‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ hasn’t even been out for a month and it’s already established itself as a film that insists upon defying the odds. While it’s fair to say that nobody expected the movie to bomb, it’s equally fair to say that few walked into the theater expecting it to be a legitimate contender for “best Spider-Man film.” On top of that, it’s spent the last three weeks racking up (well deserved) award nominations and has already taken home the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film. The latest surprise? Deleted scenes.
Deleted scenes may not sound like much of a surprise. After all, they’ve practically been a way of life for home video releases ever since the rise of the DVD format in the early 2000s. And it’s not hard to see why. After all, it’s material that has already been filmed. Why leave it on the cutting room floor when it’s an easy bonus to throw on the disc? But it’s a bit different in animation. Because of the time and expense involved with the animation process, when scenes are cut it typically happens at the animatic (crude test animation) stage.
But as we’ve already established, ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ is anything but typical. In a conversation with Collider, director Bob Persichetti revealed that the film has an unusual amount of scenes that were cut after the animatic. In other words, these scenes are fully animated.
“[A] rare thing for an animated film is that there’s animation on the cutting room floor. There’s about ten minutes of that from this movie, which is a really high number. And there’s one scene specifically that was one we all really loved, but the movie just kept pushing out. It was like a splinter, and your body’s like, “Nope, you’re not gonna fit there. Get out.””
So if there were ten minutes of material that was fully animated before it got cut, how much was there that didn’t make it past the animatic? According to Persichetti, the first animatic cut clocked in at nearly three hours (that’s a full hour longer than the finished film). While there’s no talk (yet) of an extended cut, it’s more or less a given that this cut material (the fully animated scenes, that is) will end up on the blu-ray.
‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is now playing in theaters. The film stars Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Liev Schreiber, Kathryn Hahn, Nicolas Cage, and Bryan Tyree Henry.