Fan-favorite superhero Spider-Punk was nearly left out of this year’s Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse before he was rescued by actor Daniel Kaluuya.
According to the film’s writers and producers, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Spider-Punk (aka Hobart “Hobie” Brown) was almost dropped from the film because it had too many characters.
Miller told Entertainment Weekly, “Some people were like, ‘Is there a way to simplify this? There are so many characters. Do we really need spider punk?’
Lord further explained, “He was in the picture for a while because we weren’t sure what elements we were going to keep in that part and what elements we were going to carry over into the next film.”
“When we met Daniel Kaluuya, we realized it had to be Hobie Brown, whatever the cost. And Hobie had to be in the film because that personality had to be part of the story,” Lord continued. Miller added, “After we met Daniel, we rewrote the role to make it more necessary.”
However, it turns out that Kaluuya had a bigger influence on the inclusion of spider-punk in the film than the producers let on. According to director Kemp Powers, the film’s artists and animators received independent interviews with Daniel Kaluuya as Hobie.
“Daniel Kaluuya’s natural voice was a perfect match for the freshness we envisioned for Hobie’s character from the start,” explains Powers. The film’s directors also stated that Kaluuya was the inspiration behind their decision to make Camden their hometown. Camden is considered not only the birthplace of Kaluuya but also the birthplace of punk.
It was announced last month that Sony had pulled the long-awaited Spider-Man: Beyond The Spider-Verse from its release schedule. Originally scheduled for release in March 2024, Beyond The Spider-Verse was put on hold due to the writers’ and actors’ strike in Hollywood. As Variety reports, the film’s voice actors were not able to finish taping the dialogue before the strikes began and the union freeze orders went into effect.
Spider-Man: Beyond The Spider-Verse will serve as the third and final installment in the Spider-Verse series that debuted in 2018 with Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. The second installment in the franchise, Across The Spider-Verse, was released this June and has received global acclaim for its animation style and storyline.
Weeks after the release of Across The Spider-Verse, it was revealed that an incomplete version of the film had been shown in some theaters around the world. Despite being described by fans and critics as the best superhero film of all time, some viewers reported problems with the film’s audio mixing. According to a report by Variety, production company Sony has sent an updated version of the film to theaters to fix the problem.