Laura Donnelly Joins Marvel's Halloween Werewolf Special

The Nevers star Laura Donnelly has joined Marvel Studios' Halloween special, set to air next year on Disney+ and starring Gael Garcia Bernal. It is not yet clear what character she is playing, although with the working assumption being that Bernal is playing Werewolf By Night, a good guess would be Vampire By Night, a werewolf/vampire hybrid who happens to be Werewolf By Night's daughter. Werewolf By Night is, essentially just a werewolf character who can keep his intellect and his self-control. The character is one of a number of traditional "monster" characters Marvel could introduce in the run-up to its Blade relaunch.

The character also has ties to Moon Knight, in whose comic he first appeared. Moon Knight has already been announced to be heading to Disney+ as a Marvel series with Oscar Isaac in the part. There is no indication yet as to whether the character could pop up in Moon Knight before getting his own special.

Bernal is best known for his work in Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle, and films from the early 2000's titles Y tu mamá tambiénThe Motorcycle Diaries, and Love's a Bitch. He is also slated to play Zorro in the upcoming Z film, co-starring with Kiersey Clemons. 

Aside from The Nevers, Donnelly is known for her role in Outlander

Deadline first reported the news of Donnelly's casting.

It is still unclear which character from the Marvel title Bernal will be playing. Werewolf by Night has had two incarnations in the pages of Marvel Comics, beginning with Jack Russell, a descendant of Lycanthropes who has the ability to turn into a werewolf without a full moon. A second incarnation of the character, Jake Gomez, is a Native American man whose family has been cursed by lycanthropy.

Of course, it's possible that Marvel Studios could either create a new version for the screen, or use a character in name only and reinvent their backstory, as has happened with a number of characters (think of all those villains in Iron Man 3 for instance). 

Rumors have been swirling for years around Werewolf by Night's place in the MCU, with reports dating back to 2019 indiciating that he could appear in some sort of upcoming project. This past July, Kevin Smith revealed that Marvel Studios shut down plans for him to put Werewolf by Night in his now-defunct Howard the Duck animated series, because the character would already be appearing elsewhere.

"In my head, as I started building my season, I was like, 'Alright. Episode 5. Werewolf by Night,'" Smith explained on his Fatman Beyond podcast earlier this year. "The idea of our story was that Howard was trapped here and he was trying to get pages of the Darkhold, which would allow him to go back. There's Howard as I'm laying it out and then I go into Jeph and told him what I wanted to do, and that's when they said 'You can't use Werewolf by Night,' and I asked why. They said the movie division was using him."