It’s not that Spider-Man is an adult film either – this film will likely be as family-friendly as many of its studio counterparts. But it has a markedly different drama-first, action-first tone. The filmmakers seem to be aiming to win over a specific audience – a slightly hipper, more urban, and teen-oriented crowd.
Of course, this happens everyday in live action. Studios innately understand that not every film has to be designed for viewing by every possible filmgoer. If that were the case, there would be an excruciating sameness to the live-action industry’s output. The American feature animation industry has been slower to pick up on the concept – almost a full century slower in fact, thanks to the paralyzing legacy of Disney animation – but Into the Spider-Verse shows that it may be finally coming around to the same realization as live action: films are most exciting when filmmakers speak sincerely to a specific audience.
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’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, Brian Tyree Henry, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, Luna Lauren Velez, and Lily Tomlin.
The film is produced by Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Christina Steinberg.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will be released in the U.S. on December 14, 2018.