Michael Giacchino Expected a TV-MA Rating For Werewolf by Night

Raising Marvel’s threshold for mature content has been a major hallmark of the studio’s Phase 4 slate. This year alone, new projects like Moon Knight and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness have dramatically challenged our expectations of what we thought was possible to see in the MCU. But it sounds like the upcoming Werewolf by Night special on Disney+ is moving the goalposts even further. In fact, even director/composer Michael Giacchino felt surprised by the rating that it finally received.

Giacchino discussed Werewolf by Night’s dark tone during a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. The 53-minute special ultimately garnered a TV-14 rating, meaning suitable for younger teen audiences. Still, Giacchino was convinced that a TV-MA label was in store, especially since the show (allegedly) doesn’t hold back on its depiction of violence. In any case, he confessed that a particular artistic choice may have played a role in the matter.

“We had always assumed it would be TV-MA,” said Giacchino. “But I wasn’t always involved with what was happening on that end in terms of ratings and all of that. And so I’m not sure, but I am sure you are absolutely right that the black and white did help keep us within a certain range.”

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Additionally, Giacchino shared more about what it was like to make the jump from composing music to directing his first feature. It certainly helps that he’s already worked with some of the industry’s brightest filmmakers over the years, including J.J. Abrams, Matt Reeves, and Brad Bird. But in his opinion, the two fields aren’t all that different from each other.

“Music is storytelling,” added Giacchino. “It’s all about storytelling. When I’m scoring a film, I’m helping to tell that story, and the music I’m writing is there to help you understand how those characters are feeling at any given moment. Basically, how would I feel if I [the composer] were Jack Russell [Gael García Bernal] in that moment? So that’s the music I write, and it’s all storytelling.”

Werewolf by Night will premiere on Disney+ on October 7.

Were you expecting a different rating for the special? Let us know in the comment section below!

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