With all the ideas that were packed into Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, it might seem a little surprising that a wealth of good ideas ended up cut long before the final draft.
Into the Spider-Verse co-director Rodney Rothman spoke with The Q&A podcast, where he revealed some interesting background on the animated sensation that's already taken home a Golden Globe and a Critics' Choice Award this year.
Rothman repeatedly said through the 90-minute interview that "every idea" that someone could've possibly had was "considered, discussed, fought over" at one point or another. Among those ideas was bringing the three actors who've portrayed the Wall-Crawler on the big screen into the fold.
"I wrote a scene that had Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire," said Rothman. "I don’t want to get into it but I did write that scene, but there was a lot of anxiety. There was a lot of anxiety around the movie generally and there was anxiety about confusing people. Let's put it that way."
Rothman explained that the idea was scrapped out of concern it would be too confusing for the audience. This echoes what he'd said prior over the idea to cast Maguire as the cynical, pot-bellied Spider-Man, which eventually went to Jake Johnson.
Rothman also explained that Spider-Verse producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller were initially approached years ago by Sony Pictures' Amy Pascal with a simple proposition: make an animated Spider-Man movie. The two passed at first, only to circle back sometime around 2014 and 2015 on the sole condition that Miles Morales would be the main character.
"I think they saw the potential in it being a platform to try out some experimental notions," said Rothman, which led them to focus on Miles, who had only been introduced in the pages of Marvel Comics a few years prior.
One of the more bizarre revelations was the Spider-Man who came from the land down under. "On a whim at 2 in the morning, [I] added a character — Australian Spider-Man — to the group. He'd gotten there a day earlier because he's Australian," explained Rothman.
Before long, the character was glitched to death in front of the other half-dozen members of the Spider-posse, indicating that they only had 24 hours to save the day and safely get back to their own dimensions. The idea was nixed due to what Rothman called "a humorless time of the production," which was roughly a year-and-a-half before its release, meaning that things were too far along to design, build, and animate an entirely new character.
Finally, Rothman revealed that he had written in a Hassidic character who lived in Miles' neighborhood that he was particularly fond of. He not only had a name, Hershel, but made it into several of the storyboards in pre-production.
"I had this dream that either Action Bronson or Mike D would play [Hershel]," Rothman said, before adding that "no one wanted to put Hershel in the movie but me." When asked what his purpose would've served as a character, he simply responded, "I don't know man."
On the upside, Rothman said that Hershel did end up making the cut in one scene. Ah, what could have been.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is currently up for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Do you think it'll take home another trophy? Let us know in the comments!
(h/t Flickering Myth)