The One Thing The Spider-Verse Movies Will Never Do, Spider-Man Producer Reveals

June 07, 2024

It can’t be understated just how influential the “Spider-Verse” films have become in the field of animation. Not only have the two features released as of publication — “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” and the creator of a huge Marvel first, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” — pushed the visuals of the medium forward, but they’ve legitimized animation in the eyes of countless moviegoers as more than a medium for children. However, despite the franchise’s apparent lack of limits, there’s one thing it will never do … and that’s pulling from the growing well of artificial intelligenc

Over on X (formerly Twitter), “Spider-Verse” producer Chris Miller shared that the franchise will never implement AI. “There is no generative AI in Beyond the Spider-Verse and there never will be. One of the main goals of the films is to create new visual styles that have never been seen in a studio CG film, not steal the generic plagiarized average of other artists’ work,” he wrote. This comes after Sony Pictures chief executive Tony Vinciquerra mentioned that the studio was looking into the use of generative AI. Naturally, many were concerned that the upcoming “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse” and the many Spider-Man spin-offs coming after “Across the Spider-Verse” would use such technology.

Keeping AI away from the “Spider-Verse” saga is good for a myriad of reasons, and Miller and his team are right to be openly critical of it. Now, one can only hope the working conditions of the animators Miller and company are trying to protect improve going forward.

Hopefully, the human animators behind the Spider-Verse saga are treated better going forward
Sony Pictures
As mentioned before, the “Spider-Verse” movies are both animation marvels, no pun intended. Each frame is chock-full of spectacular detail, combining digital as well as hand-drawn elements to perfection. They’re entirely aesthetically unique, which, combined with their stories and voice performances, make them captivating watches. Still, as easy as it is to get lost in the visual pageantry of the “Spider-Verse” movies, it’s important to remember that what makes them so special is that they’re crafted by human hands — artists who deserve fair treatment.

The “Spider-Verse” films were both painstakingly animated, though conditions on “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” were reportedly horrific. Speaking to Vulture, a handful of Sony animators anonymously recalled the horrors of working on the beloved sequel. Workdays well-over the 11-hour mark, not a single day off throughout the week, and constant, extensive revisions became the norm. Along the way, roughly 100 artists were said to have left the project. Additionally, it was claimed that animators were offered low salaries with promises of hefty overtime pay, forcefully incentivizing this unsustainable work routine.

So, what is the solution to this nightmarish animation workplace culture? Not implementing plagiaristic, error-filled AI, but rather decreased pressure from those at the top. Allow artists to do what they do best at a proper pace and appropriate wages. Treat them like people rather than means to an end. “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse” will likely be another hit for the franchise, and could become one of the best animated movies of all time, but if the animators behind it continue to be mistreated, is there really much worth celebrating?

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