Spider-Man may be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe real soon, that doesn’t mean it’s the only Spidey we’ll be seeing on the big screen in the next few years. In a shocking turn, Sony Pictures announced it’s making another Spider-Man film, only this time it’s going to be animated. Here are the first details…
As Cape Crisis listeners have noted/complained about, I’m a tad obsessed with Peter Parker, and I’ve certainly had a lot of news to soak in lately. And while seemingly nothing will ever top the wallcrawler joining the MCU, the news of an animated Spider-Man film certainly made my Spider-Sense tingle. (Ugh, I can think of better than that, can’t I? … Nope, guess not.) Anyway, the cartoon is coming from Spidey’s usual film home, Sony, will be out July 20, 2018, is unrelated to the live action reboot, and will involve Phil Lord and Chris Miller of Lego Movie fame.
Let’s break this down piece by piece. First off, this marks Spider-Man’s the fourth motion picture universe, one that was already complicated by its second live action reboot in 4 years. Add to that the grey status of the Sinister Six film – personally, I hope it’s dead and frees up Drew Goddard to work on the MCU Spidey film – and Sony being very clear that it’s a separate thing from the flesh and blood Spidey. This could be Sony’s newest approach to franchising Spidey to pump out as many films as possible. Why do spin-offs when you can just alternate between people and drawings every two years?
Second, the involvement of Lord and Miller should give you a sense of tone and direction. The two have become some of the biggest deals in film after The Lego Movie earned all the money on Earth, but they’ve got a great track record. I’m personally a huge fan of their fast-paced, somewhat dark and absurdist comedy of their TV shows Clone High and The Last Man on Earth. Though they’re only producers so far, it’s a good first step, and one that will very likely make the animated world of Spidey different from the MCU. Though I do wonder how much time they’ll have for it. These guys are producing about eight different films in the next few years.
Given Lord and Miller’s background so far, plus the general status of animated films, I think it’s safe to assume the film will be CGI, and I hope it’s plenty stylized. Otherwise, it could be hard to tell Spider-Man apart from his real life self. All of Spider-Man’s film acrobatics to this point have been so CG fueled, that some moments were basically a computer generated film already. Maybe Lord and Miller are just going to make it a Lego film?
Then there’s the release date. July 20, 2018 is almost exactly a year after the MCU reboot, and it’ll come at a heated time for super films. Not only does the month open with Black Panther, the long awaited arrival of Wakanda’s king to the MCU, but the next week sees Aquaman come to theaters, though I still find it hard to believe that’ll actually be a reality. Both are new heroes to the big screen, so will they be overshadowed by Spidey, or will the webhead’s cartoon debut get lost in the mix?
This leaves me with so many questions, like how this works with Sony and Marvel’s old history of battling over Spider-Man cartoon rights, whether the film will have a TV show component, just how kiddie will it be, and how soon can I buy a t-shirt of it? But in general, I’m excited. I always wondered why so many heroes were confined to being animated on TV and real life in film. One of my favorite Batman things ever produced is Mask of the Phantasm, one of the very rare cases of a major comic character starring in an animated feature. If Spider-Man’s new cartoon can be 20% as good as Phantasm, I’ll be happy.
Feel free to talk all about it in the comments. And as long as you’re interested in comic book films, why not check out Laser Time’s brand new commentaries for The Avengers and Iron Man 3! They’re now available on the Laser Time Bandcamp page.
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