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Is Disney+'s Werewolf By Night Considered Canon In The MCU?

Just in time for Halloween, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has a horrifying entry into its catalog with a TV special that has some fans scratching their heads. "Werewolf by Night" is a predominately black-and-white "mini-movie" that follows a family of monster hunters who are competing in a hunt to crown a new leader of their pack. The 52-minute-long Disney+ special focuses on Jack Russel, a monster hunter who is also a werewolf due to a curse his family has endured for years.

"Werewolf by Night" does not follow the typical MCU formula, which has a lot of fans asking if it even has anything to do with the current timeline at all. But Marvel has been working to further expand its options with the exploration of a concept that was first introduced in Doctor Strange, the Multiverse.

The fourth phase of the MCU has been working to further establish the Multiverse — an infinite collection of dimensions and parallel universes where there are multiple versions of MCU heroes and villains — and this has given writers more freedom to make things like "Werewolf by Night." But that still doesn't mean that this latest entry has to fit into any familiar timelines or even be considered MCU canon at all.

Director Michael Giacchino says it definitely is canon

"Werewolf by Night" director Michael Giacchino did not shy away from saying that this interesting special is indeed canon in the Marvel Universe. And going even further than that, Giacchino said that the special takes place on "Earth-616," which is essentially the timeline that Marvel fans are most familiar with and an extension of the timeline in Marvel Comics. That being said, it is important to note that even though the MCU confirms the existence of many different timelines in its Multiverse, "Werewolf by Night" is confirmed to take place right alongside the adventures of The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and even the Eternals.

"There's this whole corner of the Marvel Universe that no one knows anything about," Giacchino said in an interview with Polygon in October of 2022. And apparently, that corner has lots of space for content that, at first glance, doesn't appear to be very MCU related. "It's a very underground sort of area. And these hunters and these monsters, they all kind of exist in the shadows, in a place the rest of the world won't admit to, or doesn't pay attention to," Giacchino added.

"Werewolf by Night" didn't appear out of thin air, either. The protagonist from the special, Jack Russel, first appeared in Marvel Spotlight #2 in February of 1972 and was the star of his own series of comic books throughout the years. And while this isn't the average entry into the MCU, it feels very reminiscent of those one-off comic book issues and mini-series that Marvel has produced over the decades — which can make it much more palatable to fans who feel like this shouldn't have been MCU canon.

But where Werewolf by Night fits in the MCU timeline, is not yet clear

Even though "Werewolf by Night" is officially canon in the MCU, it doesn't exactly have a place on the timeline. "People tend to want this connectivity to everything," Giacchino said in his interview with Polygon. "They've been sort of trained in the MCU to know that everything is connected in some way, everything is going on in some similar timeline. This does happen in the MCU, during all of that, we just don't show you where, when, how. And it's not important to show that, because what's important are these characters. This is going to be a story — one night in the life of Jack and Elsa, that's what you're going to get. And then where we go from there, we'll see. We'll see. Who knows?"

And while Giacchino denies the fact that this special was created as some sort of a primer for the upcoming "Blade," due out in 2023, it does show the existence of monsters in the MCU. "When Blade comes, people are already ready for it. But there was never a mandate to say this is a way of connecting to this, and connecting to that," Giacchino told Polygon when asked about a connection to the vampire hunter movie.

So, while it has been confirmed that "Werewolf by Night" is official canon and that it takes place in the current well-known timeline of MCU on Earth-616, there are yet to be any other expressed ties to any specific times or storylines that currently exist in the MCU. But that doesn't mean that it won't eventually get tied to a story in the future. Even Giacchino says, "Who knows?"