Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse Animator Explained How The Movie Was Originally Going To Be Like Avengers: Endgame

Miles Morales in mid-air in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
(Image credit: Sony Pictures Animation)

Things may still be up in the air regarding when we’ll see Tom Holland’s fourth Spider-Man movie, but moviegoers don’t have to worry about a lack of web-slinging action on the big screen in the near future. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is among the highly-anticipated 2023 movie releases, and just a year later will bring its follow-up, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse. While the first Across the Spider-Verse trailer gave us our first taste of how the multiversal craziness will be even bigger compared to Into the Spider-Verse, apparently there was a time when this movie’s scope was going to be comparable to Avengers: Endgame.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse senior character animator Ere Santos went over with The Direct how originally the plan was to wrap up the Spider-Verse film series with just one movie, meaning the story that we’re now getting over Across the Spider-Verse and Beyond the Spider-Verse would have needed to be squeezed within two and a half hours. As Santos explained:

[We were asking] 'Wait, so this is what a two-and-a-half-hour movie?' This is a really large story that they're telling. And with all the arcs that they wanted to put in, we were just thinking this was going to be an intense, quick, fast-paced, high-energy movie… But it would have been good. It would have been like, what they were planning was gonna be like 'Endgame'-esque stuff. Like it was huge. And what they're planning is still huge.

Delivering an Avengers: Endgame-comparable experience in just the second Spider-Verse movie would have been a big ask, especially since the final runtime would have been half an hour less than what Endgame received to wrap up the MCU’s Infinity Saga. While Ere Santos sounds confident that version of what’s now Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse would have delivered the goods, things changed when the sequel was delayed, as it’d previously been set to come out on April 8, 2022. It was pushed to the following October, and now audiences will be able to see it next summer.

Following the April to October shift, the Spider-Verse team decided to “[spread things] out” over two movies in order to provide some much needed “breathing room,” with the two halves originally being called Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Part One and Part Two. Speaking again on Across the Spider-Verse in its original conception, Ere Santos said:

It was a really ambitious movie, and at the beginning, it was insanely ambitious, versus what it is now. It's still super ambitious, but it was like trying to fit two movies into one essentially. But now things can breathe a little bit more.

While Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse saw heroes from other realities being pulled into Miles Morales’ universe, Across the Spider-Verse will follow Miles and Gwen Stacy traveling across the multiverse as part of their conflict with The Spot, who will also appear in Beyond the Spider-Verse. In addition to Spider-Man 2099 having a prominent role in the sequel following his cameo in Into the Spider-Verse, the new Spider-heroes appearing include the Jessica Drew version of Spider-Woman, Spider-Punk and Ben Reilly, a.k.a. Scarlet Spider.

Directed by Joaquin Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson off a script written by Phil Lord, Chris Miller and David Callaham, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse will spin its web on June 2, 2023, and Beyond the Spider-Verse will follow on March 29, 2024. If you’re in the mood to take in Avengers: Endgame after reading this article, stream it with your Disney+ subscription.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.