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The Team Behind Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Feels Those Huge Expectations

Writers and producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller talk following up Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

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2099 on top of miles.
A new image from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Image: Sony Pictures

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was unlike anything fans had ever seen. The look, sound, story, all of it was made specifically to be new, fresh, and innovative. Now with not one, but two, sequels on the way, the filmmakers have that to deal with, and so much more.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, out in June, and Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, out in 2024, must both meet the level of that first movie and also innovate beyond it. That’s just the DNA of the series. Plus, after the huge critical and financial success of the first film, there’s also the added weight of fan expectations. If audiences don’t see something at least as good, or better, than the Oscar-winning original, everyone involved will hear about it.

“There’s a lot of pressure on these films because you want the movie to deliver an engaging story and an emotional journey,” producer and co-writer Chris Miller told The Wrap. “You also want it to be all the things that people are hoping for but then also you need it to be something that people didn’t even know that they wanted.”

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Across the Spider-Verse will do that by, even on the most basic level, being flat-out bigger. This movie takes place across six dimensions, as opposed to the single one of the first movie, and has 240 characters in it, as opposed to 40 in the first movie. It’s one of the biggest animated films of all time.

“It’s definitely more insane,” producer and co-writer Phil Lord said. “We finally made some people nervous. I feel like we’ve done our job.” Which is encouraging to hear because, as explained above, the job of making two sequels to one of the best animated films ever is not an easy one.

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“The whole idea of these movies is we’re showing you something you’ve never seen before,” Miller said. “And if we just did a fun mild story that felt like the first movie, I think it would be a bit disappointing. You want to feel like you’re seeing visuals that you’ve never experienced before. To do all of those things and do them in a way that’s engaging and satisfying is a big challenge but it’s also part of the reason why we do these things. That’s the goal, just to make you laugh and cry and experience something that you’ve never experienced before.”

We’ve just begun to see what that means from the first full trailer and posters. We can surely expect more in the coming months leading up to June 2, 2023 when Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse hits theaters and head over to The Wrap for much more not just on Spider-Man, but the whole history of Sony Pictures Animation.

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Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.