Marvel has brought in campy horror fun with their first special presentation, Werewolf by Night, directed by Michael Giacchino and starring Gael García Bernal as one of Marvel’s more niche characters, Jack Russell.

Shadow and Act spoke with director Michael Giacchino, star Laura Donnelly and producer Brian Gay to discuss the B-movie horror aspect of the special and where the characters fit in the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Donnelly, one of the newcomers to the MCU, is playing Elsa Bloodstone, a woman from a family of monster hunters.

However, she wants to do things her way and not by tradition. Donnelly called the experience of being in the MCU “extremely surreal.”

“It’s been really fun because it’s something I’m only beginning to put into context now because whenever we were filming, it felt like this lovely little independent project that we were making,” she said. “It felt really experimental and really creative and I felt like I got to create this version of Elsa for myself, that I wasn’t just having to color by numbers and do what I was told. I got to really collaborate with Michael, our director, and Heather [Quinn], the writer we had on set, and Gael and I got to really explore this character and make her my own.”

Donnelly added that working with Bernal was also very collaborative and fun to work with.

“You can’t not get along with Gael,” she said. “He is such a lovely guy and he’s such a fantastic actor and so generous with his time and his energy and he wants to make everything the best that it can be and he’s so talented, so it makes it really easy to create a rapport with him…He’s so good at what he does.”

Producer Bryan Gay said he and Marvel are "very excited" about the special presentation "just because it gives us another new way to tell a story."

“It’s short, it’s interesting, we’re trying to take a departure from where we’re at, and Werewolf by Night felt like the right project to do it,” he continued. “We love those classic horror and monster movies from the ’30s and ’40s, and with this character in particular, it gave us the opportunity to make something very similar to that and pay homage and tribute to those stories that we love so much and frankly, it was fun to put it in black and white, that’s something brand new for us. It was exciting to bring this character to life.”

Giacchino, best known for his film scores for so many of our favorite blockbuster movies, said he has actually been interested in film directing since he was a child.

He called making Werewolf by Night a project that brought back the “pure joy” he felt making movies as a boy. He also said that working with the crew was much like working with world-class orchestra–a group full of “the best talents in the world from every discipline.”

“I’ve been making movies since I was 9 years old. I had my dad’s 8mm camera that I started with, then went onto [the] Super 8 [camera] and 16mm, went to film school, so I’ve been doing it all along. And even in my career as a film composer, I would always make small films on the side, mostly for me, just for fun, because I like doing it,” he said. “…So when I went onto this, which is definitely a much bigger project than I normally would be [doing] in terms of making and directing, it was not unlike working with the orchestra, where the orchestra has very different sections that all give different colors and different emotions. The crew is very much like that too and you’re kind of conducting the crew in the way that you would conduct an orchestra.”

Watch the full interviews below. Werewolf by Night is streaming Oct.7 on Disney+