Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino (“The Batman”) is making the leap to the director’s chair. Giacchino will make his feature directorial debut on Marvel Studios’ yet-untitled Halloween special.
Golden Globe-winning Mexican actor Gael García Bernal set to lead the cast of the werewolf-focused show that will air on Disney+.
Production on the Halloween special is set to begin later this month.
Giacchino previously directed the 2018 short film “Monster Challenge” and an episode of the animated series “Star Trek: Short Treks,” but the Marvel film will mark his feature debut.
While details about the project are being kept strictly under wraps, individuals with knowledge say the character may be based on “Werewolf by Night,” the name used by two separate Marvel characters.
The first, Jack Russell, was created by Gerry Conway and Mike Ploog, based on concepts by Stan Lee and Roy Thomas, and first appeared in a 1972 issue of “Marvel Spotlight.” Russell starred on an ongoing “Werewolf by Night” series that ran for 43 issues and ended in 1977.
Russell is a descendant of the mystically-altered offshoot of humans known as Lycanthropes, who eventually becomes capable of transforming on his own volition even without a full moon, and retaining his intellect while transformed. Among other things, that series is notable for having the first appearance of Moon Knight, a character whose own Disney+ series, starring Oscar Isaac, will stream in 2022.
Marvel introduced a second incarnation of the character, Jake Gomez, last year in “Werewolf by Night” (Vol. 3) #1. Created by the writing team of Taboo, Benjamin Jackendoff and Scot Eaton, Gomez, a member of the Hopi Native American tribe whose family has been cursed with lycanthropy, comes in conflict with a nefarious pharmaceutical company exploiting members of the tribe.
It’s not clear which, if either, version of “Werewolf by Night” will serve as inspiration for the TV special.
With the introduction of Disney+, Marvel Studios is able to explore different narratives and storytelling on the streaming platform. Shows such as “Wandavision” (which had a Halloween themed episode), “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “Loki” launched to great success on the platform. Marvel Studios most recently ventured into animation with “What If?” which recently aired its first season. “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” most recently wrapped and will premiere during the 2022 holiday season.
Giacchino’s credits include some of the most popular and acclaimed film projects in recent history, including “The Incredibles,” “Coco,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Ratatouille,” “Star Trek,” “Jurassic World,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “War for the Planet of the Apes.” Giacchino’s 2009 score for the Pixar hit “Up” earned him an Oscar, a Golden Globe, the BAFTA, the Broadcast Film Critics’ Choice Award and two Grammy Awards. His upcoming film projects include “Jurassic World: Dominion,” “Lightyear” and “Thor: Love and Thunder,” and his work was most recently heard in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “The Batman,” which is currently playing in theaters.
Michael Giacchino is repped by The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency.
Daniel Richtman first reported the news.