Please be aware: This article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
One of the main challenges viewers of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse grapple with is deceptively simple – how do you halt a movie mid-screening in a cinema? This predicament is one that most Spider-Man enthusiasts will encounter as they dive into this visually striking, adrenaline-charged journey, where every frame is brimming with hidden references or “Easter eggs” that may slip past you before you’ve even started to count the characters.
For those not deeply immersed in the comic book universe, the most memorable scenes will likely be those inspired by the live-action films. From seeing Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield represented in animation, to hearing Oscar Isaac’s Miguel O’Hara name-drop Doctor Strange from Earth-199999 (the official designation for the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Marvel’s lore), or even witnessing Donald Glover’s Aaron Davis, post his brief stint in Spider-Man: Homecoming, in complete Prowler gear on-screen, the movie is full of surprises.
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Co-director Joaquim Dos Santos, during a discussion with FilmSweep’s Steve Weintraub at a special FilmSweep and IMAX showing of Across the Spider-Verse, shared some insider secrets about the film and expressed his excitement about the numerous hidden treasures for fans. After a successful screening, Dos Santos fielded questions from the audience, one of which pertained to Marvel Studios’ portrayal of their multiverse in the ‘Web of Life’ scene. This scene aimed to demonstrate to Miles Morales – and the viewers – how all the Spider-Characters are interconnected. The fan queried whether Marvel or Sony had any specific inclusions.
Image courtesy of Sony
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Navigating the Easter Egg-Verse
“I believe everything needs to go through the channels, right? Due diligence is necessary to ensure that all elements are approved,” Dos Santos responded. “And then there are a couple of things you sneak in there and hope for forgiveness later. But yes, it was indeed quite intentional. If you end up purchasing the version that includes DVD commentary, you’ll hear Chris [Miller] discuss this process in greater detail. But yes, it was intentional.”
Weintraub observed that given the immense amount of detail packed into the film, it would be nearly impossible to catch everything in one viewing – a type of movie that rewards multiple viewings, as well as extensive use of the pause button on a remote. When asked about the enormous quantity of Easter eggs, Dos Santos confirmed they would all be included in the director’s commentary and estimated their number to be in the “thousands”, before elaborating:
“There’s plenty, plenty. There are billboards visible for just a brief moment that I believe are private jokes between one person and another. If you pay attention to the crowd scenes, half the people at the party, situated below Miles and his mom, if you look really closely, those aren’t even CG models, those are real actors.”
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is currently screening in theaters. Don’t miss our conversation with stars Hailee Steinfeld and Shameik Moore below.