Film News – Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse Directors Discuss Franchise Future

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was a worthy winner of Best Animated Film at the 2019 Oscars and a strong argument for this film deserving to receive a Best Picture nomination could absolutely be made.

The success of this animated superhero movie has left a lot of film fans craving for more films in this franchise. In an interview with Collider, the directors of Spider-Verse were given the chance to speak about the future of this franchise.

Spider-Verse Franchise

Here is what they had to say about the future of the Spider-Verse franchise and balancing familiarity and innovation:

RODNEY ROTHMAN: Yeah, it’s a tightrope […] I would say that the goal is to do … to deepen both sides of that equation, you know? To deepen the emotional storytelling, and you know, the story about Miles and his family, just deepen all that, and deepen the sense of experimentation and pushing boundaries visually, and I’m sure there’ll be tethers to what we just did, but I think the hope is that we feel super encouraged by how people responded to the risks that we took, we didn’t know if they were gonna work or not, so I think everyone feels emboldened.

BOB PERSICHETTI: Yeah, I think it becomes about, you know, continue the philosophy of the way the movie got made, as opposed to continue making movies that look the same. Because the way the movie – every choice we made, in pushing the boundaries on the animation style and the visual stylization, even the narrative stylization, all of that stuff was a choice that felt like it was born out of the needs for the story and the movie narratively, and obviously it all compounded to make something feel really cohesive and resonant. If you can take that philosophy forward, that’s the win.

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Film/Movie Review) – A Game Changer For Animation

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an animated superhero film directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman. It is based on the Marvel Comics character Miles Morales/Spider-Man and it is the first animated movie in the Spider-Man film franchise.

The film features an ensemble voice cast of Liev Schreiber, John Mulaney, Luna Lauren Valez, Nicolas Cage, Lily Tomlin, Brian Tyree Henry, Mahershala Ali, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld and Shameik Moore.

The story of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is set in a shared multiverse called the ‘Spider-Verse’ which has alternate universes with various Spider-Men. In this film, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) becomes one of the many Spider-Men and he must work with the others to save New York City from Kingpin (Liev Schreiber).

My Expectation For Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

This is not an exaggeration; every single review and reaction to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse proclaimed it to be one of the best films of 2018, one of the best comic-book movies of 2018 and one of the best comic-book movies ever made. Clearly, this raised my expectations for a film I did not know much about.

I tried to go into this film knowing little about the plot but the praise that Spider-Verse received made me think that I was in for something special. Still, Avengers: Infinity War was the best superhero film I had seen in 2018 and Spider-Verse would have to be special to top Infinity War.

My Thoughts On Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Avengers: Infinity War remains my favourite comic book film of 2018 but I really liked Spider-Verse. Make no mistake, this film is a game changer for animation. It is visually gorgeous and unique in its style.

Still, what makes Spider-Verse a very good film is its story, the heart of which is the relationship between Miles Morales and his family. Indeed, the tug-of-war for Miles between his father and uncle made for some very poignant moments throughout the movie.

Still, as much as I liked Spider-Verse, I feel as though my appreciation for this film would have been greatly enhanced if I was a hardcore Spider-Man fan. I cannot imagine how awesome this film would have been for them.

I am a very casual fan of Spider-Man so most of the easter-eggs and specific, deep cut references went over my head. Certainly, I had no idea so many iterations of Spider-Man existed in the first place.

Nevertheless, I found so much to like in Spider-Verse despite how much this film was made for the hardcore fans of Spider-Man. This movie is funny and has some brilliant characters within it. Obviously, Miles Morales and Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) are standouts but my favourite character was Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage).

I loved his role in the film and what he brought to the story. Moreover, because of the range of characters as well as the dense story, Spider-Verse has to juggle a lot of moving parts and it does this very nicely which was a big achievement.

My Final Thoughts On Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

My only real issue with Spider-Verse was how the momentum of the film was a bit stop/start which slightly hampered the pacing. Additionally, while Kingpin was a decent villain, I would have liked for his character to have been a bit more developed than it was.

Still, I understand that Spider-Verse is a film about the hero’s journey and it is a great journey to go on. Spider-Verse is a very good time at the cinema and it does deserve a lot of the praise it has received. It also deserves award recognition and it should be a lock to win Best Animated Film at the 2019 Oscars.

spider-man into the spider-verse review


Film News – Nicolas Cage On Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse + Mandy

Eccentric actor Nicolas Cage could not have picked two more radically different films to star in 2018 than Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Mandy. These movies operate in completely different genres and mediums of film but they have both been well received by movie critics. In a wide-ranging email interview with Collider, Nicholas Cage discussed both Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Mandy.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Here is what Nicolas Cage said on what he did to channel noir icons such as Humphrey Bogart into his vocal performance for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:

Nothing specific but more of a recall, more of a collage of memories, to try and bring some kind of flavor or color of it – but nothing 100%. It’s still very fluid. It’s more of an essence of the way those guys would talk in their movies back in the 30s.”


Nicolas Cage had this to say on the one thing from the filming of Mandy that will stick with him forever:

We were trying to get this one shot after Red already had the skull juice and turned into a golem of sorts…and he is about to grab one of the cult children and throw him against the tree and Panos had to have it happen just right. It was all about timing, the speed in which I would get him against the tree.”

We did that shot about 15 or 20 times – which we never had happen before, and after I looked at Panos and said ‘That was the shot from Hell.’ and he looked at me and took about a two-second beat and he said, ‘Well, they are all from Hell.’”

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Film News – Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman + Peter Ramsey Discuss Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

It feels really weird to be in December and not have a new Star Wars film being released. Still, the void is slightly filled with movies such as Aquaman, Bumblebee, Mary Poppins Returns and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Indeed, the latter of these films is receiving a ton of praise with many film critics stating that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the best animated superhero film ever made in addition to being one of the best films of 2018.

The directors for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse are Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman and Peter Ramsey and, in an interview with Collider, they had the chance to speak about this Marvel animated superhero movie.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman had this to say on the process of creating the script for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:

PETER RAMSEY: “It’s an insanely organic process. Even the writing of the script is part of that whole flow, so there’s very little delineation between like an actual script page and what ends up in boards or what comes out of the art department. It’s all a really free-flowing sort of thing that we all just shepherded along and threw things in the pot, stir, and stir, and taste it.

See where we are, then it’ll bounce back to pages. Its one of those things that it’s like, it really was all about the film as a process in and of itself rather than, ‘Here we have a finished script. Now we will do exactly what’s on the page and nothing more.’ It was much more alive than that.”

ROTHMAN: “Some ideas start in the script. Most ideas, a lot of ideas happen downstream from the script and then as we’re working on the script, if we have to tweak or rewrite a scene, all of a sudden we’ve seen what animation is doing, or we’ve seen what the art department has added.”

And that makes us think of this other idea. It is a really organic process of seeing what the team is doing and then refining what you’re doing and emphasizing things that seem to be working well and disappearing things that aren’t.”

Miles Morales

Bob Persichetti said this on what type of person they wanted Miles Morales to be in this film:

A kid from Brooklyn, first and foremost. He’s meant to be your average teenager from Brooklyn with a loving mom and dad. That’s the big difference between him and Peter Parker is he still has both his parents.”

We tried to make him as relatable as possible, because even though it’s a radioactive spider that triggers it, it’s really just a simple coming of age story for him. Putting him in New York, and thinking about all the aspects of this film, a lot of the different cultural aspects of this film originated in New York from comic books to hip-hop to graffiti to the idea of Spider-Man, period.”

It was really just trying to create a kid who maybe had a little bit of a creative soul in him and was searching for an identity. Making sure that he was challenged and grew and had like a radioactive puberty.”

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Spider-Man: Homecoming (Film Review) – Thoroughly Entertaining

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a superhero film directed by John Watts and it is the sixteenth instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Tom Holland reprises his role as the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man/Peter Parker after his debut in Captain America: Civil War.

The cast for Spider-Man: Homecoming also includes Jon Favreau, Donald Glover, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Batalon, Zendaya, Michael Keaton and Robert Downey Jr. The story of the film focuses on Peter Parker as he tries to find the balance between being both Spider-Man and a teenager at high-school while also dealing with the looming threat of The Vulture (Michael Keaton).

My Knowledge and Expectation of Spider-Man: Homecoming

To say that Spider-Man: Homecoming has been a film that I have been highly anticipating would be an understatement. My excitement for Homecoming mainly comes from how much I loved Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War. To me, his scenes and Spider-Man himself were the best parts of a film which, overall, I found to be good but overrated.

I hoped that the good foundation that was laid for Spider-Man in Civil War would be built upon in Homecoming which would also further the MCU in the process. Additionally, I could not wait to see the continuation of Spider-Man/Peter Parker’s relationship with Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and I was curious to see whether The Vulture could buck the trend of underwhelming villains in the MCU. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive so, with all of this in mind, I was expecting good things from Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Spider-Man/Peter Parker in Spider-Man Homecoming

My Thoughts on Spider-Man: Homecoming

After seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, I thought that it would be tough for any superhero film coming out in 2017 that is in the MCU to be better. Spider-Man: Homecoming achieves this. This film is so entertaining and it is another success for Marvel. I was smiling from beginning to end and the film is a fantastic blend of being a superhero film and a coming-of-age film. In fact, Spider-Man: Homecoming did remind me at times of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and a direct reference to that film is made in Homecoming which was nice to see.

A big reason why Spider-Man: Homecoming is so great and enjoyable is because of Tom Holland. He continues right where he left off from Civil War and comes across as a real teenager. We can see that he is struggling with all the normal pressures of puberty, adolescence and high-school in addition to his superhero abilities. It is very easy to connect to Holland’s Spider-Man/Peter Parker and he is so likeable, awkward and funny in Spider-Man: Homecoming. I cannot wait to see more of Spider-Man as he has become one of my favourite characters in the MCU.

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Tom Holland as Peter Parker in Spider-Man Homecoming

Moreover, his relationship with his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) was another highlight of the film as it felt extremely natural and authentic. I also liked Michelle (Zendaya) as she provided some enjoyable dry humour and seeing Donald Glover in his small role was cool to watch. Still, my favourite interactions that Tom Holland had in Spider-Man: Homecoming were with Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr.

Since the MCU began with Iron Man in 2008, Robert Downey Jr. has been consistently brilliant and he continues this in his small but important role as Tony Stark/Iron Man in this film. We had the perfect amount of Robert Downey Jr. and, instead of overshadowing, he enhanced the character of Spider-Man/Peter Parker. This gave Tom Holland the chance to successfully lead this film.

A nice surprise in Spider-Man: Homecoming was just how good The Vulture was as the villain in this film. Michael Keaton does a fantastic job in portraying one of the best villains in the MCU to date because he is a very sympathetic character. While he is committing bad acts, the motivations and the reasons why he is leading a life of crime is very understandable. He is much more layered than other villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe which means that he ranks amongst my favourite villains in the MCU.

Michael Keaton as The Vulture in Spider-Man Homecoming

Other elements of Spider-Man: Homecoming that impressed me were the action and the visual effects and, in this regard, I must give a lot of credit to director John Watts. I knew nothing about him going into this film and I feel like he is going to get a lot more opportunities after how well he directed Homecoming.

He crafted a film which is another entertaining chapter in the MCU and elevates Spider-Man to a place where he is now an integral part of this franchise. I know that this is the second reboot of this character and that may put you off seeing this film. I urge you to reconsider as I guarantee that you will leave the cinema much happier after you have seen what is, for me personally, one of the most entertaining films of 2017 so far.