There are a lot of things about this timeline that is odd but one of them is that not one but two superhero movies are going to be gunning for Oscar gold. One of them is Black Panther and the other is the upcoming Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. People have been really excited about this one since the first teaser dropped nearly a year ago and now the reviews have been absolutely out of the park. Collider got the chance to sit down and speak to directors Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman, and Peter Ramsey about some of the things hidden in this movie such as more than one Stan Lee cameo.
ROTHMAN: Stan Lee has more than one cameo in the movie.
PERSICHETTI: The easiest to spot, because you don’t have to stop the film, is when Peter and Miles are on the ground on the sidewalk, after they’d fallen from the train, there’s a dog who smells them with a guy who walks over them. That’s Stan again. On his way home from work. But then I will say, there are many, many train scenes. Subway shots. If you just pause, he’s in a lot of them. That guy is all over New York. He’s a busy man.
Miles is a character that many fans only know from his comic run and even more, people are unfamiliar with him entirely. That means they really had to craft a new character for people while also making sure that Miles is different from Peter Parker.
PERSICHETTI: A kid from Brooklyn, first and foremost. He’s meant to be your average teenager from Brooklyn with a loving mom and dad. That’s the big difference between him and Peter Parker is he still has both his parents. We tried to make him as relatable as possible, because even though it’s a radioactive spider that triggers it, it’s really just a simple coming of age story for him. Putting him in New York, and thinking about all the aspects of this film, a lot of the different cultural aspects of this film originated in New York from comic books to hip-hop to graffiti to the idea of Spider-Man, period. It was really just trying to create a kid who maybe had a little bit of a creative soul in him and was searching for an identity. Making sure that he was challenged and grew and had like a radioactive puberty [laughs].
Rothman went on to say that they wanted to make sure that Miles had a rich internal life and that as the animator showed them what they were doing they were no longer worried about telling everyone about Miles because he was showing them.
ROTHMAN: Studying [Brian Michael Bendis’] comic books, Miles is a very endearing character. He’s very sweet. He isn’t exactly nerdy like Peter Parker. He’s not the coolest kid around, but he has his own personality. A lot goes unsaid with Miles, that’s something we definitely were inspired by. He seems to have a rich internal life. We lean into that in our portrayal of him, we try and portray a kid who is struggling to figure out who he was and caught between different things and had a lot going on under the surface. As we saw what our animators were doing to depict his performance we grew more confident in the fact that Miles didn’t always have to tell us what he was thinking or feeling. He could show us. The animators were conveying what was going on behind his eyes very well, so we started to push more toward that.
While we see a lot of Spider-People in this movie we do see two versions of Peter Parker. There are some physical differences but the directors had to make sure that there was more to it than that. It needed to be believable that Peter Parker could fall so far and how quickly it could all come crumbling down.
RAMSEY: Just the confidence and the strength in Miles’ world’s Peter Parker, our initial Peter Parker that we meet in the beginning. Basically at the top of his game. He’s obviously the ideal version of Spider-Man, even beyond what you see in the Marvel movies, this guy can do anything. It was just confidence, charm, the ideal, perfect superhero. And then with the Jake Johnson version of the character you get the idea of, oh, this is the reality behind what it means to live a whole life where you’re saving people, fighting crime, letting your own life go because you have this larger responsibility. More of a human counterpoint to Miles, who is at the beginning of his own very human experience of becoming something bigger than life.
ROTHMAN: The way we talked about it at the beginning was like, the Peter Parker of Miles’ world is the mentor that he wishes he could have. Peter B. Parker is the mentor that he gets, who turns out to have really important stuff to communicate, and kind of needs Miles himself.
This is one of the best movies of the year so do not sleep on it just because it’s an animated movie. Every single frame of this movie was crafted with love and care and it really shows. You do not want to miss out on the opportunity to see this one on the big screen.
Summary: Spider-Man crosses parallel dimensions and teams up with the Spider-Men of those dimensions to stop a threat to all reality.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, stars Shameik Moore, Liev Schreiber, Lily Tomlin, Mahershala Ali, Jake Johnson, Luna Lauren Velez, and Hailee Steinfeld. It will be released on December 14th.