teleplay written by Peter Cameron and Heather Quinn who also holds a story by credit for the project.
Not a lot about the plot of the Halloween special has been revealed outside of the delightfully horrific trailer. It’ll be exciting to find out exactly how this story fits into the MCU. The most logical connection can be derived from the comics as Jack is a longtime rival of Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac) who received his own MCU debut earlier this year with the hit series Moon Knight. We are still a couple of weeks away from Werewolf by Night‘s Disney+ release date on October 7, but if the trailer released earlier this month is any indication, the special is going to be a campy and highly stylized thrill ride through classic horror and monster hunting with a distinctly Marvel twist.
But what are critics saying about Marvel’s newest holiday special? Does Giacchino’s directorial debut pull its own weight in the MCU? How does Bernal’s performance do his comics counterpart justice? Does the special reveal any connections to Moon Knight or the other MCU series’ released on Disney+? How does the special fit into the MCU as a whole? Check out the first reactions to Werewolf by Night down below.
Here’s what Collider’s own Steve Weintraub and Perri Nemiroff had to say:
Some critics are already calling Werewolf by Night their favorite show from the Disney+ Marvel offerings, and several are calling it a breath of fresh air.
Many have high praise for Giacchino’s highly stylized first outing as a director, saying the look and feel of the tv special is a fantastic tribute to monster movies.
Along with the praise for Giacchino, critics are calling Bernal and Donnelly a welcome addition to the MCU.
Werewolf by Night also packs a punch both literally and comically according to those who saw it at Fantastic Fest’s surprise screening.
Werewolf by Night hits Disney+ on October 7. Until then you can check out the trailer for the special down below.