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A lot of material was conceived for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, so much so that an alternate cut of the movie was put together. One of these extra sequences included Miles Morales training to be Spider-Man by watching, wait for it, a Spider-Man movie! As it turns out, that scene could have been an even bigger deal had it been realized to its full potential, as the plan was to have Hollywood heavyweights Tom Cruise and James Cameron provide audio commentary for this Spider-Man movie. Co-director Rodney Rothman explained:
There’s a lot of stuff that we took out of the movie for good reasons, but that give you a window into the creative process behind the years that were spent on the movie. So an example of stuff they are talking about… There’s a line from Doc Ock that’s a very direct reference to Doc Ock’s most famous line in Spider-Man 2. Is the Tom Cruise stuff in the alternate universe version? So there was a whole period of time where Miles, rather than learning about being Spider-Man from a comic book, learned it from watching the films. There was a movie version of a movie about Spider-Man in Miles’ universe about the real person Spider-Man, but it was a James Cameron-directed movie with Tom Cruise as Spidey. Yes. Spidey. And it was James Cameron and Spidey and Tom Cruise on the audio.
Co-director Peter Ramsey added in the interview with Slashfilm that Spider-Man, a.k.a. Miles Morales’ predecessor (voiced by Chris Pine), also served as technical advisor on this Spider-Man movie, hence making it more fitting that he got to be part of the commentary track with Tom Cruise and James Cameron. Hearing Cruise and Cameron in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse definitely would have been a treat, but as Rodney Rothman noted, the fact that it took so long to explain the concept gives an idea of why it wasn’t included in the final cut. Instead, Miles got Spidey pointers from reading one of the Web-Slinger’s comic books. Hey, the journey may have been different, but he ultimately reached the same destination.
Lest you think that Tom Cruise and James Cameron were chosen at random for this fictitious Spider-Man movie, this fun Easter egg is actually a callback to two points in real-life Spider-Man film history. In the late 1980s, Cannon Films started developing a Spider-Man movie, and Tom Cruise was being looked at to play Peter Parker. Then in the early 1990s after the previous project fell through, James Cameron began writing his own Spider-Man movie for Carolco Pictures, and it would have featured Sandman and Electro as the main villains and, similarly to what was done in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, had Peter shooting organic webbing. However, due to legal troubles, this project was also shelved.
Surely I’m not the only one interested in seeing what a James Cameron-directed Spider-Man movie starring Tom Cruise would have looked like, right? Maybe in an alternate universe, that did come out, and Spider-Man has had a much-longer film history. In any case, that ship has sailed in this universe, but it’s good to hear that the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse filmmakers were interested in having the actor and director contribute to Spider-Man’s incredible fame in Miles’ world.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is now available on Digital HD, and the Blu-ray and DVD copies will hit shelves on March 19. Sony is developing an Into the Spider-Verse sequel and spinoff, but neither of those have been scheduled yet. Don’t forget to look through our 2019 release schedule to learn what movies are being released later this year.