Friday, March 24, 2023

Marvel Studios Planning Halloween Special Starring Latino Actor For Disney Plus

Marvel Studios is searching for a Latino actor to lead an untitled Halloween special for Disney PlusVariety has confirmed.

The special could be based on “Werewolf by Night,” which would denote two separate characters in the Marvel comic book universe. The first, Jack Russell, debuted in the comic “Marvel Spotlight #2” in February 1972. Russell has a family history of lycanthropy — or the supernatural transformation of a human into a wolf — but uses his power for good, and is able to remain aware of his transformations.

The second character, Jake Gomez, was introduced into the Marvel universe last year in the comic “Werewolf by Night (Vol. 3) #1.” Created by Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, Scot Eaton and Benjamin Jackendoff, Gomez is described to be a descendant of the Native American tribe Hopi who has been cursed with lycanthropy, also through his lineage.

Though it is unconfirmed if the character will be based on “Werewolf by Night,” the casting search marks another effort in Marvel’s expansion of representation. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which opens in theaters on Sept. 3, boasts the studio’s first Asian-led cast. The next feature, November’s “Eternals,” has a broadly diverse ensemble, including Salma Hayek as the Eternals’ leader, Brian Tyree Henry and Haaz Sleiman (“The Visitor”) as the first same-sex couple in the MCU, and Lauren Ridloff (“Sound of Metal”) as the MCU’s first deaf character. Xochitl Gomez (“The Baby-Sitters Club”) will play America Chavez in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which debuts in 2022. Anthony Mackie will play Captain America the fourth feature in that series. And Marvel Studios is developing a Disney Plus spin-off of “Hawkeye” centered around the character of Echo (Alaqua Cox), a deaf Native American superhero.

Marvel Studios’ foray onto Disney Plus has opened up the world of television for the company, having released “WandaVision,” “Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “Loki” and “What If…?” on the platform. A “Guardians of the Galaxy” holiday special is also in the works.

TheWrap was the first to report the news of Marvel’s casting intentions for the Halloween special.

Adam B. Vary contributed to this story.


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