When Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse hit cinemas in 2018, it broke computer-generated animation as we know it – re-modelling the medium in front of our very eyes into something that felt entirely new. Playing around with frame-rate, multiple animation styles, comic book textures and more, it ripped up the rulebook and wrote its own; one in perfect sync with the origin story of incoming hero Miles Morales. But if that wasn’t ambitious enough, Miles’ next adventure is about to double down on everything that made the first film so special.
So much so that 2023’s Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse isn’t just one sequel – it’s two, a double-whammy of multiverse-hopping madness, set to conclude in 2024’s Beyond The Spider-Verse (previously Across The Spider-Verse – Part 2). That wild ambition means the eye-popping visuals are about to get even more dazzling too. “The first film had one animation style that dominates the movie. This movie has six,” laughs returning producer Phil Lord. “So we’re taking those tools, adding all the things we learned on The Mitchells Vs The Machines, and then growing them further to accommodate the ambition of this movie. Which is to wow you every time you enter a new environment, and also to make sure that the style of the movie reflects the story, and that the images are driven by feelings, as opposed to some egg-headed art project. Which it also is, by the way!”
As the title Across The Spider-Verse would suggest, expect an epic trek through various Spider-realities. “The two that you saw in the teaser trailer were what’s called Earth-50101, which we’re calling ‘Mumbattan’ – that’s based on an Indian comic-book look – and New York from Spider-Man 2099’s world,” explains producer Christopher Miller. “That’s based on Syd Mead-style illustrations of what the future might look like. There’s also Gwen’s world, which is Earth-65. And that was a watercolour-wash style that’s reminiscent of the covers of her comic books of her. Miles Morales’ journey has only just begun – the Spider-Verse awaits.
Read Empire‘s full Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse interview with Phil Lord and Chris Miller in the world-exclusive Indiana Jones 5 issue – on sale Thursday 24 November, and available to pre-order online here. Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse comes to UK cinemas from 2 June.