Werewolf By Night is a project that was the world’s worst kept secret…until two weeks ago at D23. After the project was finally officially announced and given the October 7 release date, fans started getting eagerly excited after the overwhelmingly positive response to the trailer. Well, not only did I get to see Werewolf By Night early, but I also had the absolute honor of speaking to someone I am a massive fan of, Oscar winning and Grammy winning composer Michael Giacchino. While Giacchino has made his mark in the music industry and will go down as one of the greatest film composers of all time, it looks like he could start to make his mark in the directing business. Werewolf By Night is Giacchino’s first major foray into directing after he directed his own short film Monster Challenge and an episode of Star Trek: Short Treks. I got to geek out with Giacchino over Mondo and he gave me some very in depth answers on the process of Werewolf By Night along with commenting on a heavily rumored cameo in the project. Read more below!
BSL: Before we start, I just wanna say that I’m a real big fan of yours. I have a lot of your music (proceeds to show my copies of The Batman, Rogue One and No Way Home)
M.G: Woah! Look at that.
BSL: Yeah, Mondo’s made me spend a lot of money on your stuff.
M.G: Yeah, Mondo tends to do that. Even with me, they make a lot of things that I end up getting too and I’m like “guys, stop!”
BSL: They’re great. But I just want to say that I’ve loved your music for years. You made me cry during Up, I love Ratatouille and all your stuff so I just wanted to say thank you and thank you for Werewolf By Night. It’s awesome and I loved it.
M.G: Thank you!
BSL: Alright, I don’t have that much time so I want to get to some questions in.
M.G: Yup, lets go!
BSL: Alright. So, my understanding is that you’ve been involved with this project since at least the end of last year and you signed on around February-March of this year. What was it like keeping this a secret for so long and filming, scoring, editing, etc. [Werewolf By Night] without it being announced until a couple weeks ago.
M.G: Yeah, it’s been about a two year process, you know, working on this. We were supposed to film it much earlier then the pandemic happened and everything got pushed and paused and all this but, we still continued working on it through that time. You know, just on the story itself. It was one of those things, where, you know, I don’t know, about four years ago, I was talking to Kevin Feige. He was like “so if you wanted to direct something, what would you want to do?” and I was like “I want to do Werewolf By Night, that’s what I want to do” and you looked at me like “Wait, what really?” and I was like “Yes, yes!”. I was like “It’s an entire corner of the Marvel Universe that no one has even looked at” and it was one of my favorite corners of the Marvel Universe. Their whole horror area, to me, I loved as a kid. You know, the Dracula comics, the Frankenstein comics, the Werewolf By Night comics. I still have a lot of them from when I was a kid that I collected. So I always loved them and I love them because the characters were so empathetic. You know, if you read Man-Thing, if you read Dracula, if you read, especially Frankenstein. If you read Frankenstein’s monster, that one is so empathetic. It’s always about this character struggling to find out who he is, why he is, all of that. I just, I love that approach. It’s not just some creature smashing through a door, messing things up and killing people. It’s actually about some issue or some problem they have that causes them to do that and it’s that issue and that’s the problem that I was always attracted to understanding what that was about. So, you know, that’s the fun of it for me. That is the absolute fun of it for me, is just sort of exploring the empathy and the humanity in these characters. Where other films and other stories tend to just exploit the fact that they’re terrible, different, ugly, blah blah blah. And that’s everything that is wrong with our world is the way we look at things and I want to look at things differently so that’s what we tried to do.
BSL: Wow, that was a really good answer. Last question since I’m almost out of time. There were rumors that Mahershala Ali was supposed to appear in Werewolf By Night as Blade but was cut due to scheduling conflicts. Is there anything you can say about this?
M.G: You know what, rumours are insanely inaccurate I would say…99.9% of the time. The thing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is everyone thinks that every single thing is going to be connected. EVERY single thing. And it doesn’t mean that we’re not connected. But, I didn’t feel the need to blatantly say we were. You know, every other show has done that and they’ve done it brilliantly and I thought “you know what?”, when I was a kid, I would pull a comic off the shelf and this particular Werewolf By Night issue had nothing to do with anything else in the Marvel Universe. What’s wrong with that? That’s okay! You know, they can all live together but we don’t need to always show them together. You know, let’s have a moment where we’re dealing with this. One of the shows that was a huge influence for me growing up was The Twilight Zone and what I loved about it was each one was its own thing and each story was something that you had to think about for days afterwards and I said “Let’s do that! Let’s just worry about this”. You know, in the future, who knows? We’ll see where the characters go, we’ll see where we take them but for now, let’s just worry about this one thing right here.
BSL: Alright, well, I’m out of time so I just wanted to say again, thank you SO much for taking the time to talk with me. I wish I had more time. I’ve got like 10 questions written out in front of me. Again, huge fan of your stuff and I hope I get to talk to you again soon for another project soon but again, thank you so much.
M.G: Absolutely! It was great to meet you. If I ever see you I’ll sign those records!
BSL: I’ll take you up on that. Alright, have a good one!
M.G: Take care.
I could talk to Michael Giacchino all day. The guy clearly has passion for what he does and it’s evident how much the character of Werewolf By Night means to him. He gave me some great answers in 4 minutes and I hope for whatever his next project is (likely Next Goal Wins), I can talk to him again because he’s an incredible human being.
Werewolf By Night releases on October 7. Our conversation with executive producer Brian Gay will be up soon!