Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller admit that they thought they were “so screwed” after some early testing for the animated feature.
Ever since Tom Holland joined the MCU as the new Spider-Man it feels like the superhero has been in everything. Holland has already appeared in five MCU films with Spider-Man No Way Home (2021) dominating the domestic box office — already surpassing Avatar. Fans have also gotten to see more of Spider-Man villains such as Tom Hardy’s Venom appear on the big screen in their own Sony Pictures movies.
Jared Leto’s Morbius (2022) is releasing in theaters in April and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2022) will release in theaters in October. Spider-Man might appear on the big screen sooner than fans thought as Morbius hints at a Spider-Man cameo, while Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) is reported to have Tobey Maguire return once again as Spider-Man.
These are exciting times to be a Spider-Man fan, but sometimes we forget how difficult it is to create a new film that everyone will like. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller joined the Happy Sad Confused podcast to discuss their experience with making sure the animated movie worked with audiences.
The two producers reflected back on their journey with the first movie and admitted they thought were “so screwed” after a screen test in Arizona:
“Every single thing that we’ve done, we’ve had some screening midway through the production where we all looked each other going ‘We are screwed. We are absolutely screwed.’ Even Spider-Verse! We did an early test in Arizona, and it did not test well at all. We made some adjustments, we figured out what people were bumping on, why they weren’t engaging with it, and you just keep working. It’s just a thing that evolves. The audience sort of tells you what it wants, and then you have to figure out the way to give what they don’t realize they want.”
Since Lord and Miller helped introduce the idea of a Multiverse to fans back in 2018, it is understandable that it wouldn’t be an easy task. It can get quite complicated combining several different Marvel universes together and still tell a story that isn’t just fan service.
With a movie as bold as Into the Spider-Verse, the two producers acknowledged the fact that it was hard for them to cut things out of the movie and to figure out what worked best “to sustain an audience’s engagement” as the two producers had to analyze every second of the film with this in mind:
It is a case of just grinding, where you kinda go ‘I’m trying to sustain an audience’s engagement in this thing for as long as possible, which means you have to sit there and watch it going like ‘Alright, those five seconds, those are great. The next five seconds, those are great.’ Then, something happens in my body like, the whole thing grinds to a halt, and I’m like ‘What? That was dumb.’ And then you gotta either cut it or beat it, usually, we try to beat it because we try to leave it all on the field, and then only cut things down as a last resort.
No Way Home also ran into the same problem as there were so many possibilities with the film and a lot of great moments had to be cut to fit the story — such as Mysterio and more scenes with Charlie Cox’s Daredevil.
More About Into The Spider-Verse
Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into the one and only Spider-Man. When he meets Peter Parker, he soon realizes that there are many others who share his special, high-flying talents. Miles must now use his newfound skills to battle the evil Kingpin, a hulking madman who can open portals to other universes and pull different versions of Spider-Man into our world.
The animated film also includes other unusual variants of Spider-Man such as Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Spider-Noir (Nicholas Cage), and Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn). The sequel is shaping up to live up to the first movie as Oscar Isaac — who was teased at the ending of the first film — will be playing Spider-Man 2099 alongside Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) and Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld).
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse releases in theaters on October 7th, 2022.
Are you looking forward to seeing more of Spider-Man this year? Let us know in the comments below!