With animation, Spider-Man “breaks the limits” of cinema

(AFP) – More than 240 characters in six parallel universes: the directors of the animated film “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”, explain to AFP their plan to meet the expectations created by the first opus, rewarded by an Oscar.

The first, unfinished images of this film, one of the most anticipated of 2023, received a standing ovation from the public at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.

We find there the New York teenager Miles Morales, a young mixed-race Afro-American and Puerto Rican, who will wear the clothes of the man-spider.

Like the first installment, “Spider-Man: Next Generation”, released in 2019, the film is a demonstration of technical know-how, with different visual styles in the six parallel universes that the superhero will visit.

Among the scenes unveiled, a very impressive fight against a vulture inside the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the irruption of a Spiderwoman on a motorcycle, several months pregnant, and a double family intrigue, on the side of Miles’ parents , and those of his sidekick Gwen.

Miles Morales “remains the star, at the heart of the story. But we didn’t want to rest on our laurels and follow the easiest path,” Kemp Powers, one of the three co-directors, told AFP. .

The team knows they are expected at the turn: the first film was a success “by word of mouth”, they point out, and created great expectations.

– Fluid –
“It’s an even more complex story than the first one, where a lot of the characters came into Miles’ world. This time it’s him traveling through a bunch of dimensions,” Mr Powers continues.

The opportunity to use all a range of different animation techniques, far from the sometimes standardized 3D of contemporary animation.

Tools that allowed the team to introduce a new super-villain, “The Spot” (the point in French), with a body covered in black spots, an elusive silhouette that evolves and strengthens over the course of the plot.

“Animation is a great medium because there are things you can only do like that,” says Justin Thompson, another co-director.

“+The Spot+ is a good example of what you can’t replicate with live action. His movements, his actions interacting with multiple characters at the same time, in live action, it would look a little rotten, and there it is fluid!”, he continues.

– “except invasion of Martians” –
Finally, “the only limit is time”, despite five or six years of production for each of the films, a third of which is due out in 2024, abounds Kemp Powers, “but our imagination has no limits”.

Beyond the technical aspect, the team wants to deliver a film “that everyone can grasp: from babies to grandparents, including everyone in between”, adds the third director, Joachim Dos. Santos.

Basically, “it’s the story of a child who has a relationship with his loving parents, of a 15-year-old teenager who begins to spread his wings, and he spreads them a little across the + multiverse +”, he says.

This visual spectacle is “designed for the big screen”, insists Kemp Powers, questioned on the subject at a time when certain films are skipping the cinema box to land directly on the platforms.

He knows something about it: his previous film, “Soul”, Oscar 2021 for best animated film, was deprived of theatrical release by Disney / Pixar.

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” will be visible in cinemas in June 2023… “except for an invasion of Martians or world war!”, He jokes.

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With animation, Spider-Man “breaks the limits” of cinema

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