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    Interview: “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” Directors & Writers Reveal Their Favourite Characters & More


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    Thwip! Thwip! The blockbuster bloom of June zooms off with “Across the Spider-Verse” swinging into high skies in a couple of weeks and our Spidey-senses are ting-a-ling! A follow-up to the Academy Award winning film, the next outing in the Spider-Verse saga sets out to up the ante and we couldn’t be more stoked!

    It’s been a minute since we caught up to the life and times of Earth 1610’s Spider-Man. Juggling school work and hero quests on the busy streets of Brooklyn may be his thing now. Nevertheless, things take a Multiversal turn when a wild Gwen shows up on his window sill one fine day.

    Whisked away on a ride across the Multiverse, or should we say, Spider-Verse, Miles meets a variety of faces, old and new. Nevertheless, not all is as it seems as the kid from Brooklyn is about to face the challenge of his life. To save the people he loves most, Miles has to make a choice and find out what it really means to be… a hero.

    Now, ahead of the film’s premiere, we had the opportunity to sit down with the good folks who helped craft and spin the connective webs of this movie! Yes, we spoke to the directors, Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin L. Thompson, along with the writers, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller about their influences, directorial challenges, and some of their personal biases from the film! Read on to see what these industry legends had to say.

    Q: Could you share your inspiration behind how Spider-Cat came to be?

    Phil & Christopher: *laughs*

    Christopher: Well there is a Spider-Cat from the video games and that was where it started. And when you’re trying to think of surprising variations of Spiderman, a lot of ideas get thrown around and the idea of Spider-Cat could cough up web hairballs seemed like a fun one.

    Q: At what point did you realise that this story needed to be broken up into two movies?

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    Phil: When we were writing it, we realised that we were writing the second part of a trilogy and that this was a complete journey itself. So we thought it would make it a better movie (as a two-part)


    Q: How would you describe the pressure in crafting a follow-up to “Into the Spider-Verse”, along with having this giant responsibility? What were the biggest challenges for this project?

    Kemp: Well, the biggest challenge was just not repeating what they did on the first film. The first film was such a paradigm shift, it subverted so many people’s expectations and I think the biggest challenge was, (to) change everything and subvert expectations again. This film doesn’t even look like the first film and that was part of what was exciting about this. Being able to do something different, something that we hope feels just as original as the first film. And to evolve these characters that we love so much and show an emotional evolution that audiences over the world can connect with. 

    Phil: I think just trying to deliver a totally immersive experience of being in a completely other universe and doing it 5 times. *laughs* Like every world that you go into feels completely realised and you can spend an entire movie there – and then we just had to do it again and again. And making sure all those worlds felt distinct from each other but entirely palpable.

    Christopher: And the end results being a cinematic experience that you’ve never seen before. That you leave the theatre feeling like you went on a journey and had a wholly new experience.


    Q: There’s a lot of crazy stuff that happens in the movie, but what sequences were you guys stoked to envision and breathe life into?

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    Joaquim: We have a big sequence towards the end of the film, a big climactic action sequence that was insane to choreograph. It has a lot of moving parts but you’re still tracking the story and Miles’ emotional state and it’s really the switch that he makes at that moment that was a lot of elements really coming together. It was technical elements, camera elements, and story elements, all working together.

    Justin: Talking about “space elevator”? Yeah, that was a big one. That’s probably the biggest one.

    Kemp: For me, it was Mumbatten. Just going to the world of Pavitr was such a visual departure. It was actually one of the most challenging pieces of the film to get right and we redid it so many times. And to finally see it come together, it turned into one of my favourite sections of the entire film.


    Q: With so many characters in the second movie, do any of you have personal favourites?

    Christopher: Obviously, the movie is an epic journey with lots of characters and lots of worlds. At its heart, it’s an emotional story about Miles and his family, and Miles and Gwen, and Gwen and her father, and they’re the characters that we know and love the best. And we see Peter B. Parker being a dad and then adding all the new, fun characters. Each day I have a new favourite so it’s hard to pick because each of them is so unique and fun and loving. Like, one day it’s Pavitr who is my favourite and the next day, it’s (Spider-)Punk and the next day, it’s Jess (Jessica Drew).

    Phil: I like Metro Spiderman.

    Christopher: Oh, that’s right! “Metro Boomin”. He’s the guy who says: “I guess there was somewhere to run.”

    Phil: He’s got a good joke.


    Q: If you could live in any one of the universes in Across the Spider-verse, which would you pick and why?

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    Justin: If I have to live in one of the universes, I would definitely pick Miles’ universe because I don’t think I could handle dripping paint on my walls all the time or not being able to set drinks on a table if it was made out of two-dimensional paper or everything around me turning into a drawing so I actually love the realism of Miles’ world. But if there is one world I would love to visit, it would be Mumbattan.

    Kemp: Yeah, I agree. I mean, Miles’ world isn’t our world. It’s very different. It’s evident in some of the little details. So, definitely would be Miles’ (world) for me.

    Joaquim: I’m gonna go (with) Miles’ world but if I had to visit one: Spider-Man 2099’s world. With so much of the artistic inspiration that went into the foundation of what that world looks like, that would be a fun place to visit.

    Q: What is the ultimate message that you want audiences to take away from this film?

    Kemp: ‘There’s a lot of different ways to be a hero’.

    Justin: That’s it. We all agree.

    Joaquim: We’re in agreement. That is the takeaway. 


    You can catch “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” in theatres near you when it premieres locally on 1st June 2023.

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