Sony Pictures Animation are set to release their first animated Spider-movie this Christmas, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Produced by proven animation team Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie), the film is not only poised to be a groundbreaking visual spectacle, but a landmark step forward for minority representation in cinema as audiences get their first big-screen Afro-Latino Spider-Man in Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore). The ever-growing voice cast for the pan-parallel universe adventure (featuring multiple incarnations of Spider-Man, including Peter Parker) continues to impress, featuring Jake Johnson as Peter, Hailee Steinfeld as Spider-Gwen, Mahershala Ali as Aaron Davis/The Prowler, Bryan Tyree Henry as Jefferson Davis, Liev Schreiber as Kingpin, Lily Tomlin as Aunt May and Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir.
- Movie: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
- Release Date: December 14, 2018
- Cast: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Jake Johnson, Liev Schreiber, Bryan Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Velez, Lily Tomlin
- Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman
- Writer: Phil Lord
The First Cinematic Animated Appearances of Miles Morales and Peter Parker
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse follows the Ultimate Universe origin of Afro-Latino teenager Miles Morales, who takes up the mantle of Spider-Man after the death of his world's Peter Parker. Similarly bitten by a radioactive spider, Miles Morales' powers are largely the same as Parker's - albeit with added abilities such as active camouflage and a paralyzing blast of energy from his fists called a 'venom strike'.
Morales' nascent career as Spider-Man is turned upside-down as he comes face-to-face with the classic Marvel Universe iteration of Peter Parker (Johnson), who begrudgingly takes him under his wing. This collision of characters from parallel universes apparently results in the appearances of more Spider-people; so far appearances have been confirmed from Spider-Gwen and Spider-Man Noir. The assembled heroes are set to do battle with classic Spider-Man villains such as the Green Goblin, the Kingpin and the Prowler.
The Film Stars Jake Johnson as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
In very appropriate casting, Jake Johnson (New Girl, Jurassic World) will be providing the voice of an older Peter Parker, with a stereotypical lack-of-cash and slacker vibe. Fans of Jake Johnson will be accustomed to seeing him play this kind of role (for a recent example, see this summer's mild-hit comedy Tag). When Screen Rant interviewed Johnson for his role in the aforementioned high-concept comedy, he commented on how proud he is to be a part of producers Chris Miller and Phil Lord's take on Spider-Man, and how positive the character is in today's "hard" landscape.
Read More: Jake Johnson Interview
Classic Spider-Man Villains Green Goblin, Kingpin and Prowler
The trailer has already revealed the Green Goblin; so far no voice casting has been announced for this character, and considering it appears this is the more beastly, Ultimate version of the character, it's possible that no voice casting will be required at all. The Prowler is also showcased, and the chase/fight sequences between Morales and Prowler look to be some of the movie's most exciting. Oscar winner Mahershala Ali will provide the voice of Miles' uncle-turned-villain, Aaron Davis, although his voice work is yet to be heard in either the teaser or the trailer.
Fans can have an extra-long glimpse at the character's costume, however - including what appear to be jet boots - thanks to a look at the upcoming action figures, set to be released just in time for Christmas.
Also featured in the pictures of the action figure playsets are our first look at Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin. One-time Sabretooth Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is lending his voice to Fisk (a role most recently occupied by Vincent D'Onofrio in Netflix's Daredevil), and the actor has already gone on record saying how "special" he thinks the film is going to be.
Other Cast and Characters in Into the Spider-Verse
When the majority of the cast of Into the Spider-Verse was announced, executive producers Chris Miller & Phil Lord released a statement to say how happy they were to have such "an amazing cast of funny, genuine creative souls to populate the Spider-verse."
Nicolas Cage, no stranger to comic book fare after his two turns as Ghost Rider, will apparently be providing the voice of Spider Man Noir. The character comes from a world where Peter Parker is bitten by a spider during the Great Depression, in Marvel's Noir Universe. Cage has been active in the voice-over industry of late, having recently lent his voice to (finally) playing Superman in the upcoming Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.
Lily Tomlin (Netflix's Grace and Frankie, Grandma) will be donating her larynx to Peter's beloved Aunt May; the third big-screen portrayal of the character in four years.
In a fun link to the MCU, Atlanta's Brian Tyree Henry will voice Miles' father Jefferson Davis. His co-star, writer and producer on Atlanta, wunderkind Donald Glover, happen to play Jefferson Davis' brother Aaron Davis (aka The Prowler) in Spider-Man: Homecoming (after a long campaign by fans to have him play a live-action Miles Morales).
Hailee Steinfeld (The upcoming Bumblebee) will be lending her voice to fan-favorite character Spider-Gwen; a version of Gwen Stacy from a parallel universe where she was bitten by a radioactive spider, not Peter Parker.
Based on the Marvel Comics Event Spider-Verse
The title of Into the Spider-Verse will immediately call to mind the 2014 Marvel Comics event, Spider-Verse. The storyline spanned multiple preludes, miniseries and spin-offs, and followed Peter Parker allying with Spider-people from across the multiverse as they team to fight totem-eater Morlun and his family.
The appearance of multiple versions of Spider-Man (including Spider-Gwen, who got her start in the comic book event Spider-Verse) suggests that the movie will in some way use the source material as inspiration.
The Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Trailer
When the trailer dropped on June 6th, it became Sony Pictures' most viral trailer ever. A mere three days later it had accumulated 44 million views; it had topped the high viewing figures of trailers for Sony's own Sausage Party and Warner Bros' Lego Batman Movie. It became the topic of 164,000 social media conversations. The high interest bodes extremely well for box office sales - in turn, increasing the chances of a sequel.
The trailer also boasts a meta exchange between Parker and Morales following the arrival of Spider-Gwen; Miles asks, "How many more Spider-people are there?", with Peter's replying being, "Save it for Comic-Con." That exchange doesn't look to be a simple, knowing joke, but a promise; Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will have a presence at this coming weekend's San Diego Comic-Con.
Look out for new, key details about the movie and fresh announcements regarding newly-cast Spider-people following Friday's 6:15pm panel in Hall H right here on Screen Rant.
Into the Spider-Verse's Directors Are Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse is being co-directed by three figures with long standing in the animation industry. Bob Persichetti was Head of Story on Puss In Boots and an artist on Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and cut his teeth on Disney's Hercules, Mulan and Tarzan. More recently he was the writer and Head of Story of acclaimed animation The Little Prince.
Peter Ramsey directed Rise of the Guardians, and contributed to the Art Department on everything from Men in Black to Fight Club to Minority Report. So far he's been the most vocal of the three directors, commenting on Twitter how much Miles Morales means to him, and everyone on the production team.
The final co-director, Rodney Rothman, started out as a writer on Letterman, helped write 22 Jump Street (under the auspices of Lord & Miller), and was a producer on Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The three have clear experience and styles, and it's easy to understand how their various approaches to animation can combine effectively to create the unique visuals we see in the trailer.
Into the Spider-Verse's Writer Is Phil Lord
The original screenwriters in early 2017 were Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Rodney Rothman, with Alex Hirsch (Gravity Falls, a draft of the upcoming Detective Pikachu) as a story-contributor. By the end of 2017 it was established that the final script would be written by Phil Lord alone. The reasons behind this are unclear, especially as Lord & Miller shared writing credit on Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and The Lego Movie.
Considering the strife that engulfed Lord & Miller when they tried to direct Solo: A Star Wars Story, it'd be easy to worry about the fact that only one of them is credited as Writer on Into the Spider-Verse. On the other hand it'd be foolish, too, as there could be any number of reasons why Lord was the last to hammer out the final draft (for example, Miller could have had his hands tied executive-producing the animation department).
Into the Spider-Verse Will Be Released Christmas 2018
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is set to be Sony Pictures Animation's first film to release in December, with the penciled date of Friday 14th locked in. The only other movie with a wide release that day is Peter Jackson's Mortal Engines, an adaptation of a lesser-known book series with a cult following. The question is, can Jackson's third book series adaptation find footing with global audiences who most likely aren't too familiar with the source material? Compared to Spider-Man, a character known the world over. It should prove to be an easy contest.
A week prior is Mary: Queen of Scots, but in its second week of release it shouldn't be too much of a battle. The real challenge is a week after the release of Into the Spider-Verse, when Aquaman, Bumblebee, Mary Poppins Returns, Holmes & Watson, Alita: Battle Angel and counter-programming Welcome to Marwen hit theaters. Whilst Miles Morales and co. might make money the week of its release, it stands to lose a chunk of change to its competition the next.
Expect it to hang around the box office as parents finally find time to take their nagging children over the ensuing weeks of the festive season.
More Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Stories
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Figures Provide Close Look at Kingpin & Prowler
- Into The Spider-Verse Reportedly Adds Nicolas Cage As Spider-Man Noir
- Jake Johnson Praises Lord & Miller; Gave Up on Han Solo When They Left
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Trailer One of Sony's Most Viral Ever
Other Upcoming Spider-Man Movies
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) release date: Dec 14, 2018