The Wolf Man saw its first theatrical film release in 1941, spawning several sequels and becoming the most famous and specific cinematic werewolf story (though its notable predecessors include The Werewolf of London from 1935). The Universal Studios film starred Lon Chaney Jr. as the lycanthropic Larry Talbot, Claude Rains, and Maria Ouspenskaya as the cryptic gypsy Maleva. The story of Talbot would be followed in four subsequent movies, involving the other Universal monsters, and ranging from Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman to Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
Most werewolf films are based on the mythological legend/folklore of individuals who are able to shapeshift into a wolf. These transformations are often brought about by the appearance of a full Moon, and are caused by a curse or being bitten or scratched by another werewolf.
The werewolves of more recent media have been adapted from their earlier predecessors, becoming vulnerable to silver bullets and retaining powers while in their human form.
The legendary creature has been referenced by the Muppets on multiple occasions.
- Fozzie Bear is turned into a werewolf in the 2000 video game Muppet Monster Adventure.
- The Dinosaurs episode "Little Boy Boo" spoofs The Wolf Man, with Robbie Sinclair turning into the Wereman and Ethyl Phillips taking on the Maria Ouspenskaya role.
- In the Fall 1983 issue of Muppet Magazine, the head of the Wolf Man is mounted on the wall in a picture hunt titled, "What's Hiding in the Haunted House?"