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Alright, let’s do this one last time.
His name is Peter Parker. He was bitten by a radioactive spider and for the last 57 years he’s been the one and only Spider-Man.
In 2011, Marvel introduced a new Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Like Parker, Morales is a teenager from New York given a great power that carries a great responsibility he has no choice but to shoulder.
And while the Peter Parker Spider-Man continues to appear in the massive Avengers and Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, Morales made his big screen debut in 2018 with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. But he’s not the only Spider-Man — or Spider-Hero, really — in the movie.
The plot centers on an interdimensional rift that’s brought another Peter Parker into Morales’s universe, along with Spider-Woman Gwen Stacy, a hard-boiled noir Spider-Man, the futuristic Peni Parker and her robot spider, and Spider-Ham, the cartoonish spider bitten by a radioactive pig. (If this seems like a lot to fit into a story, maybe stop to take a look at just how many alien worlds and scientific subplots are crammed into the average Avengers movie.)
Even though it’s a departure from the blockbuster Marvel movies, Spider-Verse has been a hit. The themes of family and responsibility resonate. The animation is stunning and distinct from typical computer-generated graphics. The script and performances are fun. And the fanboy backlash to an Afro-Latino hero that arose after Morales made his comic book debut has been muted.
Spider-Verse picked up a BAFTA for best animated film this week. It’s up for an Oscar against the Disney/Pixar juggernaut. The box office returns keep growing. And if you’ve passed near an open Spotify app, you’ve undoubtedly had the soundtrack lodged in your head.
We’ll talk to the creators behind Spider-Verse (they also worked on The Lego Movie and its sequel) about how they successfully brought new heroes to an already-crowded multiplex.
- Phil Lord Co-writer, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse." Co-writer, co-producer, "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part"; @philiplord
- Christopher Miller Co-producer, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse." Co-writer, co-producer, "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part"; @chrizmillr
- Peter Ramsey Co-director, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse";@pramsey342
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