Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse hired a 14-year-old to animate a LEGO sequence in the movie.
Preston Mutanga, from Toronto, Canada, landed the role after he recreated the film’s trailer shot-for-shot with his own supply of LEGO, and caught the attention of producers Chris Lord and Phil Miller.
Mutanga shared his remake of the trailer on Twitter on January 2. Lord and Miller – who also directed 2014’s The Lego movie – were stunned by the young animator’s talent. So when decided they wanted to include a LEGO scene in Across The Spider-Verse, they promptly reached out to the teenager.
“We found out that it was a 14-year-old kid who made it and we were like, ‘This looks incredibly sophisticated for a nonadult, nonprofessional to have made,” Miller told The Times. “It blew us all away, including some of the best animators in the world.”
Mutanga said he started animating as a kid after his father showed him “this 3-D software called Blender and I instantly got hooked on it.” He added: “I watched a lot of YouTube videos to teach myself certain stuff.”
I recreated the entire Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse trailer in LEGO! @philiplord @chrizmillr @terry12539 @LEGO_Group @SpiderVerse #LEGO #SpiderManAcrossTheSpiderVerse #animation #Blender3d pic.twitter.com/kYY19go7Fc
— LegoMe_TheOG (@FG_Artist) January 3, 2023
Working remotely from his home in Toronto, Mutanga spent several weeks animating the LEGO sequence for Across The Spider-Verse, with Lord and Miller regularly checking in on his progress and providing their input.
“One new thing I learned was definitely the feedback aspect of it, like how much stuff actually gets changed from the beginning to the final product,” Mutanga said.
“‘The LEGO Movie’ is inspired by people making films with Lego bricks at home,” added Lord. “That’s what made us want to make the movie. Then the idea in Spider Verse is that a hero can come from anywhere. And here comes this heroic young person who’s inspired by the movie that was inspired by people like him.”
On his overall experience working on the film, Mutanga added: “I adored the first movie and was so hyped for the second one, so getting to work with the people who actually made this masterpiece was honestly like a dream.”
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse is now showing in cinemas. The film has been heavily praised by fans and critics alike, with many describing it as the best superhero film ever made.