Remembering the MCU Hero’s Made-for-TV Horror Movie
night werewolf introduced a chilling figure to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it’s not the series’ titular lycanthrope. Jack Russell’s ally Man-Thing is also a factor in the Disney+ TV special, and his presence in the story has been very well received. However, the show is not his live-action debut, although that production had a much worse reception.
The 2005 man-thing is widely considered pretty terrible, but the worst part is that the title monster is hardly there. Making a glorified appearance in the film as a CGI presence, the Man-Thing’s first appearance in Hollywood certainly wasn’t his best. With the season getting spooky in swamps everywhere, here’s why Marvel’s version of Swamp Thing didn’t get a big movie adaptation – or even a memorable one.
The 2005 film Man-Thing barely featured Man-Thing
2005 man-thing was a rather shabby production, with the low budget of $7 million representing a fraction of what was invested in x-men, Spider Man or even the first Blade film. That made a bit of sense given the more niche and low-key nature of the Man-Thing character, but it also meant that every aspect of the film was equally amateurish. From the acting to the writing and cinematography, almost nothing stands out in the film, with the few exceptions being particularly bad elements. Perhaps the worst of these sins is that Man-Thing himself is barely a factor.
The story involves a new sheriff named Kyle Williams stepping into his role in what appears to be the bayou. Its problems not only include the protests against a nearby oil refinery, but also a series of mysterious deaths. They may be related, with locals claiming the murders are the work of a mystical swamp creature that acts as a guardian spirit. It’s not until the final section of the film that this creature is finally seen, and said face is projected into a hazy, dimly lit capacity. Man-Thing is barely seen in his own movie, and his alter ego Ted Sallis is only mentioned and never actually shown. This only adds to the little that the film actually seems to be about Man-Thing.
The scares are never really shocking, most of them being so mundane and generic that they can be seen from a mile away. Some don’t even make sense, as the Man-Thing feud seems to be with the powers that pollute the swamp and not with random people entering the territory. Despite this, he kills a random teenager and leaves his girlfriend mentally scarred, making the Man-Thing as much of a monster as he is suspected of being. To be fair, especially given the budget and time frame, the Man-Thing CGI itself isn’t actually bad. Unfortunately, his digitized image is seen too little in what is otherwise an uninspiring film.
Few people remember the movie Man-Thing because of its unconventional release
The idea of a man-thing The film began in 2001, a very different time for superhero movies and Marvel in particular. Although the Marvel Cinematic Universe begins at the end of the decade, the house that Iron Man built might as well have been eons. Marvel had sold the rights to many of its characters, with disparate studios snapping them up to make movies. Some of them, like Blade, Spider Man and x-menbecame massive hits, while others flopped as also-released releases and properties. man-thing wasn’t initially going to hit theaters like they were, but their successes caused Marvel Enterprises and Artisan Entertainment to reconsider.
Ultimately, the movie was tossed onto the Sci-Fi Channel after a limited theatrical window, which is why many of Marvel’s most ardent fans don’t know of its existence. Avi Arad, a well-known Marvel Studios producer, would regret the film, which he saw as the result of a lack of guidance. After all, man-thing was filmed in Australia, which resulted in a forced approach with no intervention from superiors. With its tiny release and less than positive reception, it’s no wonder many believe the Man-Thing’s first big appearance outside of the comics is in Werewolf at night.
To see the big Man-Thing moment, Werewolf by Night is streaming now on Disney+.