They say moves are made or broken in the editing process, but the team behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse apparently took that concept to a whole new level. Screenwriter and producer Phil Lord spent Saturday revealing some behind-the-scenes details about how the ending of the Oscar-winning animated feature changed completely. “We did a big shakeup of the story less than a year from release and we had to figure out how to reshape sequences we had already boarded and animated and fold them in with new stuff,” Lord tweeted. “Oh and we rebroke the whole third act.”
If you’re having trouble making sense of the “storywheel” he posted along with his tweet, you’re not alone. “It’s less of an outline and more of a triage docket of what we were going to do to each sequence,” Lord went on to explain. “It made sense basically to no one but us.”
“This is not a flex. This is embarrassing that we hadn’t figured it out this late in the process. It’s more to illustrate that it IS a process. Always,” Lord continued in a follow-up tweet. And while Lord’s confession means they didn’t feel they got it right on the first try, it’s actually quite impressive the animation team was able to pivot so late in the game and still make their December 2018 premiere date.
Even more impressive, it wasn’t the only relatively last-minute change the team made: “That’s the white board for only one of the Act III ‘rebreaks,’” associate editor Andrew Leviton responded on Twitter. “We rebroke it again the July before release with another beautiful mind-y whiteboard. I locked myself in my edit bay for 3 days and mocked something up based on this.”
Upon further reflection, Leviton had one correction: “locked myself in my room for 2 days.” Leviton’s Twitter feed is full of threads revealing stories about the making of the movie. So if you’re looking to dive deeper into the Spider-Verse, it’s not a bad place to start.