Across The Spider-Verse Will Showcase Six Different Styles

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The filmmakers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse say the upcoming sequel will feature six distinct art styles.

By Sean Thiessen
| Published

Miles Morales is on his way back to the big screen as Sony Pictures Animation weaves yet another web of wonder. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse arrives next summer, and producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talking a big game in their latest Empire interview. The filmmakers tease an ambition to wow audiences with no less than six dominant art styles in this reality-roaming sequel.

Across the Spider-Verse‘s predecessor, Into the Spider-Verse, released in 2018 to glowing responses from fans and critics. It won the prize for Best Animated Feature at the 2019 Academy Awards, largely due to its innovative animation techniques. 

The patented style developed by artists at Sony Pictures Animation combines 3D computer animation with 2D accents, Ben-Day dots to emulate the color process of mid-century comic books, and multiple frames rates to achieve different smoothness levels for the motions of each character in Across the Spider-Verse

All that, paired with a superb origin story for a new generation’s Spider-Man, made the film an artistic milestone and a financial success. More animated Spidey stories are on the way, and the success of Across the Spider-Verse‘s predecessor is likely the cause. Its diverse set of characters showed there is a Spider-Man for all of us, and a hero in all of us.

Now the sequel intends to up the ante. Not satisfied with the innovation of the first film, Across the Spider-Verse will employ an array of art styles to differentiate the many universes fans can expect to see. An early trailer for the film teases what some of these styles may look like, but Lord, Miller, and the team at Sony have a lot more tricks up their sleeves.

Lord told Empire that the Across the Spider-Verse team’s ambition is, “…to wow you every time you enter a new environment.” He assures that, while there is a technical element to this ambition, every decision is anchored by the story and informed by feelings.

Across the Spider-Verse‘s producer team promises six different styles, suggesting six main environments, or universes, for Miles to travel through.The story for this web-headed romp is a mystery, but its elements are falling into place.

Joining Miles Morales in Across the Spider-Verse are returning heroes Spider-Gwen and Peter B. Parker, voiced by Hailee Steinfeld and Jake Johnson, respectively. They are joined by Oscar Isaac as Miguel O’Hara, better known as Spider-Man 2099, and Spider-Punk, voiced by Daniel Kaluuya. This film marks a double dip into Marvel for both actors.

Before lending their voices to Across the Spider-Verse, many of the actors have already filled Marvel roles. Oscar Isaac hit the small screen for Marvel this past year as Moon Knight and portrayed the original mutant in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. Daniel Kaluuya supported Killmonger’s takeover of Wakanda in 2018’s Black Panther.  

Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen fighting The Spot

Also on the roster is Jason Schwartzman. The Scott Pilgrim vs the World who will voice a lesser-known foe for the wall-crawler called the Spot in Across the Spider-Verse. This crafty criminal uses his ability to open inter-dimensional portals to commit crimes of various scales. In a movie presumably about hopping dimensions, the Spot could prove to be a formidable force.

Across the Spider-Verse won’t swing into theaters until June of next year, but the fun won’t stop there. Beyond the Spider-Verse will continue Mile’s story for yet another chapter, and one can only dream of what new animation will be presented then. Whatever the creative team has in store, Lord and Miller seem confident that their latest Spider-Man story will stick.