Speaking exclusively to Screen Rant at SDCC 2018, the directors of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse explained the unique and distinctive villains viewers can expect to see adapted for this animated movie.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse promises to be a unique Spider-Man movie. It stars Shameik Moore as Miles, Jake Johnson as a down-on-his-luck Peter Parker, and Hailee Steinfeld as Spider-Gwen. Footage screened at SDCC confirmed that other alternate-dimension Spider-Men will also be joining the film, including Nicolas Cage's Spider-Man Noir, Kimiko Glenn's Peni Parker, and John Mulaney's Spider-Ham. The last of these is reportedly an absolute scene-stealer.
So far, attention has been mostly focused on the heroes - for understandable reasons, as this is the first time alternate-universe Spider-Men have been seen on the big screen. Screen Rant had an exclusive opportunity to speak to directors Bob Persichetti and Rodney Rothman, so we decided to broaden the topic out and discuss the villains. Although the directors were wary of giving away too much, for fear of spoiling the film, they did explain both Green Goblin and the Kingpin. It seems Into the Spider-Verse's Green Goblin will be unlike anything viewers have seen on the big screen as well. As Persichetti explained:
"He's a Green Goblin that's a little different than what has been represented in any of the previous Spider-Man films that's because we're leaning into Miles, the Ultimate Universe. In that Green Goblin is much more of a goblin than a man. He's more beast and less man. As opposed to what Peter Parker has experienced in his sort of universe and films."
In the Ultimate Universe, Norman Osborn injects himself with Goblin Serum - and experiences far more dramatic physiological changes than in the mainstream comics. He becomes a monstrous goblin-like being, a towering giant who can scale walls with his clawed hands and project fiery bolts of energy. He's a far cry from the versions traditionally adapted for Sony's Spider-Man films, who have depended on advanced tech and Goblin Gliders. It makes sense for Into the Spider-Verse to use a version of Norman Osborn who's traditionally associated with the same alternate universe as Miles Morales. Persichetti then went on to talk about the show's portrayal of Kingpin, who seems loosely inspired by Vincent D'Onofrio's portrayal in the popular Daredevil Netflix series - albeit presumably a lot less brutal.
"He's a philanthropist and bad guy. Liev has brought a lot of his strength and power that that guy has as an actor to that character. And we have a lot of fun just representing in the visual world that we have, we get to really push design and we have enjoyed pushing Kingpin's design I think to the limit of right on the cusp, he's a strong believable character but he's also this beautiful, graphic black hole. You know. We kinda went out on a limb and I think it actually turned out successful."
As Rothman observed, Sony's goal with this film has been to develop a whole new Spider-universe. As such, he pointed out that "the story really emanates from Miles." That led the directors to carefully run through the comics, and consider just who would be Miles Morales's most formidable antagonists, representing the opposite of what Miles himself represents. The directors stressed that there are other villains in the film, as well, although they're choosing to hold those back as, in Persichetti's words, "wonderful surprises."
This #SDCC post is brought to you in partnership with Regal Cinemas.
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) release date: Dec 14, 2018