Fan-favourite superhero Spider-Punk was almost cut out of this year’s Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse before being saved by actor Daniel Kaluuya.
According to the film’s writer-producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Spider-Punk (also known as Hobart “Hobie” Brown) was nearly cut out of the film because there were too many characters in the film.
Miller said to Entertainment Weekly: “Some people were like, ‘Is there a way to simplify this? There’s so many characters. Do we really need Spider-Punk?'”
Lord explained further: “He was in and out of the picture for a little while because we weren’t sure which elements we were going to stick in this part and which were going to migrate to the next movie.”
“When we met Daniel Kaluuya, we realized that he had to be Hobie Brown, no matter the cost. And Hobie had to be in the movie because that personality needed to be part of the story,” Lord continued. Miller added: “Once we got to know Daniel, we rewrote the part so it became more necessary.”
However, it turns out Kaluuya has had a larger impact on Spider-Punk’s inclusion in the film than the producers revealed. According to director Kemp Powers, artists and animators on the film were given unrelated interviews featuring Daniel Kaluuya to model Hobie after.
“Daniel Kaluuya’s natural speaking voice was right in the pocket of that effortless cool we envisioned the Hobie character having from the beginning,” Powers explained. The film’s directors also explained that Kaluuya was the inspiration behind their decision to make Camden Hobie’s hometown. Besides serving as Kaluuya’s homeplace, Camden is also considered to be the birthplace of punk.
Last month, it was revealed that Sony has removed the highly anticipated Spider-Man: Beyond The Spider-Verse from its release schedule. Beyond The Spider-Verse was originally scheduled for release in March 2024, but was halted due to the ongoing writers and actors strike in Hollywood. According to reports from Variety, the film’s voice cast were unable to complete dialogue recording before the strikes commenced and union’s work stoppage orders kicked in.
Spider-Man: Beyond The Spider-Verse will serve as the third and final entry in the Spider-Verse franchise, which debuted in 2018 with Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. The franchise’s second instalment, Across The Spider-Verse premiered in June this year, and has received global acclaim for its animation style and plot.
Weeks after Across The Spider-Verse‘s release, it was revealed that an incomplete version of the film was screened in some cinemas across the globe. While fans and critics alike described it as the best superhero film ever made, some viewers reported issues with the sound mixing in the film. According to a Variety report, producers Sony have sent an updated version of the film to theatres in order to fix the issue.