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Why Jack Russell From Disney+'s Werewolf By Night Looks So Familiar

Jack Russell, aka Werewolf by Night, is one of the most unique characters in the history of Marvel Comics. The character was defined by the legendary story of werewolves in that he was a man that transitioned into a beast by the light of a full moon. But the comics series would find it hard to maintain mass popularity since the company was not known for horror titles. This allowed the series to become a cult favorite, and the character has managed to stand out in the history of Marvel werewolves starting in the early '50s. Jack Russell became such an asset to the illustrators and storytellers that the line of comics frequently featured special guests such as Moon Knight and Iron Man.

With the 2021 announcement of "Werewolf by Night" coming to Disney+ as a Marvel Halloween Special, anticipation is about to pay off with the program's premiere on the streamer on October 7, 2022. It will run just under an hour and be directed by Michael Giacchino with glorious black-and-white cinematography by Zoë White. The movie has already scored a 100% certified fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes based on 12 critic reviews, which marks a promising start to MCU horror. The actor who plays Jack Russell probably looks familiar to you, and here is where you may have seen him before.

Gael Garcia Bernal rose to fame as a young Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries

Jack Russell/Werewolf by Night is played by Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, who has been acting in numerous international productions in both film and television since the 1990s. Fans of independent cinema will likely immediately recognize the actor from his string of eclectic performances in three different Spanish-language dramas in the early 2000s. His breakthrough came with Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu's "Amores Perros" in the year 2000 as the lovestruck teenager Octavio. But it was the following year's "Y Tu Mama Tambien," directed by Alfonso Cuaron, which set his movie career in motion. The coming-of-age love story also starred Diego Luna.

The mid-2000s brought further acclaimed performances, including his role as a young Che Guevara in Walter Salles' "The Motorcycle Diaries." In a 2004 interview with IGN where he was asked about taking on the role, Bernal commented, "I read a lot of biographies and a lot of essays written about [Guevara]. I read his work, which is great because every important part of his life is documented – by him. I tried to soak up everything, everything, everything and ask permission from the filmic gods. You have to ask permission to play this character, in a way." He would then star in 2006's ensemble drama "Babel," which followed different characters around the world all united by a shared event.

He starred in numerous American films in the late 2000s and early 2010s

In a similar fashion to chameleonic performers like Tilda Swinton, Gaspard Ulliel, and Isabelle Huppert, Gael Garcia Bernal became known for his ability to play popular, historical, and eccentric characters by the late 2000s. Like those actors, he also garnered crossover appeal in mainstream films, many set in the United States in English, which he spoke fluently. He played a villain in the 2008 futuristic drama "Blindness" alongside Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo and then landed the role of Amanda Seyfried's love interest in the romantic comedy "Letters to Juliet" in 2010.

He would continue this trend the following year, this time opposite Kate Hudson in "A Little Bit of Heaven." He also starred in the western film "The Ardor" in 2014 as a shaman who rescues a tobacco farmer's daughter. In an interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune, he said of the latter movie, "It's an experience more than a story...it takes its inspiration from the 'western' and moves (the action) to a current context, in the rainforest, a lawless place with opportunities." His ability to move in and out of different genres become another hallmark of his acting.

Bernal played the eccentric conductor in Mozart in the Jungle

In 2014, Gael Garcia Bernal would land his first role on American television as the odd conductor Rodrigo de Souza of the New York Symphony in one of Amazon Prime Video's first original series, "Mozart in the Jungle." Lola Kirke co-starred in the show as Hailey, an ambitious oboist whose dream is to join the symphony. Both characters are initially at odds with one another before becoming good friends by the end of the program.

In a Vanity Fair interview in which he spoke about his career, Bernal said of Rodrigo de Souza, "I think Rodrigo is the person I would like to be. He's a character I missed, I missed playing him. What was nice [about the role] is this kind of genius, that at the same time was very obnoxious and very kind of bothering. But then all of a sudden he became really kind of wonderful and fun, and [I] just wanted to hang out with him all the time." He would go on to win a Golden Globe Award for best actor in a television series musical or comedy for the part in 2016.

The actor featured as the lead in M. Night Shyamalan's Old

M. Night Shyamalan's too strange to miss "Old" was one of 2021's more peculiar thriller films. The director always had a penchant to veer into weird territory, but this movie is certainly his closest to the works of David Lynch. Gael Garcia Bernal played the lead role of Guy Cappa, an insurance actuary married to Prisca (Vicky Krieps). The two go on vacation with their two kids Trent (Alex Wolff and Emun Elliot) and Maddox (Thomasin McKenzie, Alexa Swinton, and Embeth Davidtz) to a tropical resort. Everyone on the island becomes trapped while they all age at a rapid rate with no idea why the process is happening.

Based on the graphic novel "Sandcastle" by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters, the movie offered some interesting insights into the brevity of life. Speaking to Remezcla about the themes of the film, Bernal said, "I hope that the film carries the same questioning that we had while we were making it, which is time and what we do with it. I hope that kind of poetic tangent is reflected on the audience ... There is no simple answer or message. We don't like messages in films. We like open questions, you know?"

Gael Garcia Bernal had a recurring role in the post-apocalyptic miniseries Station Eleven

Also in 2021, Gael Garcia Bernal landed a recurring role in the post-apocalyptic HBO Max limited series "Station Eleven." He starred as Arthur Leander, a mysterious figure who is Patient Zero in what begins a deadly pandemic that fractures the world. The series was a beguiling mixture of everything that was great about "The Leftovers" and "Carnivale," both from HBO, in how it explored deep-seated themes of loss and existentialism as it told the story of a group of travelers who make their living as performers. Arthur is the dividing line between the world we all know and the future world of chaos and rebuilding.

The show would go on to win critical acclaim with The New York Times hailing it as "luminous, wondrous, and even funny." Fans of the 2014 novel by Emily St. John Mandel, on which the series is based, responded to Bernal's embodiment of the character with praise. On the program's official subreddit page, Redditor u/kawfikawfi commented, "I also thought he [Gael Garcia Bernal] was too young but then I remembered a fact that sometimes the flu can go unnoticed in younger people where it ends up attacking their heart muscles/results in a heart attack. I think that kind of interpretation of what happens to him fits. Also, movie stars look younger so." This versatility will undoubtedly continue in "Werewolf by Night."