The Koala Man Writers Took A Page Out Of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Playbook [Exclusive]

When you think about the all-time best superhero movies, Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" films are likely among the first that you think of. Whether or not that includes "Spider-Man 3" is subjective, but you can't deny that the first two films are in a class of their own. They achieve that perfect mixture of comic book campiness, serious drama, and compelling action. Other superhero films from the past decade or so have tried to follow its formula, but few have been able to capture Raimi's magic.

"Koala Man," the latest adult animated series premiering on Hulu, aims to do just that. /Film's Rafael Motamayor recently spoke to the show's showrunners, Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit, in an exclusive interview. When asked about a scene where the main character Kevin (creator Michael Cusack) finds his Koala Man mask talking to him, Hernandez explained that the scene was directly inspired by a classic Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) scene from the first "Spider-Man" film.

"We felt like we always wanted to be funny," he said, "but we also wanted the show to have an emotional reality [of] what it really would be like if your dad had a midlife crisis and turned into this superhero and what would provoke him to do that."

'He's been through some real s***'

That midlife crisis of sorts is at the center of "Koala Man," and as the series progresses, viewers get to understand everything that led up to Kevin taking up this alter ego. After all, nobody just decides to become a superhero out of the blue — there must be at least one major event that spurred this on. According to Dan Hernandez, this trigger won't be immediately evident, but it certainly will explain a lot.

"We explore the roots of why he becomes Koala Man later in the season, and it's sort of a tragic backstory as it turns out," he explained, "not heavy, like, depressing, but he's been through some real s***."

So, how does the famous Norman Osborn vs. Green Goblin scene from Raimi's first "Spider-Man" movie fit into this? Hernandez said that it provided a great opportunity to hint at Kevin's backstory, as well as showcase what Koala Man could be if he wasn't careful.

"We felt like letting him talk to his own persona ... a harsher and more black-and-white version of his persona, felt like a good way to start to explore what he's thinking about," he explained. "It starts where you really see the mask is very black-and-white, even more so than Kevin himself, and that continues to be sort of his sounding board, for better or worse, for the first season."

"Koala Man" premieres on Hulu on January 9, 2023.