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We Talk To Werewolf By Night Director Michael Giacchino About Practical Effects & What Attracted Him To The Project

Werewolf By Night is set to be the first-ever Marvel Studios Special Presentation film to premiere on Disney+ Hotstar Malaysia on 7 October 2022.

The synopsis reads:

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.?Inspired by horror films of the 1930s and 1940s, the chilling special aims to evoke a sense of dread and the macabre, with plenty of suspense and scares along the way as we explore a new corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Courtesy of Disney+ Hotstar, we were given the opportunity to interview Werewolf By Night director and music composer Michael Giacchino. This is his first feature as a director after 2018 short film Monster Challenge and Star Trek Short Treks episode “Ephraim And Dot”. He is best known for composing music in many films, including The Batman, Spider-Man No Way Home, Doctor Strange, Rogue One A Star Wars Story, Star Trek and more.

This interview has been edited for clarity. Stay tuned for the video version of this interview and the review of the series.

What attracted you to direct Werewolf By Night as your full feature?

Michael Giacchino: For me, it was a no-brainer, because I love monster movies. Always have, always will, grew up on them. My brother and I would religiously sit in front of the television set every single Saturday and watch every monster movie we could. Between Vincent Price, between Godzilla, between The Wolfman, The Mummy, all those things. Whatever it was, we didn’t care, we watched it.

What I think I love most about those films is that they showcased characters that had real, serious problems and issues that they were struggling with. None of these characters wanted to be a wolfman, none of them wanted to be someone who turns into a vampire or some monster that crushes a city. That’s not what they want, it’s what they are. And they’re being told by the world that that thing that they are is bad, is wrong, so the world turns on them and wants to kill them.

I always felt so badly for these characters. I felt like no, these are essentially people with problems that are trying to solve them and we should help them, you know. I always wanted to help these monsters. So, there’s an exploration of humanity and empathy that I was really attracted to in the telling of a monster movie.

The design for Werewolf By Night looks great. Was it all achieved mostly through practical effects and makeup?

Michael Giacchino: Yeah, yeah, everything we did, we tried to do practically. As much as we could, we did. All the sets were real, were there, so it was not done on a volume, it was not done with a lot of blue screen or green screen. They were there on set no matter what and I thought that was very important especially for a film like this, for the actors to be able to come on to set and feel comfortable in their environment, you know.

And if there was a monster in a particular scene, we were going to put a monster in a particular scene. It’s not to say that it’s without visual effects, it does have some, and it has some very good ones. In terms of the way these things go, I like them because they’re what I call invisible effects. You almost don’t even notice them in that way, so as much as we could do practically, we absolutely did and our brilliant visual effects supervisor, Joe Ferrel, took care of the rest for us. But it was really fun to try a lot of these old-school techniques, and we tried everything we could.

I was surprised to see Man-Thing being revealed in the trailers. Were there ever any plans to include any other cameos or easter eggs?

Michael Giacchino: No, not really. I mean, when you’re developing a story, you come up with all kinds of crazy things, but in the end, it boils down to what’s important and what works for the story. Never, never, never did I want to make a choice to include something just because it would make fans go crazy, you know. That’s not what I’m into.

I wanted to make sure that the story that we wanted to tell is being told and not being distracted by something that really doesn’t have anything to do with this. So, what’s in there is only what it needs, and that was always for me, kind of, the guiding rule for everything.

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