More about the directors: Thompson was the production designer on the original Spider-Verse as well as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and its sequel. Powers co-wrote and co-directed Pixar’s Soul, and was Oscar-nominated for the screenplay of the live-action drama One Night in Miami. Dos Santos is a seasoned director and storyboard artist who has directed on Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, among other series.
Expectations are sky-high for this film. The original Into the Spider-Verse in 2018 was a revelation that, literally overnight, transformed Sony’s animation unit from a laughingstock that had made The Emoji Movie into the industry’s most progressive and exciting major animation studio. The film broke nearly every part of the commercial cg pipeline, and its brazen risk-taking was amply rewarded by audiences and critics alike. It would even go on to win the Oscar for animated feature, the only non-Disney film to do so in the last nine years.
Since that time, the studio has been working to live up to the new standard of quality it set for itself with Spider-Verse. It delivered another winner this year with The Mitchells vs. The Machines, which has again excited both fans and critics. Give credit to Lord and Miller, who are also EPs on Mitchells.
While it may prove difficult for Sony to recreate the wow factor of the original Spider-Verse, this teaser makes clear that they’re going to give it their best shot by pushing further into the largely unexplored stylized corners of cg animation.
Notably, Sony’s teaser advertises the fact that Across the Spider-Verse will debut exclusively in theaters, including “premium formats and IMAX.” This is an important point because the studio’s last four features – Wish Dragon, Mitchells, Vivo, and the soon-to-be-released Hotel Transylvania 4 – have all gone direct to streaming as a consequence of the pandemic.
Across The Spider-Verse is produced by Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and Christina Steinberg. The film is being animated at Sony Pictures Imageworks in Vancouver, Canada.