Over the last fifteen years, we’ve seen a lot of Spider-Man at the movies. In that time, Marvel’s wall-crawling wonder has appeared in six solo films (with a seventh coming next summer) in addition to guest appearances in ‘Captain America: Civil War‘ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War‘. But if Sony has their way, we’re about to see a whole lot more of him. I’m not just talking about the sheer number of screen appearances, either (though that certainly seems like a given). No, I’m referring to the impending release of next month’s ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,’ which pairs Peter Parker with a plethora of his ersatz alternate reality counterparts in a long-awaited animated adventure from the minds of Phil Lord and Chris Miller. And at the heart of it all is Miles Morales.
Introduced in the ‘Ultimate Comics Spider-Man‘ series in 2011, Miles Morales took up the mantle of Spider-Man following the demise of his world’s version of Peter Parker. Miles immediately struck a chord with audiences, breathing new life into not only the title but the Ultimate line itself, which had been limping along on life support ever since 2009’s ill-advised ‘Ultimatum’ storyline. And on top of all of that, Miles also provided the creative hook that attracted Lord and Miller to the film in the first place.
As Chris Miller explained to Fandango:
“Well, Amy Pascal and Avi Arad came to us with the idea of doing Spider-Man as an animated movie. And of course, the first thing you think is, well, doing an animated movie with the source material of a comic book, you can really, really get into the artistry in a way that no live action version of a comic book movie ever did, and that was really exciting. But then we also were really excited to tell the story of Miles Morales. So, first we said, “Uh.” And then we said, “We’ll do it, but only if it’s the Miles Morales story.” And luckily, they were super on board.”
Phil Lord then elaborated on just what it was that the duo felt was important about Miles’ character, the most important thing to get right, not only with regard to Miles himself but to the contrasts between him and Peter:
“Well to me, it sort of all circles back to around to his family. He has a very different family than Peter Parker did. First of all, both of his parents are alive, so that’s a huge difference right there. And being able to portray a very grounded family with a mother and father who both want the best for their son, but go about it in different ways. Also an uncle that loves him, but is encouraging him to go down a different path. That whole dynamic is really the center of what the whole movie’s about, and it was really important to us to get right. And it really speaks to Miles trying to figure out who he is and who he’s gonna be, what kind of a person he’s going to become.”
‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ stars Shameik Mooer, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Jake Johnson, Liev Schreiber, John Mulaney, and Nicolas Cage. The film will swing into theaters on December 14. 2018.