Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse Deleted Jokes

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is still in theaters, so if you haven’t seen what many have called the best Spider-Man movie ever, there’s still time. Since there’s plenty of love for the new Spider-Man to go around, including a Golden Globe win and an Oscar nomination, some interesting tidbits from behind the scenes have emerged all over the web (pun intended).

Below we’ve put together some Spider-Verse nuggets, including details on a couple hilarious jokes that got cut from the movie, a look at some early animatics before the film found its signature visual style, and a breakdown of one of the key sequences. There’s also word from producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller on how their firing from Solo: A Star Wars Story benefited the animated movie.

lord and miller solo

How Solo: A Star Wars Story Made Spider-Verse Better

Phil Lord and Chris Miller were famously fired from directing Solo: A Star Wars Story and replaced by director Ron Howard. While that was disappointing for Star Wars fans and those who love Lord & Miller’s work on the likes of 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie, it actually ended up benefiting their work elsewhere.

While attending a junket for The LEGO Movie 2, which Lord & Miller also produced, the duo explained how Solo: A Star Wars Story originally kept them from being more involved with the Spider-Man and LEGO projects. Lord told io9:

“Obviously we were able to spend a lot of time on these movies and it’s, I think, our good luck that we got to spend so much time making movies we care about”

Miller added, “We were really passionate about both of these films and it was a real opportunity for us to be able to really dig in on both of them and be really involved in every aspect of the production.”

So being fired from Solo: A Star Wars Story was really a blessing in disguise. Lord elaborated, “One of the pleasures is that you get to collaborate with filmmakers that we hired because they inspire us. We got to spend time collaborating together and enriching one another’s creativity.” And Miller followed up, “And both films have collaboration at the heart of them. It’s an important thing to us. So it couldn’t be more fitting.”

Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Ham Almost Had a Dark Origin Story Joke

Even though there are plenty of great gags in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, some great jokes ended up on the cutting room floor. One in particular gave quite a shocking background detail from John Mulaney’s swine superhero, Spider-Ham.

Speaking on The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith (via io9), co-director and co-writer Rodney Rothman recalled one bit that would have popped up during the scene when all the various interdimensional Spider-People were talking about the people they lost in their origin stories. Rothman explained:

“The way that scene [originally] went is Noir said he lost his Uncle Benjamin, Peter lost Uncle Ben, and Gwen lost Peter. We went through everyone. Spider-Ham said he lost his Uncle Frankfurter. And then he said, ‘He was electrocuted, and it smelled so good.’”

That’s a pretty dark joke for a kids movie, but that’s not why the joke got cut. In fact, that line got some of the biggest laughs when they did test screenings. Instead, the filmmakers thought it lessened the emotional impact of what the rest of the characters were relaying during a key scene. Rothman said:

“We just decided, ‘This is a bad laugh. This is throwing off the energy in the scene.’ Spider-Man is a real person with real feelings, and we wanted people to get that.”

Indeed, as good as that joke is, it certainly would have undercut what that scene accomplishes in the movie. But we hope that scene ends up on the Blu-ray or DVD, if only to hear John Mulaney say that hilarious line.

Spider-Man Turn off the Dark

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Almost Got Mocked Too

Spider-Ham wasn’t the only one to lose a joke in the final cut of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Producer and co-writer Phil Lord spoke to SyFy Wire and revealed a joke about the famously failed Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark stage musical. Lord said:

“There used to be a Turn Off the Dark joke in the movie, but there just wasn’t time for it. There was a moment before Miles [Morales] came back to Aunt May’s, after he found out about the Prowler. They’re all hanging around waiting for him and they’re all talking about Spider-Man in their various different universes. And Peter B. Parker said, ‘Yeah, there’s a crazy musical that Bono did in my universe,’ and they’re all like ‘that’s crazy!”

If you never heard about Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, it has quite a troubled production history.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Animatic Tests

The animation style in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one of the many aspects of the film that helps it stand out from the rest of the superhero fare out there. Even when comparing it to other animated films, it looks unlike anything that came before it. In order to reach the bold, innovative animation style we see on the big screen, there were a lot of tests done to get it just right. One of the animators hired to work on the animatic tests for the movie has released some videos of their work to show you how the Spider-Verse came to be.

Visual consultant Alberto Mielgo posted the video above, which contains original storyboards and animatics created to test the proposed visaul style of the movie. Not everything here ended up in the movie, but you can see a good amount of concepts here that actually survived. Even though this animation is nowhere near complete, you still get a good vibe for the kind of fast-paced, electric energy the entire movie has.

Anatomy of a Spider-Scene

Finally, after hearing about all the stuff that didn’t make the cut and seeing how the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s signature visual style came to be, you can absorb one of the sequences from the movie.

For The New York Times, directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman break down the scene where Miles Morales does some spray painting in a secret underground subway tunnel. It also happens to be the scene where Miles gets bitten by the genetically engineered spider that gives him superpowers. They talk about certain artistic touches, such as stylized image blur, the tone of the scene, emulating Jack Kirby’s original comic book artwork, and much more.

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