‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Filmmakers On Making An “Innovative” And “Ambitious” Sequel And Daniel Kaluuya’s Influence – Contenders Film L.A.

‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Filmmakers On Making An “Innovative” And “Ambitious” Sequel And Daniel Kaluuya’s Influence – Contenders Film L.A.

Writer-producer team Phil Lord and Chris Miller, alongside director Kemp Powers, joined Deadline’s Contenders Film: Los Angeles event to discuss world-building, groundbreaking animation and the fun risk they took in creating a character inspired by Daniel Kaluuya for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

Following the events of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) reunites with Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) to deal with a new threat to the multiverse, the Spot (Jason Schwartzman). When Gwen takes Miles to the Spider Society, a team of “Spider-People” from across the multiverse, he soon finds that not everyone is on the same page about what it means to be a hero.

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The bombastic sequel features over six different animation styles and thousands of hand-drawn pixels to bring to life to over 280 variations of Spider-Man, 95 of which are unique and named characters.

RELATED: The Contenders Film: Los Angeles – Deadline’s Full Coverage

Lord explained what it was like taking on the monumental task of expanding the world of the Spider-Verse and improving upon the first film, which garnered an Academy Award for its groundbreaking animation style. “When your brand is surprise and innovation, it means you have to start over because you can’t run it back. We all got together and said, ‘What’s something even more ambitious? How could we create looks and worlds that are completely surprising in animation and are groundbreaking as equally as the previous movie?’ But really, it was about how can we go deeper in the character’s relationships? How can we make this film a more complete emotional experience?”

RELATED: ‘Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse’ Review: An Expansive, Complex, And Colorful Web of Destiny For Miles Morales

Thanking the animators, Powers further described the technical challenges and balance of combining the different realities of each of the different Spider-People, such as Lego Spider-Man, Spider-Punk and Mumbattan’s Pavitr Prabhakar.

“[All of these characters] don’t have to give up what they look like or how they are or where they come from. They belong together in the same frame. It was one of the biggest technical challenges about this film versus the first one… By universe hopping, we had to crack the technical side: how little does each character change when they go into a different universe?” Powers said. “We had to really explore how is Miles going to be impacted being in [the different universes] that are so strikingly different from his as well as introducing Spider-Punk, Gwen and how Miles exists in relation to that world. This is one of those unusual films where visual development happened throughout the entire run of the film to the point where it was like, I really hope we figure this out before the movie comes out. So you really got to give up a lot of love to Sony Pictures, Imageworks, because they’re geniuses.”

RELATED: New ‘Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse’ Trailer Pits Defiant Miles Morales Against Spider-Man 2099

Another reveal at the panel was the casting of Daniel Kaluuya as one of the breakout Spider-Verse characters, Hobie Brown, also known as Spider-Punk, who is American in the comic book lore but British in the film was based all on Kalyuua’s personality.

“Daniel Kaluuya [did an] incredible performance and as a character both visually and storytelling-wise, I think he was one of the biggest challenges. That character had to really earn his way into the film,” Powers said. “It was a very cool concept that we had that very quickly [changed] after we met Daniel, and he threw questions back at us, and we realized we didn’t think [Spider-Punk’s character] through so well. So, Daniel as a performer pushed us to develop the character to the level it needed for him to commit to the part.”

RELATED: Deadline Contenders Film Los Angeles Arrivals and Panels Gallery: Cillian Murphy, Taraji P. Henson, Annette Bening, Bradley Cooper and More

Check out the panel video above.

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