Spider-Verse 2 Writer Began Work on the Film a Year Before the Original Came Out – IGN
Shang-Chi writer Dave Callaham has revealed that he started working on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 a whole year before the first ambitious animated project was even released.
During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Callaham explained that Phil Lord and Chris Miller drafted him in to pitch the sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse before the film had even hit theaters. He recalled an early meeting that he had with the high-profile pair in which he viewed some crude sketches for the first Spider-Verse film.
“[Lord and Miller] were still working on the first movie,” Callaham recounted, reflecting on how he came to write the Spider-Verse sequel. “They showed me an animatic, which at the time looked like napkin drawings with temp vocals and no animation styling behind it. I could feel the heart behind it, but I couldn’t imagine how spectacular this thing could be yet.”
Callaham said he also looked at some still images of the art they had been working on before being asked to pitch a follow-up idea. Shortly after that, he started “the very strange process of working on the sequel for a year before the original came out,” though no one could ever have predicted the success of the Spider-Verse.
“It wasn’t until that movie came out that it made any sense to anybody in the outside world what it was that I was up to,” Callaham added. “Then suddenly the interest went from zero to 100 overnight. Suddenly people loved the movie and a couple of months later it wins an Oscar and then the trajectory changes a little bit.”
He admitted that Spider-Verse 2 had been in development for a very long time and that the script for the sequel had been ever-evolving, so much so that he is still actually working on it, though Lord and Miller are both now involved. He predicted they will be writing stuff for the movie right the way up until its release, which is planned for October 7, 2022.
“I am now writing it with Phil and Chris,” Callaham said. “Sometimes it’s one of us. Sometimes it’s two of us. Sometimes it’s three of us, depending on our availabilities, which I am actually very glad for, because they were too busy finishing the first movie when I was writing the initial draft of the second. But I can’t emulate their writing style.”
Sony Pictures Animation’s follow-up to Into the Spider-Verse has picked up steam in recent months, with the studio tapping a trio of directors to helm the film in April that includes Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin K. Thompson, and Soul co-director Kemp Powers. The voice cast expanded in June, with Issa Rae joining in the role of Jessica Drew aka Spider-Woman.
Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse was a critical and commercial success when it was released in 2018. The film grossed $373.5 million worldwide and earned Sony Pictures Animation its first Oscar win for Best Animated Feature. We named Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse IGN’s movie of the year in 2018, saying it “delivered a visual experience unlike any other.”
For more about Spider-Verses on the big screen, check out our collection of every Spider-Man movie spin-off currently in development, as well as our ranking of the Spider-Man movies.
Adele Ankers is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.