Scarlet Witch's Doctor Strange 2 Story Could Set Up Marvel's Werewolf Hero – Screen Rant

What Marvel has planned for Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange 2 can bring Werewolf by Night into the MCU, ahead of his rumored Halloween special.
What Marvel has planned for Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness can be what lays the groundwork for Werewolf by Night in the MCU. Evidence is mounting for Jack Russell – Marvel’s werewolf superhero – being on the list of characters the MCU intends to introduce over the next few years.
For a long time now, rumors have persisted that Marvel has their eye on Werewolf by Night as the lead for a horror-focused Disney+ series. Most recently, it was reported by The Wrap that Marvel is looking to cast a Latino actor as the main protagonist for a Halloween special based on the Werewolf by Night comics. There are two characters who have used this name in the comic books, but the presumption is that the special will center on the original, most important incarnation of the character, which is Jack Russell. According to The Wrap, Marvel’s intention is for its Werewolf by Night project to enter production sometime in 2022.
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Of course, Marvel hasn’t confirmed one way or the other whether or not there’s any truth to the report, but given Marvel’s willingness to take risks with lesser-known characters and dive into different genres, the MCU adapting Werewolf by Night to the small screen is certainly feasible. Plus, it’s already making one seasonal release with its Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, so a second could fit with this strategy. If Jack Russell really is arriving in the MCU on Disney+, there’s a good chance that like other Marvel characters, he’ll be set up before his debut. Here’s why the MCU may set the stage for Russell’s werewolf transformation with Scarlet Witch’s Doctor Strange 2 story.
Like most werewolf stories, Marvel’s take on lycanthropy is a mystical curse that turns people into super-strong, wolf-like beasts under the full moon. The curse can be given to another through a bite, or by genetics. As for how it got started in the comics, it was explained in the pages of Werewolf by Night in the 1970s that the curse is connected to the Darkhold, an ancient and powerful spellbook that contains all sorts of dark magic. Apparently, there were werewolves in Jack Russell’s family that go all the way back to a battle with Dracula that took place hundreds of years ago. The curse first came into their family when a werewolf minion of Dracula’s bit one of Russell’s ancestors. It was purged from their family generations later, but brought back when Jack’s father, Gregory, accidentally reactivated it when he found the Darkhold and read the werewolf curse on one of its pages. When Jack reached the age of 18, the curse was passed down to him, despite his transformation not being any fault of his own.
Afterward, Jack spent much of his time on the road as a drifter trying to navigate the new problems handed to him by his bouts with lycanthropy. He also searched for answers in the Darkhold, which could very well be responsible for the existence of werewolves in the first place During his adventures fighting villains and teaming up with Marvel heroes like Spider-Man and Iron Man, Jack looked for ways to rid himself of his family’s curse. At a certain point in his story, Werewolf by Night was actually able to evolve into a vigilante character for Marvel Comics, thanks to the partial removal of the curse. With help from a trio of magical entities, Jack figured out how to transform into a werewolf and remain in control of his actions.
The first step toward werewolves like Jack Russell existing in the MCU actually already happened. The Darkhold, which was used in Agents of SHIELD, made its first in-canon MCU appearance in WandaVision when it was revealed to be in the possession of Agatha Harkness. But by the end of the series, it was in the hands of Scarlet Witch, who was seen reading it while in a secluded cabin in the season finale’s post credits scene.
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Depending on how much Doctor Strange draws from Scarlet Witch’s WandaVision story, she could have the Darkhold with her when she teams up with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme. Since the title implies that they’ll be up against a villain that threatens the entire multiverse, Wanda (or Strange) may deem it necessary for the Darkhold to be used in their efforts to save the world. If the Darkhold gets brought along for the ride, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where the Darkhold gets lost in the chaos. A fight that goes the wrong way for Scarlet Witch could result in her losing track of the book, which could easily end up in the wrong hands. A post-credits scene could reveal it being found by Jack Russell, or perhaps a different member of his family. Either way, the discovery of the book and the passage about lycanthropy will be all Marvel needs to officially bring Werewolf by Night into the MCU.
It’s highly unlikely that Doctor Strange 2 will have room for anything more than a Werewolf by Night tease, but that doesn’t mean a proper introduction will be saved for the Disney+ Halloween special. In fact, it would actually make more sense for Jack to have a meaningful role in the MCU before he receives his own project. It’s been said that the holiday special planned for the Guardians of the Galaxy will be about the length of a TV episode, so it stands to reason that Werewolf by Night will have a similar runtime. A 40-minute one-shot can work perfectly for the Guardians because its protagonists are characters that viewers already know. If Werewolf by Night’s Halloween special is his first full MCU appearance, it’ll be severely limited in terms of how much time it can spend developing his character and making him someone audiences it can root for.
For these reasons, it feels likely that if Marvel is indeed working on a Werewolf by Night seasonal release, it’ll use him in a different Marvel movie or show first. If it teases him in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it can follow up on this setup first in Phase 4’s Moon Knight show. Moon Knight (who ironically made his comic debut in a Werewolf by Night comic) has the right tone and supernatural connections that make his show feel like an ideal fit for a guest appearance from Jack Russell. In the comics, Moon Knight was hired to track him down, thus leading to a battle between the two. It’s possible that the MCU can go down this road in Moon Knight, and then explore Werewolf by Night more deeply in his Halloween special.
More: Every Marvel Phase 4 Movie & Show That Includes The Multiverse
Nicholas Raymond is a staff movies & TV features writer for Screen Rant. He has a degree in journalism from the University of Montevallo, and is the author of the psychological thriller and time travel novel, “A Man Against the World.” Nicholas’ love for telling stories is inspired by his love for film noir, westerns, superhero movies, classic films, and ancient history. His favorite actors are Tyrone Power and Eleanor Parker. He can be reached by email at [email protected] and on Twitter at @cnraymond91.


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