During the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse panel at New York Comic Con on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, the audience was treated to a hefty surprise—the screening of 35 minutes from the upcoming film being released in December.
The footage shown was charming, visually stunning, and emotionally solid in terms of character. Like all good Spider-Man stories, there was plenty of humor in awkwardness from Miles Morales that brought out the “everyman” feel for viewers. It’ll be great to see the full film upon its release. Graffiti art, family dynamics, and the wider scope of a city replete with heroes and super-villains all played a part in the highly textured film footage as shown.
Talking about the excitement behind bringing Miles Morales to the big screen finally, the Producers, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, said when they had the idea, they were also aware that it would be like the 7th Spider-Man movie, so if they were going to do it, it had to be fresh and different and be Miles vs. another Spider-Man. The expectation has been, ‘How can we do this differently’, so they set out to make the most different version they could.
The visual approach of the film was described by the Directors, Peter Ramsey and Bob Persichetti, as a chance to “lean in” to a medium, the animated medium, that was perfect for Spider-Man. They also really brought together the animation medium with the comics medium through visual echoes and links (like moving panels presented on the screen occasionally). So many things born out of New York made it into the film too, like hip hop, graffiti, and more. The Brooklyn we know and recognize plays a big part in the film for that reason.
Talking about the opportunities presented through a multiverse scenario in the film, the Producers said that they made a “problem for themselves” because if people like this one film, they are going to be “stuck” making 38 different films since there are so many paths and directions possible in this bigger story. The film presents a lot of different examples of how someone can “live with this”, becoming a Spider-Man. The reason the character resonates is that people can all imagine themselves “behind the mask” and relate to what they see on the screen.
Shameik Moore, the voice of Miles Morales, said that for him, personally, the upbringing in the film is relatable. Though he’s not Latino, he can “feel the spirit”. He wrote a journal entry some time back that he wanted to play “black Spider-Man” someday, saying “I am Miles Morales”, and two years later, he got that opportunity.
Jake Johnson, who plays Peter Parker in the film, plays a Parker at 40, depressed, chubby, and “that’s a new Peter Parker”, he laughed. Morales and Parker become “partners in crime”, a little bit Karate Kid with Miyagi and Daniel-san. They need each other to “get out of their situation” and they become “friends along the way”.
Bryan Tyree Henry, the actor who plays Miles’ father, said that it’s important to him for viewers to see that Miles Morales comes from a family that helped create a “good man” and it’s important to him to be involved in this project about a “decent man”. Miles’ father is a policeman, and that was a big part of his character to consider, but largely, “representation matters”, and a lot of the facets of the role appeal to him.
Lauren Velez, who plays Miles’ mother, said that she comes from a family where her father was a cop, and she can relate to the family unit here. She also really likes the bilingual aspect of the family unit in the film, and the way Miles’ parents are stable and working hard to get him all the advantages in life.
Regarding visual style in the film, the Directors said it took three years to create, which is actually really fast for something with such “visual complexity”. Care and “real love” went into making the film, and they all felt the need to introduce a “new Spider-Man” who “speaks to people in a whole new way”. They worked on empathy and connection, wanting viewers to see the “story through his [Miles’] eyes”.
Music in the film is a key thing, with a few songs played during the 35 minutes of footage, but there will be an “amazing” soundtrack coming out that’s essential to the film, the Producers said. The score was recently recorded in London, working with Daniel Pemberton, with a full orchestra. It has it’s own “texture” and they wanted something that sounded “original” since the film itself is so weird.
The Producers gave a “shout out” to Brian Bendis for creating the character and the world of the story.
The film is out December 14th, 2018.