The animated Into the Spider-Verse and live-action Spider-Man films won’t connect, according to writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller. 2017 has been a good year for fans of Spider-Man. Once Marvel and Sony worked out a deal to bring Peter Parker into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Captain America: Civil War, the way was cleared for a solo Spidey-film in the form of the critical-hit and box-office smash Spider-Man: Homecoming. This past weekend saw the delivery of a special holiday treat: the first trailer for Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, an animated movie starring the second Spider-Man of Marvel Comics’ Ultimate Universe, Miles Morales.
Some die-hard Spider-Fans took this trailer as a sign of bigger things to come. Their hope was that the Marvel Cinematic Universe might make way for a Marvel Cinematic Multiverse, opening up the whole of Marvel Comics’ many realities for cinematic adaptation in unity with the movies that had come before. While those dreams may prove a reality someday, it will not be Into The Spider-Verse that breaches that dimensional barrier.
At the Q&A panel at the Comic Con Experience convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil (via Collider), Into The Spider-Verse writers/producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller confirmed that there will be no link between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the reality of Into The Spider-Verse. Lord and Miller are perhaps best known for their work on the LEGO Movie.
Lord said that while Peter Parker will be a character in the movie, it will be a middle-aged version of the classic wall-crawler who will act as a mentor figure to Miles Morales – not the teenager seen in Homecoming. Lord and Miller both emphasized the fact that the focus of Into The Spider-Verse will be on Miles Morales and that their version of Peter Parker passing the baton to his younger counterpart will be a major part of the story.
This lack of connection to the larger cinematic universe may prove a detriment to Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Marvel has, for better or worse, built their brand in comics, movies and television on a shared sense of continuity. Deliberately setting the movie outside of that familiar setting with an untested property may turn away established fans. It’s also worth noting that Marvel’s animated offerings to date have not done as well, financially or critically, as those movies made by their chief Distinguished Competitor, aka. DC.
With that said, Miles Morales has built up a big following among fans of the comics and the cartoons in recent years and they have been clamoring for him to get a solo film for some time. The sense of novelty from something unfamiliar may also lure in new viewers rather than driving them away. Either way, Spider-Man: Into The Multiverse should prove once and for all if Marvel can make animated movies of equal quality to their live-action offerings.
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