Werewolf by Night: Why the new Marvel movie is in black-and-white


Werewolf by Night is Marvel’s new mini-movie, a horror homage that plays out in black-and-white. At the film’s world premiere, director Michael Giacchino explained why he made that creative decision.

Werewolf by Night drops on Disney+ this Friday (October 7) and is based on the classic Marvel horror comic of the same name that debuted way back in 1972.

Dexerto recently saw the film at Fantastic Fest in Texas, loved it, and wrote a review that can be read here.

After the premiere, director Michael Giacchino appeared onscreen to answer questions about the adaptation, including why he decided to make the movie in black-and-white.

Article continues after ad

How the Universal monster movies inspired Werewolf by Night

Giacchino explained that his love for the classic Universal monster movies about Frankenstein, Dracula, and most notably the Wolf-Man are the reason he wanted to make Werewolf by Night, and go some way to explaining why the film is in black-and-white. When you read the official synopsis, you can see how those 1940s films influenced the plot…

On a dark and somber night, a secret cabal of monster hunters emerge from the shadows and gather at the foreboding Bloodstone Temple following the death of their leader.

In a strange and macabre memorial to the leader’s life, the attendees are thrust into a mysterious and deadly competition for a powerful relic – a hunt that will ultimately bring them face-to-face with a dangerous monster.

Article continues after ad

Why Werewolf by Night is in black-and-white

Giacchino then elaborated, revealing that the film was also shot in color so that Marvel boss Kevin Feige could watch both versions.

“From the very beginning I was hoping we could do that” Giacchino explained of his plans for the black-and-white cut. “We didn’t know if we were going to be allowed to do that while we were making it, so we had a separate monitor that was only showing black-and-white so we could check how it would look. Our DP Zoe White – who’s incredible – she and I both definitely wanted this to be in black-and-white.

“The first couple of cuts that we put together were in color, and then maybe the third cut we screened in black-and-white with Kevin [Feige], and I remember when it was over Kevin turned to me, looked at me, and said ‘I think we have to release this in black-and-white, don’t we?’ And I was like ‘Yeah, we absolutely do.’

Article continues after ad

“So it was one of those stylistic things that I think everyone got onboard, as soon as they saw it, and it felt like the right thing to do for the spirit of the story we were telling.”

Werewolf by Night streams on Disney+ from this Friday, October 7, while if you want to read about An American Werewolf in London’s influence on the movie, head here.