There have been a lot of Spider-Man movies over the past two decades. Since 2002, Sony has released six major movies about the web slinger starring three different actors in the role of Peter Parker. In December 2018, another Spider-Man movie will hit theaters, and it be completely different from the others.
First off, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an animated movie, not live-action like every other Spider-Man movie before it. Secondly, and probably most importantly, the story will focus on Miles Morales, not Peter Parker, even though Parker does appear in the movie.
The new Spider-Man tells the story of Miles Morales, a half African American, half Puerto Rican teenager, who will explore new ideas about the web slinger that haven’t been touched upon in previous screen adaptations. Plus, the trippy 2D/3D animation looks awesome; just watch the movie’s official trailer and you’ll see how visually striking the movie is.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse comes from the brain trust responsible for The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, Christopher Miller and Phil Lord. The duo are producing the movie while Lord is also lending a hand in writing the script, which will be directed by three directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman.
As with any Miller and Lord film, this one will have tons of comedic elements to it. The trailer does a great job of relating how engaging Miles Morales will be, bringing tons of charisma that make him a very likable Spider-Man.
Bringing the movie to life is the very talented voice cast that includes Shameik Moore (Spider-Man/Miles Morales), Jake Johnson (Spider-Man/Peter Parker), Hailee Steinfeld (Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen), Liev Schreiber (Kingpin) and Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali (Aaron Davis/Prowler).
In Into the Spider-Verse, more than one Spider-Man will be able to wear the mask at the same time through the melding of different universes. We’re not sure how the plot will unfurl with Miles Morales, though we are certain he will get bitten by a spider carrying Peter Parker’s DNA, hence his abilities plus a few additional ones. One of the key differences between Peter Parker and Miles Morales is that the latter has a camouflaging ability that makes him nearly invisible—which can be briefly seen in the trailer.
At some point, he will come across an older Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy as Spider-Gwen. Joining forces with them, he will learn to master his newfound abilities and take on a multitude of baddies that include Prowler and Green Goblin. Kingpin will also be in the movie, though the size of his role isn’t entirely clear.
We get a real good look at most of these characters in the official trailer for Into the Spider-Verse, but Sony also invited us to take an even closer sneak peak at the movie at its animation studios in Culver City. During the event, there was a brief panel with star Shameik Moore and producers Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, along with a sneak peak at some scenes between Miles Morales being tormented by the Prowler in an underground train track, and a hilarious interaction with Gwen Stacy.
In the scene with Gwen Stacy, Miles Morales is still grappling with his new Spidey powers and doesn’t yet know how to control them. Entering the Brooklyn Vision Academy, the new private school he was just accepted to, he is very nervous and awkwardly roaming the school when he sees Gwen Stacy for the first time. He forces himself to talk to her but what ensues is a super odd interaction narrated by Miles’ stream of consciousness.
Needless to say, it’s unlike any scene we’ve seen in a Spider-Man movie.
However, most details for the movie were kept under wraps as the animators are still working on finishing many of the animated scenes that blend 2D animation with 3D CGI elements contributing to the film’s distinguishing look.
Producers Miller and Lord opened up about the type of work that went into creating the unique animation style of the movie.
“We wanted to make something that looks like nothing you’ve ever seen on screen,” Lord said. “This seemed like an opportunity to push the boundary as far as we possibly could and crazily, [Sony] hasn’t stopped us yet.”
He continued, “The comic books were the inspiration for the look and having to create this new pipeline of how to make something that looks like you’re in a hand drawn and painted world that is still a full three-dimensional world.”
The duo also touched upon how they selected Shameik Moore to voice the titular character and what he brings to the role. For his audition, he recorded himself on his phone before sending it to Miller and Lord, who had previously auditioned Moore for prior roles.
“He’s just so genuine and he has a take on the material that seems unique to him that brings a lot of earnestness and sweetness along with a little bit of swagger,” stated Miller. “I think that is really neat bit for our burgeoning hero.”
Everyone involved with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is very excited for it. The character has been revived in its integration with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there’s still a lot to be uncovered and explored about him. Even more so with Miles Morales’ character, who is very different from past Peter Parkers we’ve seen.
“Miles is coming from a different spot in his life,” said Lord about Morales. “He comes from a real nuclear family, he’s got a mom and a dad that try everything they can to give him a great life. And in the movie, you’ll see that things happen that challenge Miles emotionally and we wanted to tell the story of what’s it like when you have great gifts and you’re almost too young to have them.”
Just from those comments alone, you can tell how Morales will starkly contrast with the Spider-Man character we’ve come to know. Instead of being driven by tragedy and a broken family, he must find a new motivation to be the hero he wants to be.
We can’t wait to see more of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse when it arrives in theaters December 14.
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