When you have already created one of the most artistically innovative (not to mention critically acclaimed and fan-sational) animated movies ever to grace the big screen, how do you top it in a feverishly anticipated sequel? According to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, you give your artists whole new worlds to play in.
Per the official synopsis, the first of two planned sequels will “transport Brooklyn’s full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man across the Multiverse to join forces with Gwen Stacy and a new team of Spider-People to face off with a villain more powerful than anything they have encountered.”
The Academy Award-winning Lord and Miller, whose credits also cover The Mitchells vs. the Machines and The LEGO Movie, told Collider‘s Steven Weintraub in a recent interview that the “ambitious” second outing for Miles Morales (voiced again by Shameik Moore) will expand the aesthetic concept of the “Spider-verse,” giving each facet of the multiverse its own unique style.
Audiences got a taste of this in the first Sony PIctures Animation/Marvel movie, which saw a slew of Spideys from different dimensions drop in on Morales, each rendered with a distinct style: from the classically cartoony anthropomorphism of Peter Porker/Spider-Ham (John Mulaney) to the anime inspired look of Peni Parker/SP//der (Kimiko Glenn) to the monochromatic 1930s cast of Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage).
“… We didn’t want to just sort of do the same thing again. And so the idea that we’d be going to different dimensions really opened up an opportunity artistically to have each world have its own art style, and to be able to push the folks at ImageWorks to develop a way to have each dimension feel like it was drawn by a different artist’s hand,” Miller said. “Seeing the development of that stuff is breathtaking, and really, it’s the reason we keep doing it, because it’s so hard to get it right.”
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) is being directed by Kemp Powers (Soul), Joaquim Dos Santos (The Legend of Korra) and Justin K. Thompson (production designers, Into the Spider-Verse), written by Lord & Miller with Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984). Issa Rae (Insecure, Hair Love) is joining the cast as 1977 Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew.
In a first-look clip released last month, we are reintroduced to Miles Morales as Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) pops in through a dimensional portal, then taken along as Spider-Man swings on through, catching a tussle with futuristic version Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac), who was teased at the end of Into the Spider-Verse.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part On) is slated for release October 7.