Mishna Wolff Talks Werewolves Within, Ubisoft, and More Image

Mishna Wolff Talks Werewolves Within, Ubisoft, and More

By Lorry Kikta | July 28, 2021

What tips would you give someone who wants to create a great ensemble piece?
There’s a lot of little tricks to having a big ensemble. One of the things that I did at the very beginning that really helped me is for all these characters I wrote one line of dialogue for them. I put some mood board pictures so I had an idea of what kind of actor would play which character. Not based on who the actor is but more on characters from other movies. I had a look for each character. I gave them each a credo; one sentence that encapsulated their worldview in one way or another. I feel like coming from that point of view with each character, I really understood what made them tick and what their motivations would be in any given conversation.

Did you spend a lot of time on set? What’s it like seeing what you’ve written being acted out in front of you?
It’s super rad! I went to set. I saw the fireplace scenes. I call them the fireplace scenes but they’re the dimly lit scenes around the bar. They’re important scenes. When I was writing them, they were the least changed from the beginning to the end of any of the scenes. The conflict between the townspeople really comes to life in those scenes. They’re the most fun. I got to be on set for all those scenes. It’s crazy great to see your work acted out. Seeing actors add to your work something you never would’ve thought of. These actors are all great improvisers. They had a lot of fun ad-libs and they made me look smarter than I am. The coolest thing is seeing a town that didn’t exist. It’s Beaverfield everything. There’s this inn that was just in my head and now it’s a real place. It’s really cool.

“With all good archetypes, you have the opportunity to upend someone’s expectations a little bit…”

I wanted to nerd out for a second. This movie does two things. It’s kind of a murder mystery but it’s also kind of a monster movie simultaneously. What are your favorite films from both categories?
Well, I love Clue. It’s such a great murder mystery. It’s so funny. The characters are such great archetypes. You don’t get much more archetypical than Professor Plum or Colonel Mustard. They have names like professor and colonel. You know what “professor” and “colonel” are before you even get started. I think it really inspired me to look into archetypes and play with them. With all good archetypes, you have the opportunity to upend someone’s expectations a little bit and that was a fun part of writing Werewolves Within too.

Definitely, The Thing was a huge inspiration. I love that movie. I could watch it every day before breakfast (writer’s note: So could I). I looked at The Hateful Eight. Which is one room for the whole movie. It’s not everyone’s favorite Quentin Tarantino movie. I love it. I just love burning, searing, hot resentment in film. I don’t get enough revenge movies. I love The Revenant. I can’t get enough of that white-hot revenge. It’s good stuff.

Obviously, An American Werewolf in London. I looked at Wolf and Silver BulletAlso, just basic Agatha Christie tropes are all throughout. I think the whole premise of Werewolves Within drops a lot of bouquets to films I’ve loved in the past. It writes a lot of love letters to genres that have really entertained me throughout my life. I hope there are moments in there that make people say “Yeah! I loved that!”

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