spiderman_spiderverse spiderman_spiderverse
Feature Film

Teaser: ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ Looks Shockingly Awesome

After announcing the project back in 2015, Sony Pictures Animation kept quiet about its all-animated Spider-Man film, but that all changed this weekend when they released the first teaser for the project:

Bob Persichetti (head of story, The Little Prince, Puss in Boots), Peter Ramsey (director, Rise of the Guardians), and Rodney Rothman (head writer, Late Show with David Letterman) direct Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse from a script by Phil Lord (The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street).

The film will be released in the U.S. on December 14, 2018.

Superhero animated movies aren’t exactly lacking in the marketplace – Disney’s Big Hero 6 and WB’s The Lego Batman Movie have both been well received and relatively successful, and next year will also see the release of other full-length superhero animation like The Incredibles 2 and Teen Titans Go! What sets this Spider-Man film apart from the others is largely a matter of tone.

The fact that they introduced the film with pure action rather than comedy is a distinguishing mark – and extremely uncommon for an American animated feature. Sony seems to be telling the audience: This is a superhero film first, an animated film second.

Of course, the other thing setting it apart is its hyper-stylized and strongly graphic look, which is one of the freshest big-studio approaches to cg we’ve seen recently, using flat shading, 2d-style special effects, and even a decorative comic-inspired screentone pattern. There’s innovative stylized animation and camera choices throughout the short teaser, too.

It’s no secret that Sony Imageworks has one of the finest cg character animation pipelines in the biz, but they’ve been stymied by a lack of vision and risk-taking from their counterparts at Sony Pictures Animation. With Spider-Man, it looks like all the pieces of the puzzle might finally fit together.

One other interesting highlight: the film’s Spider-Man isn’t Peter Parker, but Miles Morales, the half-black, half-Latino character created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli, who first appeared in 2011 and starred in his own comic series, Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man. Shameik Moore voices him. The cast also includes Liev Schreiber, Mahershala Ali, and Brian Tyree Henry.

The Hollywood animation scene could benefit from a little diversity, and this film offers it both onscreen and behind-the-scenes with Ramsey as co-director.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is produced by Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Christina Steinberg.

  • Daniel

    I had the same reaction. I loved the styling of it. The halftone dot patterns in the lights and highlights. The slight stuttering effect to give it a bit of a faux stop-motion feel. The darkness of it. I’m not even a Spider-Man fan and I loved this.

  • Dave 52

    Looks phenomenal and I love how it is taking advantage of the fact that it is an animated movie. See, THIS is what more animated films should be doing. They should be embracing the fact that they are animated movies and do things that can’t be done in live action instead of aiming for realism. I can always truly appreciate films like Captain Underpants or The LEGO Movie or Sponge Out of Water or any of Sony’s or WAG’s more cartoonier offerings because they know that animation has no limits except your imagination. With that knowledge, they are able to do so many visually creative or out there ideas that live action, or any animated movie aiming for realism, just simply couldn’t do. This trailer is the perfect reason why I want to be an animator or a storyboard artist, I want to play in that endless box of creativity and bring together something only animation could do. December 2018 can’t come soon enough.

    • Mysterious Friend X

      I think you have this backwards. It’s normal for American animation to not be like live action, whereas this movie seems uncharacteristically live action-like. This kind of heavy effects stuff has been done many times in live action in Hollywood, and besides that the style overall is like live action.

      I’ve never comprehended the idea that animation should avoid realism, it’s like thinking that painters shouldn’t do realistic paintings. Or even that live action directors shouldn’t do special effects spectacles because they would be easier to animate.

  • Andres Molina

    Now THIS is what I call, VISUALLY STRIKING!!!!! This has to be one of the most innovative uses of CGI animation in a while. Talk about I true attention to detail, from the comic book-like textures and even the 2-d like lighting and shading, really makes the film beautiful. While Pixar does produce some of the most photorealistic and most jaw dropping CGI in history, it’s still nice to see others stay from photographic realism and opt for more stylized, but equally gorgeous if not more gorgeous visuals. In fact now not only do I now want to see this movie, but now I want Pixar to produce a fully stylized CG film that completely departs from their signature art style. I’m probably talking too much, but god damn, this level of visual innovation is what makes me want to become an animator. BRAVO!!

    • jean coutu

      It is visually striking but also looks very inspired by an french independent CG feature film released 8 years ago: The Prodigies”.
      Spider-verse Art Direction is a real hommage to Viktor Antonov work.
      Funnily enough Bob Persichetti – one of Spider-man directors – worked for the french production house who produced “The Prodigies”.

      see for yourself (especially all the New York streets shots).

      http://www.allocine.fr/video/player_gen_cmedia=19211021&cfilm=136215.html

  • Inkan1969

    Why is Sony making this instead of Disney?

    • Corwin Haught

      Sony’s long-standing movie rights to Spider-Man include animation. They did lose TV animation rights to the character recently, but films are different.

      • Barrett

        This looks very cool, don’t get me wrong, and I like Sony Animation’s visual work (often in service to less-than-great writing.) But I do wish the whole Marvel schism could end once and for all at some point. I wish Sony and Disney could come to an agreement on how many billions a buyout would cost that both parties could live with. At least live-action Spidey is now in the MCU. About the only good thing about the schism is that I doubt Disney would have ever approved Deadpool, at least not the heavy-R-rated version we enjoy today.

        • Split Loafer

          Disney used to be OK with R-rated material (they produced Tarantino!) if it was presented with another label: Miramax, Touchstone, Hollywood Pictures, Buena Vista Films. When Iger started to have some influence, afterwards with the guidance of Steve Jobs, Disney started to refocus its products and reduced its output, like Apple under Jobs. So they focused on the fan-heavy: Disney, Pixar and acquiring Marvel and Lucasfilm. With this approach, product on ABC and Freeform seemed edgy (take that FX and HBO).

          Yet, current Disney has produced Mature content through the Marvel-Netflix partnership with extreme violence (S1 of Daredevil and the over-violent Punisher) and nudity (the very first episode of Luke Cage).

          Anyway, if Disney buys Fox, they won’t tone it down. That’s the reason they want to buy them, not to repeat what Disney already does well. Apparently Disney’s goal with the Fox expansion (after a previous limited output strategy) is to compete with its current ally, Netflix. With Fox in its fold, Disney will have control over Hulu, and a stronger content for its own streaming service. *Hint: You can see their intent to control all content through its Movies Anywhere platform.

    • HN

      Sony has the rights to Spider-Man movies. Disney has the comics, merchandising, and TV rights.

    • Quiubo

      Sony has the movie rights to Spider-man and its extensions. When Marvel Studios helped with Homecoming, it also extended Sony’s rights, so now we get a Venom movie and an animated Miles Morales.
      Any Spidey tv or non-theatrical release is in Disney’s court as proved when the universally acclaimed The Spectacular Spider-Man ended when Sony Pictures relinquished its rights after Disney bought Marvel in 2009. Disney then started work on younger-skewing Ultimate Spider-Man to be released in 2012 on Disney XD.

  • Ronnie

    If this actually follows the comics, that should mean the film’s lead Spider-Man isn’t Pete. Spider-Verse is all about a ton of alternate Spider-Mans, so there could be a ton of them in the film depending how they take it. (I personally would love a Spider-Ham cameo.)

  • I’ve seen this, and I like what I saw.
    Certain seconds of Morales in flight, I swear to the God, look hand-generated.
    SI deserves commendation for daring to mess with my brain using their skills.

  • Toonstrack

    I was blown away by the animation in this trailer. This could be a true visual treat from the look of things. Too bad its a full year off, I want it now.

  • Garry Joshi

    Dec 18, 2018? Cmon I want it RIGHT NOW. I am not much of an animated movie person but this teaser makes me super excited.

  • Marc Hendry

    It’s cool seeing western CG animation adopt frame rate modulation as a new animation principle. Something that previous generations thought was embarrassing is now being used as a stylistic choice that can make animation feel a certain way.
    I’m not a big superhero fan, but I’ve always thought that Spiderman would be perfect for a stylised CG film. This looks great

    • Barrett

      Is that what the semi-halted feel is called? I wasn’t sure exactly how they were doing it in CG, the closest thing I’ve seen to it in American CG was The Lego Movie. It gives me a very “anime” feel, which in this case, totally works.

      • Marc Hendry

        I’m actually not sure the term for it. I read “frame rate modulation” in the subtitles of an anime “making of” thing so it might be a clumsy translation

  • Quiubo

    Love the look and style, but are they using less frames per second for it to look like stop-motion? That might be a bit exhausting to watch for a full-length cg film.

    • A Stranger in the Alps

      That fewer-fps look reminded me of Adama from a couple years back. Definitely more slick overall, but a bit of a similar feeling. I wonder what it is about that lower frame rate that makes it feel more tactile—is it just the association with stop-motion, or do people who’ve never seen stop-mo feel the same way?
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pifWuI_ebzU

    • Crispy Walker

      I LOVE the visual style — but I had the same concern. The lowered frame rate is my biggest qualm with the animation style, and it’s a big one. I don’t see why that additional layer is necessary — especially with a movie that is going to be chock-full of wild movement. It’s Spiderman. His movements SHOULD be fluid and graceful and ungainly . It feels weird to see CGI moving at a slower frame rate… it feels wrong.

    • I personally really like the lower frame-rate effect. It makes me think of when you see a spider in real life, where they look kind of jittery. I downloaded the trailer and went through frame by frame to get an idea of how it is done. It seems they are animating on 2’s but only for some sequences, a lot of shots are still done on 1’s. I’d say they are going to sprinkle it in throughout the movie to help the visual style, rather than reducing the frames for the entire feature.

  • Geoff C. Bassett

    Flat out incredible animation. Lord & Miller back in animation. I hope they can get this in front of The Last Jedi this weekend.

  • Botzki

    Who is the art director of the film?
    I immediately thought of Alberto Mieglo, like many others, apparently, but he posted a denial on Facebook.
    Since while his influence is quite evident, he’s not the guy – does anybody know headed the art department?

    • AmidAmidi

      Had a line in this post that was left out for the final edit which described the visual look of the trailer as Alberto Mielgo meet Gaspar Noé’s “Enter the Void.” That’s not a bad thing either.

      • TJ

        Alberto Mielgo was attached to the film at some point. I’ve heard he was fired from it, not sure why. I’m surprised he has denied working on it at all.

  • Michel Van

    That’s is best animation for CGI i saw!
    i hope that rest of movie is so good as this Trailer…

  • Strong Enough

    looks like tron uprising. the art director on that show had a similar style

  • jean coutu

    It is visually striking but also looks very inspired by an french independent CG feature film released 8 years ago: The Prodigies”.
    Spider-verse Art Direction is a real hommage to Viktor Antonov work.
    Funnily enough Bob Persichetti – one of Spider-man directors – worked for the french production house who produced “The Prodigies”.
    see for yourself (especially all the New York streets shots).
    http://www.allocine.fr/video/player_gen_cmedia=19211021&cfilm=136215.html