Werewolf by Night director Michael Giacchino explains why he made a very specific creative decision for the movie’s ending – so beware of spoilers ahead.
Werewolf by Night is now streaming on Disney+. The horror mini-movie is based on a classic Marvel comic, and while it has a vaguely contemporary setting, inspiration comes from the classic Universal monster movies.
Gael Garcia Bernal stars as Jack Russell, who competes against a band of monster hunters to win the fabled Bloodstone by taking down the terrifying creature the gem is affixed to.
What happens at the end of Werewolf by Night?
At the end of the monster hunt, Jack Russell helps Man-Thing go free, but not before the villainous Verusa realizes that he is a monster too. She locks Jack up with Elsa Bloodstone, hoping his werewolf form will kill her.
But the pair escape, and with help from Man-Thing, take down Verusa and her henchmen. Jack and Man-Thing go free, while Elsa is now keeper of the Bloodstone, making her the new leader in the crusade against monsters.
The black-and-white film then shifts to color, with the jacket Elsa is wearing revealed to be bright red. The film ends with color Jack and color Man-Thing having hang time in a forest – but why this climactic visual flourish?
Director Michael Giacchino explains the color climax
After the film’s premiere at Fantastic Fest, director Michael Giacchino was asked why the film’s color palette changed so dramatically…
“Because that to me represents a change in the dynamic of their world,” explained Giacchino.
“Elsa is now in charge, and it felt like she is bringing light to the world that didn’t exist there before. Prior to that, her father had run things with an iron fist, and he was the kind of guy who was like ‘OK, you’re a monster, you should be dead.’ There was no in-between.
“The lesson for Elsa was what we all hope to learn – and we all hope the world learns – is that not everyone is one thing. Everything has layers and depth and humanity and deserves empathy. That to me was a way of saying that it’s a whole new world now, and let’s see what happens after this.”
Werewolf by Night is now streaming on Disney+, which you can subscribe to by heading here.