Why ‘Spider-Man’ will revolutionize animation cinema again

Fifteen minutes of the movie Via the spider versethe expected sequel to Spider-Man: The New GenerationIt was shown at the Annecy Festival on Monday. Its directors tell BFMTV about the challenge this new adventure poses.

No other film has been so eagerly awaited at Annecy Animation Festival as the sequel Spider-Man: The New Generation, the Oscar-winning contemporary animation masterpiece, in which several versions of Spider-Man coexist. The fifteen minutes shown on Monday captured the audience beyond all their expectations.

This is the beginning of a story that is divided into two parts. Via the spider verse (2023) et al Behind the spider verse (2024). Either an impressive action sequence where three versions of the weaver (Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Woman and Spider-Gwen) compete for The Vulture at New York’s Guggenheim Museum.

An epic battle, as the camera rotates in a multicolored world, demonstrating the mastery of Sony Animation teams. The sequence ends with a confrontation between Spider-Gwen / Gwen Stacy and her father, George Stacy, a police officer in the wake of this masked vigilante, who accuses him of killing Spider-Man in their world…

In another excerpt, Miles Morales, the protagonist of the first movie, struggles with the hassles of daily life. He has to deal with the pressures of his parents and counselor. Since the first movie, which was released in 2018, the character has grown a lot. The scene ends where his “spider-sensitive” makes him realize the impending danger.

“be cerfull”

To find out more, we’ll have to wait until next year, as the story of this new opus is kept jealously secret by directors Kemp Powers, Justin K. .

It must be said that the trio is under pressure. By agreeing to embark on such an adventure, you should offer a worthy sequel to the first part, which is now considered a decisive step in the history of animated cinema. The mission was successful according to the first pictures: Via the spider verse It should look visually good – or even slightly better – than New generation.

However, the question arises: how to make a sequel to a film that revolutionized animation? “With caution” smiles Kemp Bowers, aka his autograph. spirit With Pete Docter. “Thinking about the characters and their fate, and especially the relationship between Miles Morales and his family, that underpins this entire adventure,” Justin K. Thomson.

“This item was for us a beacon at night, so we wouldn’t lose sight of our purpose,” adds the person who was the chief decorator in the first movie. “When you add up all this information about parallel universes and these wonderful visuals and abundance, we must not lose sight of what we’re telling this story.”

240 characters and six different universes

Because the challenge Via the spider verse and others Behind the spider verse Follow Miles Morales in a story that includes 240 characters in six different universes! Joaquim dos Santos insists: “We stick to his point of view precisely so as not to get tangled up in our mattresses.” “And most of those 240 characters will be in the background!”

“It’s going to be a fairly complicated movie,” warns Kemp Powers. “The first was really complicated, but this movie will go further.” “Obviously we’re trying to make it as understandable as possible to the audience and I think we’ve succeeded. That’s why we chose to show longer excerpts in Annecy, in order to emphasize the story. And not the visual…”

One year prior to release, everything was done to dodge questions that might reveal the story and the different multiverses Miles Morales is about to visit. Based on the images shown on Monday, the world of Gwen Stacy will be pink, white and ethereal, with watercolor effects, just like the covers of the comic books. All other universes must have their own graphic style.

UN cartoon “Spider Gwen” © Marve

However, we will learn that the graphic atmosphere of each universe will correspond to Miles’ state of mind, revealing Joaquim dos Santos: “We wondered how we could represent the different phases of his journey visually. If Miles was sad, we would adopt a bleak style. If he was happy, our method would be more cheerful.” “.

“I like, like everyone else, a little crazy universe, but it really has to be in service of our story, and it can make Miles evolve,” his partner Justin K. Thompson insists.

giant project

They will have room to explore these parallel universes: Miles’ story will be told in two films. An idea that naturally imposed itself, says Kemp Powers: “We quickly realized that our story was so important to one film and that the only way to tell it well was to spread it over two films. We didn’t make a simple decision, because each part had to be able to exist independently of the other”.

products Via the spider verse/Behind the spider verse It is a huge project and the two films are being created in parallel. Justin K says They are aided by a giant team, the largest ever formed for an animated film. More than 1,000 people around the world are working on the project. “It’s double what we had in the first movie.”

plate of
Page from “Spider-Man 2099” © Marvel

How do you supervise this construction site? Joaquim dos Santos underestimates, “You summon a lot of people you trust.” “We leave the reins to our production designers and animators. We invited them, because their instincts are so good and they are fully invested in Miles’ story.”

However, we will not know where the three men are in the progress of the project. “We can’t say anything about that,” laughs Kemp Powers. “But we’ll finish in time for its release on May 31, 2023. We’re moving in as fast as we can.”

“Love Letter for Caricature”

For a more faithful rendering of the comics, the trio is collaborating with some of the designers of Spider-Man, such as Rick Leonardi, the co-founder of Spider-Man 2099. This futuristic version of Spider-Man, who specializes in nanotechnology, is dubbed Oscar Isaac in his original version.

“The first film was a true love letter to caricature and there we had the opportunity to go further,” enthuses Joaquim dos Santos. “We are fortunate that many of the makers of these characters are still alive, and we were able to inject Rick Leonardi’s style of drawing and ink into the film. The result is amazing.”

A new supervillain, La Tâche (The Spot), also enters, his body covered in black dots that hide portals to parallel universes. “We knew from the start that he was going to be the villain in our story,” says Kemp Powers. “He’s not famous, but he has endless potential. And he’s a character that can only exist in an animated movie.”

concept art
Un concept art de “Spider-Man Across The Spider-Verse” © Sony

And to add: “A good story always depends on a good villain. The problem is that a lot of enemies used to die. What surprised me in the first movie was that the villain didn’t come from the world of Spider-Man, but from Daredevil: Kingpin’s world. And he didn’t have any superpowers!” It was very unexpected. We wanted to be surprised in the same way here.”

We do not know at the moment the identity of the other characters in Via the spider verse/Behind the spider verse. Phil Lord announced the Japanese Spider-Man in 2019, but Kemp Powers remains conservative even today on the topic: “No comment,” he identifies. “But I can tell you one thing: If the mission is any indication, we haven’t confined ourselves and gone too far into the world of Spider-Man. We can’t wait to show you more.”

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