With movie theaters largely out of commission for the moment and many people still quarantined in their homes, social media watch parties have been an increasingly common way to both stay connected and celebrate films and TV shows that make us all happy. It's fun even if you do it with just a few friends, but throw in the filmmakers who made the watch party possible in the first place and you might also learn something along the way.
The latest major watch party in ComicBook's Quarantine Watch Party series arrived Wednesday night with 2018's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the Oscar-winning animated film that's still celebrated by fans of all ages. The watch party brought in tons of fans, of course, but also featured the participation of executive producers Phil Lord (who also co-wrote) and Christopher Miller; directors Bob Perischetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman; and star Shameik Moore.
Over the course of its runtime, they tweeted out reactions to seeing Into the Spider-Verse again (in some cases, for the first time since the premiere), offered emotional insights, and even shared some behind-the-scenes tidbits about making the film. For example, you may have noticed that the number "42" seems to come up a lot over the course of the film. It's a reference that's both taken from the original comic book run for the Miles Morales character and has a very important place in civil rights history.
In terms of integrating various comic book elements, including written sound effects appearing onscreen during action sequences, Miller noted that there were specific rules about how to make it work, especially when it came to timing them to Miles' journey.
When it came to building in various easter eggs, the filmmakers were able to have a lot fun imagining what might exist in other universes that didn't exist in our own, including a sequel to Shaun of the Dead. For that, Rothman went directly to Edgar Wright with a rather unusual email request.
In terms of other, slightly more obscure easter eggs, Miller pointed out that he and Lord have a tradition of hiding dolphins in every film they make together. Even if you knew this about them, you might have had a little trouble finding the Spider-Verse dolphin. Fortunately, Miller made it easy.
There was also time to talk about some of the more unsung contributions to the finished product in the film. Rothman, for example, shouted out screenwriter Meghan Malloy for her uncredited work on the script.
And of course, we already knew that John Mulaney created plenty of alternate jokes for Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham, but apparently we didn't know just how many jokes.
Though the evening was largely devoted to Spider-Verse, Lord and Miller also spent a little bit of typing hyping their next (non-Spidey) animated sci-fi adventure, Connected, which they produced for writer/directors Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe.
Oh, and Miller broke some news on the Connected front as well. After letting Blake Griffin play baseball for the "New York Red Sox" in Spider-Verse, they got him to be an evil robot for their new film.
Connected is scheduled to hit theaters October 23. The Into the Spider-Verse sequel is set to hit theaters April 8, 2022.