Hot off an Oscars win that gave a Marvel superhero a rare win over Disney, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse isn’t done pleasing fans of the various webheads in the multiverse. The film that gave us Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham, and Miles Morales is getting its home release soon, and with it, an alternate cut jam-packed with content that simply didn’t fit into the final version of the film.
This version tells a very different kind of story, features a comic book mainstay we hardly got to know at all, and should be just as stuffed with fan service as the rest of the hilarious and creative film.
According to Cinemablend, which spoke to directors Rodney Rothman, Bob Persichetti, and Peter Ramsey, this version is called the Alt-Universe Cut and will be an extended edition released with the digital and physical versions of the Academy Award winner. That’s because, Rothman explained, the film “had an unusual amount of material at every stage of production.”
“So, an insane amount of storyboard material, like insane, like break your high-end edit systems insane. An insane amount of layout, an insane amount of finished animation that didn't make it into the movie… an unusual amount. So the Alt-Universe Cut contains a bunch of that stuff that we chose not to put in the movie, but that in an alternate universe easily could have ended up in the movie.”
And we know how this film feels about alternate universes: include them. Even if they didn’t make the theatrical cut, these materials still offer plenty of enjoyment for Spider-Man geeks or film production nerds eager to track the evolution of the year’s best animated movie.
Including a new Spider-Ham short intro and a much closer relationship between Miles and Ganke Lee, this alternate version underwent cuts after Spider-Man: Homecoming included a buddy comedy-esque vibe between Peter Parker and Ned Leeds. “The alt version is more beholden to the idea that Miles and Ganke were buddies and roommates,” Persichetti said, “and there's a lot more of roommate stuff happening.”
“And what we ended up running into was just to two things. It was just like, 'Oh, wow. Homecoming, Ned — very similar to Ganke.' Really. And then, 'Well, maybe it's actually better if Miles experiences these things without a really well-educated Sherpa holding his hand through all the powers coming on and everything,' and it ended up helping us out for that place where Peter comes into the movie.” Ganke was such a big part of the film that they “had a version of the first act a long, long time ago with Ganke in it fully,” which was so different and entertaining, that the film could have “never had a Spider-Man.”
But some scenes fit into the current version of the story, just not the final version of the movie. And one in particular was a heartbreaker for the directors to cut. “You're going to see, there's one scene, the billboard scene, where it's Miles and Peter talking, and it's like 90 percent animated, and it's beautiful animation,” Persichetti said. This scene was in the film for around two years before the directors finally removed it from the final cut.
The directors loved the scene, but thought the film was better without it, which fans will be able to determine for themselves soon, since Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is out on digital today, with a physical release coming on March 19.