‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’: Every Difference Between the Digital and Theatrical Releases

in Marvel, Movies

spider-man-across-the-spider-verse

Credit: Sony Pictures Animation

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023) is one of the most well-received films of the year, with some people going so far as to call it a perfect film. That’s why so many people are shocked to hear that the film’s digital release has made numerous changes to the original theatrical release.

Multiple Spider-People pointing at each other in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Credit: Sony Pictures Animation

A sequel to the critically-acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse follows Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) as they try to adapt to a new villain (Jason Schwartzman) and a collection of Spider-People from across the Muliverse led by Spider-Man 2077 (Oscar Isaac). It also features additional performances from Issa Rae and Daniel Kaluuya, as well as cameos from Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland.

Across the Spider-Verse has been a massive success, both critically and commercially. Not only has it earned over $686 million, but it is sitting at an incredible 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film has been praised for its exciting visual style, incredible cast, heartwarming story, superb musical score, and refreshing the superhero genre as audiences begin to tire from it.

The film is already receiving Oscar buzz, with many saying it is a guaranteed nominee for Best Animated Feature and even Best Picture. If it pulls that off, it will be the first animated film to be nominated for that Academy Award since Toy Story 3 (2010).

Credit: Sony Pictures Animation

Related: Gwen Stacy Has Become a Trans Icon 

After the film was released digitally, eager fans purchased copies in droves. However, something was different. While the main story and sequences remained the same, small details that stood out in movie theaters changed. Lines of dialogue were removed, colors were different, and there were even some bits added to it.

Were these people experiencing the Mandela Effect? Did they misremember parts of one of the most memorable movies of the year? Not at all. Believe it or not, the team at Sony Pictures Animation was working on Across the Spider-Verse months into its theatrical run, releasing different cuts throughout the months. And Phil Lord and Chris Miller are all for it.

Why Was ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ Changed?

Gwen Stacy AKA Spider-Woman, Spider-Girl, or Spider-Gwen in Spider-Man: Across The Spider-verse
Credit: Marvel, Sony Pictures

The fact that dozens of changes happened to a movie after it was released to theaters is very confusing. If you’re having people pay to see a final product, doesn’t that mean it’s completely finished? Well, not necessarily. Many movies are altered after they’ve been released, especially in this digital age.

Across the Spider-Verse was already subject to changes as soon as it hit cinemas since the sound mixing was different from theater to theater. The team at Sony Pictures Animation had to create different versions to adapt to the different sound systems. And that’s not all! According to producer Chris Miller, even more changes were made to international versions of the film.

He explained, “There was an international version that was made almost two months before the movie came out because it had to be translated into different languages, and these French censors have to decide what the rating of the movie is in Europe.”

Miles Morales and other Spider-People interrupting Spider-Man therapy
Credit: Sony Pictures Animation

On top of that, there were people behind the scenes who kept wanting to update parts of the film despite it already being released. “The team at [Sony Pictures] Imageworks still had some shots that they felt they could do better for the finished version. So, they cleaned up and tweaked those things.”

Miller continued, “Certain crew members – people in the sound department or on the animation team – were like, ‘Oh, could we do this instead?’ Let’s do the best possible version we can. Because it’s a Multiverse movie, it’s like there’s a Multiverse of the movie – that was really the reasoning behind it. It was trying to make the best possible version that everyone was going to be the proudest of.”

spider-rex in across the spider-verse
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: Top 10 Easter Eggs In ‘Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse’

Then there’s the other side of things, where producer Phil Lord kept overriding director decisions and making changes up until the last second. It proved immensely frustrating to everyone working on the film and is partially why Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse (TBA) is being delayed.

That being said, what’s done is done, and the changes have been made. So let’s take a look at every single difference between the theatrical cut and the digital release of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse that we know of.

Every Change to ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’

Gwen Stacy playing the drums in Across the Spider-Verse
Credit: Sony Pictures Animation
  • Gwen Stacy’s intro adds some comic-stylized panels in the digital cut, replacing/delaying some shots from some theatrical cuts.
  • During Gwen Stacy‘s suit-up, a line is added in the digital cut, causing the shot to start later and her song to have a different time signature than the theatrical version.
  • Before Gwen leaves her apartment right before the Vulture fight, she hears a warning about her and says, “Oh great,” before turning the police radio off in one theatrical cut. The digital cut removes this line, as Gwen only turns it off.
Miguel O'Hara fighting The Vulture in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Credit: Sony Pictures Animation

Related: Sony Loses Spider-Man Character Due to Legal Reasons

  • When Gwen webs Captain Stacy to the police car before the Vulture fight, the assisting cop says, “Yep, we’ve got our sign,” in the digital cut. In one theatrical cut, she instead says, “We found her.”
  • During Spider-Man 2099’s intro during the Vulture fight, the camera zooms out from Miguel’s head in the theatrical cut. In the digital cut, the camera does a slow dolly zoom on Miguel instead.
  • When Captain Stacy arrests Gwen after the Vulture fight, she says, “No, stop!” in one theatrical cut. In the digital cut, she says, “Dad, stop!” instead.
Miles Morales in 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' tying up The Spot's limbs in a web
Credit: Sony Pictures
  • In one of the theatrical cuts during Miles’ intro, a comment says, “I heard it was made from actual babies fr.” during the baby powder apology. In the digital cut, it says, “Old Spider-Man didn’t need baby powder.” Also, the usernames are different.
  • The digital cut uses a different take from Jason Schwartzman during Spot’s origin speech.
  • When Jeff says, “¡Qué barbaridad!” the theatrical and digital cuts use different takes from Bryan Tyree Henry.
  • When Gwen says she won’t see Miles again to Jess, a text box saying, “What?!” is present in one of the theatrical cuts. This box is removed in the digital cut.
Pavitr Prabhakar from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse in Mumbattan
Credit: Sony Pictures
  • During the Gayatri sequence in Pavitr’s intro, one of the theatrical cuts has no audio cue when Inspector Singh interrupts. There’s this little audio cue on Singh’s arrival in the digital cut.
  • When Gwen gets kicked by Spot after Miles finds her during the Mumbattan fight, the theatrical cut has Spot saying, “Foot in your face!” In the digital cut, he says “Whoopsie!” instead.
  • When Miles saves civilians during the Mumbattan Alchemax collapse, the digital cut adds the iconic Spidey-Sense indicators before Miles punches the incoming debris.
  • When Gwen looks for Miles under the rubble after the Mumbattan Spot fight, she has some dialogue in the theatrical cut. The digital cut removes this dialogue.
daniel kaluuya spider-punk hobie brown spider-man across the spider-verse
Credit: Sony Pictures Animation

Related: ‘Spider-Verse 3’ Being Delayed is a Good Thing, Says Spider-Man Star

  • In Spider-Punk’s introduction during the second Spot fight, Miles has text above his head that says “Hobie?” in the digital cut.
  • Hobie Brown’s introduction during the second Spot fight has lyrics in the digital cut.
  • When Spot uses the mini-collider, he says, “Oh, what the heck?” and has a bit more added dialogue in one of the theatrical cuts. In the digital cut, he says, “Which would not be good.” It also removed some of the dialogue.
Miles morales meeting the Spider Society in Across the Spider-Verse
Credit: Sony Pictures Animation
  • During the Spider-Society intro sequence, one theatrical cut uses yellow textboxes when everyone starts making jokes. The digital cut uses blue chat bubbles instead.
  • The interaction between Miles and Typeface has added text to Typeface’s dialog with different fonts in the digital version.
  • In some of the shots during Miguel’s explanation of canon events, Hobie’s shading has been altered in the digital cut. A little bit unsure if this only applies to *this* scene in particular (possibly could be more)
  • LYLA’s selfie with Miguel during the Vulture fight replaces LYLA’s point and pose from the theatrical cut.
Spider-Man 2077 in Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse
Credit: Marvel, Sony Pictures
  • One of the theatrical cuts utilizes a different take from Oscar Isaac when Miguel talks about what he did to Miles. The digital cut uses a different take instead.
  • When Ben Reilly attacks Miles, he says, “This is called the sleeper hold. I’m using my bicep to constrict you!” in the theatrical cut. In the digital cut, he says, “I’ve got you trapped in my well-defined musculature!”
  • When Miguel tries to stop Miles, Miles says, “Sorry man, I’m going home,” in the theatrical cut. The line was removed in the digital version.
  • During Miles’ final swing, it pulls some dialogue of Miguel saying, “Peter Parker would have lived” in one theatrical cut. In the digital cut, he adds more and says, “YOUR Peter Parker would have lived.”
Peter B. Parker and Mary Jane putting Mayday to sleep in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Credit: Sony Pictures Animation

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  • When Peter B. Parker brings Mayday back to their universe, MJ greets him with “Hey, hon” in the digital cut. One theatrical cut doesn’t include this line.
  • A different color palette is used during Gwen and Captain Stacy’s reunion/apology between one theatrical cut and the digital cut.
miles morales as prowler beyond the spider-verse
Credit: Sony Pictures Animation
  • The sequence where Miles discovers he’s on Earth-42 has no textboxes in the digital cut.
  • When Miles discovers Earth-42, there’s another audio cue when the Prowler symbol blinks on Aaron’s chest in one theatrical cut. The digital cut doesn’t have this audio cue.
  • Prowler Miles has extended braids and more facial outlines in the digital cut. This sequence also plays the final song earlier than expected in the same cut.

Related: ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Nearly Brought In Venom

While this already may seem like a lot of changes, there are so many fine details in Across the Spider-Verse that it is more than likely that some were missed. Honestly, you could go mad trying to compare each and every minutia of this movie.

Fortunately, editor, critic, and animation enthusiast Chris Gallardo compiled all of these changes in a convenient Twitter thread where each change is paired with a visual or audio component to show the differences between cuts. So take a look and see these changes for yourself!

Do These Changes Affect the Film’s Quality?

Miles Morales unmasked in Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse
Credit: Marvel, Sony Pictures

With thirty documented changes made to the digital version of the movie and the possibility of dozens more, does this affect the overall quality of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse? Honestly, not really.

Every single change that was made falls into three categories:

  1. The change takes away a fun throwaway moment that had no significant effect on the plot of the movie.
  2. The change added a little more depth to the moment to make it a bit more personal.
  3. The change is purely based on aesthetics and has no bearing on the film whatsoever.
Gwen Stacy across the spider-verse hailee steinfeld with miles morales shameik moore romantic
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: ‘Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse’ Receives Unfortunate Release Update

Of these three categories, the positive changes are nice, the negative ones are barely noticeable, and the aesthetic changes are so subtle that they could have left them alone, and no one would have cared. When it comes down to it, the digital version of Across the Spider-Verse is, at its core, the same movie as the theatrical version. Sure, it’s weird that they made this many changes after the film was already released, but you’re still watching Across the Spider-Verse.

It’s kind of like expecting a delicious fresh-baked cake with red icing, but instead, you get a delicious fresh-baked cake with icing that’s a slightly darker shade of red. No matter what, you’re still eating a tasty red cake. So if you bought the digital version of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, just sit back and enjoy the yummy cake sitting in front of you.

Do you think any changes should have been made to Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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