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The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

The continued delay of “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse”

SAG-AFTRA members and supporters protesting on July 18, 2023 in New York City. The labor controversy involved both writers and actors protesting againsts studios for better pay and working conditions. Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse was the biggest project affected by the strike yet.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was theatrically released in the United States on December 14, 2018. The animated superhero film was produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment in association with Marvel Entertainment, being the first animated film in the Spider-Man franchise. The animated film by Phil Lord and Chritopher Miller was leaked back in November 2014 and later officially announced in April 2015. With a $90 million budget the film grossed $384.3 million worldwide, the film later won Best Animated Feature at the 91st Academy Awards.

Following the success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a sequel of the movie was announced in November 2019 with animation work beginning in June 2020. The movie was already in development prior to the prequel’s 2018 release. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the movie’s original theatrical release date of April 2022 was delayed until June 2, 2023. According to IMDb, an online database of information related to films, the animated film grossed over $690 million at the worldwide box office, becoming the third highest grossing film of the year domestically and sixth highest grossing film in the U.S, surpassing the previous film. 

In December 2021, it was announced that the film was being split into two parts due to writers already having written the story for the sequel and eventually realized it was too much for one film. However, work on both parts were happening at the same time. The sequels for the first film were renamed to “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” and “Spider-Man Beyond the Spider-Verse.” Both films ended up having the largest crew of any animated film ever, with more than 1,000 people working on them. 

“The last movie did an amazing job to leave a story behind and it’s really incredible to me when I watched it,” said senior Thanh Tri Au.

Sony had many disruptions to their working calendar since the SAG-AFTRA strike on July 14, 2023. The strike was over a labor controversy with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Because Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse is part of a successful franchise, it was the biggest strike casualty yet because of the change of its release date. The movie was taken off Sony’s calendar for an indefinite period of time because actors could not do voice work. 

Surprisingly the film was still expected to be delayed even before the strike was announced, but with the strike, projects got more complicated. The 2023 “Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse” was delayed for eight months. Last year on June 23, 2023 Vulture, an American entertainment news website, reported that four animators who worked on the film claimed that the production had poor working conditions. Before the film was even completed, more than 100 artists left the production.

“Yes, I was really disappointed. I heard them say they delayed it for like a year or something, but now we don’t know. I feel like the movie should be released later, because I really have high hopes for it and if it sucks I’m going to be really disappointed,” said Au.

In addition to the four animators report, those who stayed during the production of Spider-man Beyond the Spider-Verse were forced to work 11 hours a day, seven days a week at certain points. Along with their long working hours, constant revisions were done to their finished shots for the animated film. Phil Lord demanded final approval of all of the film’s shots while co-writer Chris Miller was mostly absent day to day.

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