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‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’: With Greater Animation Comes a More Daring Sequel

Continuing to surprise with its animated art, as well as expanding the story of Afro-Latino Miles Morales, who wears the mask of the new Spidey, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – the sequel to the Golden Globe Best Picture – Animated winner, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) – recently premiered in Hollywood.

Featuring the voices of Daniel Kaluuya (Golden Globe winner for Judas and the Black Messiah), Issa Rae (three-time Golden Globe nominee for Insecure), Hailee Steinfeld (Golden Globe nominee for The Edge of Seventeen), along with Brian Tyree Henry, Jason Schwartzman, Jake Johnson and Shameik Moore as Miles Morales, the film was made under the roof of Sony Animation and is set to be released worldwide this June.

Avi Arad, executive producer of Spider-Man’s TV and movie iterations since the 1990s, along with producers Chris Miller, Phil Lord and fellow executive producer Peter Ramsey, as well as its directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson, shared their enthusiasm with this member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) on the red carpet during the gala night.

After all these years, how do we find Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse?

Lord: In this new movie, Miles has grown up. The challenge for him is that he is crossing the age from child to adult and therefore tries to explore other places. It’s the problem every family must face: how do we grow and still stay close?

As producers of the first film, making a sequel brought new visual challenges. What was it like working with new filmmakers Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson?

Lord: In terms of the way we tell this story visually, it’s like every frame is the manifestation of Miles’ story. We told artists that they didn’t have to follow any canon or play by any rules. They could invent new rules.

Miller: There’s more of a sense of experimentation and innovation in this sequel because we visit all of these worlds and each one has a unique style of animation. It is like entering the painting of a different artist.

When you see the movie, you will feel like you have never seen anything like it. Many people have told us that they leave inspired by seeing something new and different. They tell us that they want to go home to draw and paint, turning their experience into something very special.

Part of the reason Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse received so many awards, including the Golden Globe, was the combination and innovation of animation styles. As filmmakers, what goal did you have in terms of visuals and story in this sequel?

Dos Santos: We returned to that idea of different styles of animation but now on steroids. We have six different worlds and there are sequences with characters drawn in their own drawing styles. We got so crazy it was like a stagecoach losing its wheels at full speed.

We were very inspired by the different types of lines and styles of the Spider-Man comics themselves, where each artist imprinted their own voice and way of seeing the character. We wanted to create that feeling on screen. For example, I grew up with Todd McFarlane’s style, which I fell in love with in the 80s and 90s.

I would encourage any child who feels they want to communicate through drawing to grab their pencils and brushes and do it. Being an artist saved my life.

Ramsey: The first movie grabbed us because it was such an emotional journey for Miles. You could feel he was a real person. Now, we are going to see him deal with his adolescent stage and the places he must jump to find out more about himself as a person and a hero. In her path is Gwen Stacy with her own realizations and challenges.

Thompson: This is a movie about how Miles must understand that in his search for himself, he must not lose his family, even if he gets lost inside the Spider-Verse. I think people are finally going to feel the bond with Morales so that this new Spider-Man can be successful.

Miles, with the emotions he displays, is here to make you feel that you care about him and involve you in his adventures.


Just a few years ago, people were discussing whether someone other than Peter Parker could wear the Spider-Man mask. In your case, Avi Arad, you have been an executive producer since the hero’s first film with Sam Raimi in 2002. What was your experience like going into the arachnid multiverse?

Arad: Oh my God! I remember very well those times when even people didn’t want Spider-Man to take off his mask in public and now they love him because people realized that they could also dream of putting on that mask. Who doesn’t want to be him and be able to fly?

Now, the animation from Sony studio allows us to soar along with the character. The animation of its artists is inspiring because every detail means something new on the screen.

Translated by Mario Amaya