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Across the Spider-Verse Wants You to Take Its Villain Seriously

Phil Lord and Chris Miller tease the Spot as a compelling foil to Miles Morales in his second animated outing as Spider-Man.

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Image: Sony Pictures Animation

When it was announced that the main villain of the Into the Spider-Verse sequel was going to be D-List Spidey foe the Spot, many people shrugged their shoulders at the thought that someone who looks like a walking dalmatian zoot suit with portal powers could be a major threat to Miles and his amazing friends. But that’s the point.

“I like the villains best when they reflect the journeys of the hero—sort of a dark mirror of the protagonist, and I think Spot’s no different,” producer Phil Lord told Entertainment Weekly in a new interview. “He wants to be seen as legitimate. He’s a character that has a silly costume and is not always seen as the top tier of Spider-Man foes, but like all of us, he wants to be taken seriously.”

The Spot, who’ll be voiced by Jason Schwartzman in the movie, was first introduced in the comics at the tail end of 1984, where his warping powers—gained by a lab accident attempting to recreate the powers of another hero, Cloak—allowed him to transfer himself and parts of his body across spacetime via portals to the “Spotworld.” But it sounds like in Across the Spider-Verse Spot will get a bit of a modification to his powers, now enabling travel across every dimension in the multiverse—hence making him a threat not just to Miles, but every Spider-hero around.

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But on top of his portal-suit powers being well primed for the experiential animation of the Spider-Verse movies, the Spot’s quest for recognition will act as a foil to Miles’ own struggle to define himself as he’s growing up. “As [Miles is] growing up, he’s trying to figure out how he can go out and see the world and spread his wings and leave the nest,” Chris Miller added. “But he also feels rooted to his home and his family. It’s that push-pull of your life as a teenager, where you’re like, ‘How do I get to be my own person, but also not lose where I came from?’”

Part of that lesson is going to be learning how to beat up a guy portalling between dimensions apparently. No doubt we’ll learn more, and see more of the Spot in action, before Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse hits theaters June 2, 2023.

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