At some point in the development process, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse had a huge live-action scene that was ultimately abandoned.
Spider-Verse 2 is finally here, opening to near-universal acclaim and making a pretty penny at the box office while it is at it.
While both this movie and its predecessor have sported some mind-bending animation, Across the Spider-Verse had long been rumored to play with the medium, potentially featuring some live-action sequences as well.
Cut Live-Action Scene from Spider-Verse 2
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
In an interview with Variety, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson broke down some of the major changes to the film during development, including the mention of even more live-action than what fans got.
When asked about the snippets of live-action that popped up in the film, Thompson said "We had even bigger ambitions.” Powers chimed in, adding "There were times when we had huge live-action sequences in the film," but they ultimately did not make the cut:
“There were times when we had huge live-action sequences in the film, and it just turned into a bad joke. Even we didn’t like it anymore. And we just said, ‘OK, enough, let’s make sure that it’s something precise that gets the most bang for the buck, and speaks to the story.’”
Powers joked these animated characters appearing in live-action universes "had the look of like a South Park character," to which Johnson retorted, "We should do that as a character.”
The directing trio declined to elaborate further, only remarking that the sequences did not make it past the storyboard and animatic stage.
The Future of Live-Action in the Spider-Verse
Just because the live-action sequences the Spider-Verse 2 directors are describing here did not make it into their latest super-powered blockbuster, does not mean all hope is lost for fans eagerly anticipating such a thing.
One has to remember there is still one more film to round out this Spider-Verse trilogy.
Coming to theaters next March is Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, and surely even more live-action shenanigans have to be on the way in that film.
In an exclusive interview with The Direct during the production of Across the Spider-Verse, one of the animators who worked on the film mentioned the producers were "planning [some Avengers: Endgame]-esque stuff" in the Spider-Verse sequels.
While total speculation at this point, what would be more Avengers: Endgame than these animated characters coming face-to-face with some of (if not all) the live-action Spideys?
There were hints of live-action seen in Across the Spider-Verse. So, now that audiences have been given the appetizer, perhaps Beyond the Spider-Verse could be the main course on that front.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is playing in theaters now.