Marvel’s Werewolf by Night Halloween special: All you need to know

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 19: Gael García Bernal attends the "Old" New York Premiere at Jazz at Lincoln Center on July 19, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 19: Gael García Bernal attends the "Old" New York Premiere at Jazz at Lincoln Center on July 19, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images) /

Gael García Bernal is reportedly set to be the lead in a werewolf-focused Halloween Special believed to be Werewolf by Night.

As revealed by The Wrap, Golden Globe-winning actor Gael García Bernal will play the lead in Marvel Studios’ untitled Halloween Special for Disney Plus.

Details of this project are still pretty scarce, but insiders believe that the character may be based on the Marvel Comics character Werewolf by Night.

Now, that name might spawn a little confusion as it’s a name synonymous with two different characters – Jack Russell and Jake Gomez.

But what do we know about this mystery project, its concept and its possible main character?

Who and what is Werewolf by Night?

Via concepts by Stan Lee and Roy Thomas, the Jack Russell iteration of Werewolf by Night was created by Gerry Conway, Jeanie Thomas and Mike Ploog. Russell first appeared in Marvel Spotlight No.2 in 1972. After that was successful, he became a regular character by headlining the series Werewolf by Night that ended in 1977 after 43 issues.

Russell, since birth, is cursed to be an enchanted Lycanthrope – a creature capable of shape-shifting from a human being into a wolf-like creature (i.e. werewolf), eventually without the aid of a full moon and retaining full use of their mental faculties whilst in this form. Raised in Los Angeles with his sister, Lissa, he first became a werewolf at 18 and discovered his stepfather Philip Russell (legally changed from Philip Russoff) was actually his biological uncle.

Blaming his uncle for the curse, Jack struggled with his changes into a werewolf during a full moon, though despite them, Jack was mostly reliable in taking precautions. That said, there were several casualties. Jack at some point encountered “The Three Who Are All” of whom allowed him to change from man to beast at will.

The Second and current Werewolf

Another version of Werewolf by Night is Jake Gomez who first appeared last year. Unlike Russell, the second incarnation, who’s part of a Hopi Native-American tribe, is capable of transforming without the use of a full moon right from the beginning of his werewolf journey, but he lacks control.

Inheriting the curse from his family, Gomez came into contact with a sinister pharmaceutical company who were exploiting members of the tribe.

With two rich characters to work with, it is not yet clear which version – if any – García Bernal will be portraying.

Is Werewolf by Night in Moon Knight?

Werewolf by Night shared quite a history with Moon Knight at Marvel. In fact, the latter character first appeared in the beast’s very own series during the mid-70s. Moon Knight’s first major role was to capture Russell for the secret organization known as the Committee, but when he learned of their intentions to make Lissa into a werewolf, the unlikely duo took down the nefarious group.

Now there has been speculation that the character could appear in the upcoming Moon Knight series before going on to headline his own (whether that is the confirmed Halloween special or not remains to be seen). Since Werewolf by Night shares a supernatural element and was the Fist of Khonshu’s first target, it would make sense.

Now, whether or not he could appear is debatable as filming wrapped before García Bernal was cast so any kind of substantial role is unlikely, although a short cameo may not be quite off the table.

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What are your thoughts on Gael García Bernal potentially being Werewolf by Night? Are you looking forward to the Halloween Special? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!