After a rip-roaring, comic-tastic trailer for the upcoming Spider-Man animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (one featuring Spider-Gwen, Mile Morales, and more), Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s first foray into superherodom (if you don’t count LEGO Batman) had plenty of buzz. Now star Shameik Moore, who voices Morales, is explaining how he got the role and how this Spider-Man may be different than those raised on Peter Parker might expect.
In an interview with EW, Moore said that “This power is kind of handed to [Miles] when he’s not really looking for more responsibility. That phrase — ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ — it means the same thing, but it comes from a different place with this Spider-Man.” Morales is a mixed-race, Brooklyn-born 13-year-old who’s never had a feature film centered on his story. That means there’ll be a learning curve for the character who exists in the same universe as Peter Parker (voiced here by Jake Johnson).
“Everybody has a purpose and a reason and a place,” Moore said. “I think that’s what [Miles’s] conflict is — finding his place. He’s like, ‘If there’s Peter, then how do I be Spider-Man? Can you teach me? How do I do this?'” Finding that mentor in Parker is important, but so is finding it in his own family.
“He’s got both his parents alive,” Miller quips about Morales. “Which doesn’t sound like much, but that’s very unique to Spider-People.” Moore, who was invited to audition after appearing in the Sundance hit Dope, has his father played by Brian Tyree Henry and his uncle played by Mahershala Ali. It’s a family affair - even when taking down Liev Schreiber’s Kingpin.
Commenting on why Into the Spider-Verse is an animated film, Lord said that “because it’s like the 19th Spider-Man movie, it forces you to make different choices than everybody else.” That factors into the sound balloons exploding around the superheroes and the panel-esque action. “The idea was: Let’s make a movie that feels like you’re walking into an immersive comic book,” Miller said. Following a film template closer to Scott Pilgrim vs. The World than The Avengers, this could be the perfect fit for the younger, cooler Spider-Man.
“A big franchise can either back you into safe choices or it can give you the opportunity to take huge risks,” Lord said. “And that risk version was what was intriguing to us.”
The Spider-Verse opens up to all webslingers when it hits theaters on Dec. 14.