Director Jon Watts has just begun production on his Marvel Cinematic Universe vehicle Spider-Man: Homecoming (see the latest photos from the set), but fans of the web head know Tom Holland's solo film isn't the only upcoming project set to feature Your Friendly Neighborhood. Sony is starting to put the pieces together on an untitled animated Spider-Man film, which recently found its director in Bob Persichetti. LEGO Movie co-director Phil Lord wrote the script, and will produce alongside Chris Miller, Amy Pascal, and Avi Arad.
With the famous wall-crawler making his triumphant return to live-action cinema in this summer's Captain America: Civil War, there may be some wondering if there's room in the Hollywood landscape for two varying takes on the superhero simultaneously. The onus will be on Persichetti and his team to make their project stand out from the crowd and be different from all the previous big screen incarnations. According to Lord and Miller, that's exactly what's going to happen.
Speaking with IGN, the highly-acclaimed filmmakers briefly touched on the animated Spider-Man movie, teasing that it will be unlike anything fans have seen from the character to date:
Miller: "It is not going to feel like every other Spider-Man movie you've seen. It will stand on its own as a unique filmgoing experience."
Lord: "It's wonderful and the people that are working on it are geniuses. It is unique. ... People will love it."
Lord and Miller have a long history working in the realm of animation; they've earned rave reviews for directing Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and the aforementioned LEGO Movie, and are also helping guide the various LEGO shared universe installments to theaters. They're as good authority as any in this area, and viewers have little reason to doubt them at this point in time. The duo has quickly become an audience favorite thanks to their comic sensibilities and inventiveness that turn even the worst ideas into entertaining movies. Playing in a sandbox as expansive as Spider-Man's, they're bound to come up with something memorable.
Sony chairman Tom Rothman concurred with Lord and Miller when he spoke to THR, mentioning that the animated Spider-Man flick will be a "breakthrough" for the genre:
"And we have dated Christmas 2018 for what I believe is truly going to be a breakthrough animated sensation. Lord and Miller, who did the Lego movies, are doing an animated Spider-Man. And it has a very breakthrough look to it, and a fantastic story, and it's independent from our Marvel Spider-Man."
More so than most comic book characters, Spider-Man reads as a perfect fit for animation. Swinging through the streets of New York should be visually stunning in a computer generated environment, and this would also be the perfect opportunity to use members of Spidey's rogues gallery that wouldn't translate well to live-action. Perhaps someone like Mysterio, master of illusions, could get his shot in a film. The possibilities are virtually limitless, and it will be interesting to see how Persichetti's vision pans out when it's all said and done.
Perhaps the easiest way to make this animated Spider-Man truly "independent" from what's happening in the MCU is to use Miles Morales, as has been rumored. Fans have long expressed a desire to see Morales on the big screen, and with the live-action side of things dead set on Peter Parker for the time being, this could be the best chance for a different version of the web slinger to snag the spotlight. It's important to note that Lord and Miller declined to comment when IGN asked which Spider-Man would be the focus, so that's obviously a special reveal being saved for another day. If it was another Peter Parker story, the filmmakers may have been more open on the subject. We'll have to wait and see.
The animated Spider-Man film will hit U.S. theaters December 21, 2018.