Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse co-director Rodney Rothman reveals alternate lines for Stan Lee's cameo in the film. Sony's latest animated project was hailed by many as their favorite comic book film of last year - and that says a lot considering the slew of critically acclaimed superhero films from 2018 like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. But aside from its quality, the project was also bittersweet, considering that it's the first Marvel film to come out after the prolific writer passed away. One of the pioneers of Marvel Comics, Lee died late last year at the age of 95, after suffering a series of health issues during the last couple of years that forced him to start skipping public engagements.
Lee's Into the Spider-Verse cameo took place in the middle of the film. His character offered Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) some words of encouragement as he readies to wear his own Spider-Man suit. Lee told the budding hero, "it always fits ... eventually,” ending it with a knowing smile, and giving Miles the confidence to fully take on the role. But it turns out, Rothman and his co-directors Bob Persichetti and Peter Ramsey had a couple of other options for Lee's appearance in the film.
During Into the Spider-Verse's VUDU viewing party with Rothman on Twitter, he revealed a few alternate lines they were contemplating using. Two of the other lines directly addressed the death of Peter Parker in Miles' universe, while one is just straight-up hilarious. Fans in the thread sees unanimous in preferring what ultimately ended up in the theatrical cut. Check out the filmmaker's tweet below.
Other lines we recorded with Stan Lee: 1) I can't believe it. I didn’t think Spider-Man could die. 2) Why this stuff sells, I’ll never know. 3) Always thought he'd outlive me. But he loved the line we used #VuduViewingParty @VuduFans— rodneyrothman (@rodneyrothman) March 23, 2019
Back in December, Rothman talked about the evolution of Lee's Into the Spider-Verse cameo. Turns out, his lines were recorded shortly after his beloved wife Joan passed away and in their initial plan, his lines were funnier. But considering the state of his life at that point, it didn't feel right. So instead, they opted with the line that had the most meaning to him. In the original script, Lee's character wasn't encouraging at all, telling Miles that the suit "never fits," which may be good for laughs but obviously wouldn't have as much impact on the hero's narrative compared to what ended up in the film's final cut.
In hindsight, Rothman and his team chose the best option for Lee's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse cameo. It was both lighthearted and encouraging; and it perfectly encapsulated the message he wanted to send when he created the web-slinging hero several decades ago - that everybody can be a hero. It also fits really well with Miles' journey in the film, and seeing Lee be the one to give him that extra boost to take the leap of faith made it all the more special. While Lee's no longer around for these fun Marvel film appearances moving forward, his legacy will live on with the characters he created in various forms of media.
Source: Rodney Rothman/Twitter