The cast and creators of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse arrived at San Diego Comic-Con's Hall H Friday to shed some light on their new film, the various Spider-characters (including new additions Nicolas Cage and John Mulaney), and what it means to be Spider-Man.
Directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman were joined onstage by writers and producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, as well as stars Shameik Moore (Miles Morales), Jake Johnson (Peter Parker), and Hailee Steinfeld (Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen). Talk quickly turned to how each star felt about embodying each different version of a Spider-hero.
As the film's star, Moore not only gets to play the first non-Peter Parker Spider-Man in a superhero blockbuster, but he gets to do it as Miles Morales, the mixed-race Ultimate Spider-Man who's become an indispensable part of Marvel Comics in less than a decade. Speaking about the opportunity to play the character and embody what he means to so many fans, Moore -- who actually once wrote "I am Miles Morales" in a journal two years ago to put his desire into the world -- called the role "powerful and iconic."
Then there's Peter Parker, who we've certainly seen plenty of times on the big screen, but never before like this. According to Johnson, his version of the original Spider-Man isn't the fresh-faced teen we see Tom Holland playing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This Peter Parker is instead pushing into middle, battling his physical limitations, and "doesn't know if he wants to be Spider-Man anymore." When he meets Miles through the connections of Spider-Verse, he sees hope, and a reminder of how rewarding it once was to be a webslinger.
Then there's Spider-Gwen, another recently introduced fan favorite who's even newer to the Marvel Comics scene than Miles. An alternate-universe version of Peter Parker's girlfriend Gwen Stacy, Steinfeld describes her as the "coolest and smartest and toughest and most capable one in the room," which only adds more emphasis to the power of Spider-Gwen on the page. Because of characters like her, anyone -- boy, girl, or somewhere in between -- can be Spider-Man.
Which is, of course, one of the reasons the character has endured and remained so popular since his debut in 1962. When talking about why Spider-Man has remained popular enough that he doesn't just exist as Peter Parker but as dozens of different characters, Lord summed it up like this: "The power of this character is that we've told his story so many different ways, and everybody can visualize themselves behind that mask."
Then it was time for new footage, in the form of an extended trailer that began with Miles dealing with his new powers for the first time. His clothes don't fit right anymore, his hands are sticking to Gwen Stacy's (his universe's Gwen, anyway) hair for reasons he doesn't understand, and he's just generally puzzled.
Then he gets some clarity upon a visit to Peter Parker's grave. While there, he's confronted by a very much alive version of Peter from another universe, and that's when Miles enters the Spider-Verse.
And so do we, because this trailer is about much more than Miles and Peter. In addition to showcasing some Spider-training action and giving us a glimpse of villains like Kingpin (Liev Schreiber), the footage also gave us our first glimpses of other Spider-characters like Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), Penny Parker (Kimiko Glenn), and Spider-Ham (John Mulaney). So, if you were looking for a true universe of Spider-characters, it looks like we're going to see it, and all in that distinctive animation style that's made every trailer so far a massive crowd-pleaser.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse arrives Dec. 14, just in time for Spider-Christmas.
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