Four months after the wide release of Marvel's Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4, the game's voice of Peter Parker, Yuri Lowenthal, opened up about a particular gut-wrenching scene that Marvel nearly tried to axe from the plot.
Warning! The following contains major spoilers for Marvel's Spider-Man from Insomniac Games!
The scene in question was the very emotional death of Aunt May (voiced by Nancy Linari), which at the very end of the game as Peter tries to save the city.
"We [recorded the scene] and it felt like it worked and then, I believe I can say this, Marvel came back and said, ‘You guys can’t kill Aunt May … we can’t have that',” Lownethal said during an appearance on The GameZone Podcast. "We were like, ‘Too bad because we felt that it was great, but we understand. It’s your property and you gotta have control over it.’ We kept doing the game and Insomniac would send stuff back to Marvel for approval and Marvel, months later, came back with, ‘You know what? You guys have earned it. You can kill Aunt May.’ … It was hugely gratifying.”
Funnily enough, this was great news for the detail-oriented developers at Insomniac, but not such great news for Linari who, after the initial rejection from Marvel, held out hope for reprising her character in later installments.
“[It] was a poor roller coaster for poor Nancy Linari, whose like, ‘My character’s dead, oh my character maybe gets to be in another game!’ And then the character’s dead [again]. I guess she could always live in flashbacks, Obi-Wan Kenobi-style scenes," added Lowenthal.
Right before the game launched, Lowenthal got to see all of the cinematic cut scenes strung together and screened in a theatrical way. As you'd expect, May's death hit him pretty hard even after he knew what was coming.
“It made me all weepy and choked up," he said.
Before he recorded lines for scene, however, Lowenthal was worried that he wouldn't be able to pull off all the emotion needed for the loss of Peter's last family member.
"I was nervous going into that scene when we were gonna [record] it. Like is [the emotion] gonna be there? That happens to me sometimes … Having Nancy Linari, who played Aunt May … there right with me helped … Having what felt like a safe set where everybody’s being respectful and really quite and everybody was doing their best to minimize anything that would get in between the actors and a good performance.”