Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Animators Claim Production Had Unsustainable Working Conditions

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Credit: Sony

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Credit: Sony

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has become one of the biggest hits this summer movie season and it has already surpassed the first film's box office results which just shows that the audience worldwide has a bigger affinity now with the Miles Morales animated films.

The sequel is being praised for its innovative animation as they dabble with different kinds of styles within a single film and they managed to successfully explore them all with just the right amount of balance.

It also took around four years for the entire team to make the film and you can see their hard work on screen with the wonderful results that they came up with in the finish line.

However, as we're weeks away now from its release, we're starting to learn more details about the making of the film and there is now a claim that the production might have been a tumultuous one.

New Report Reveals Alleged Production Issues in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
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Credit: Sony

In a recent report from Vulture, a number of animations who worked on Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse have claimed that 100 of them quit during production due to its unsustainable working condition.

While changes and overhauls are common in animation productions, the animators that Vulture spoke to revealed that they were asked to make alterations despite the sequences being already approved which led to a lot of backlogs across departments.

As a result, the animations were pushed to work more than 11 hours a day and seven days a week for more than a year and were forced back to the drawing board as many as five times to revise again even in the final rendering stage.

They also claimed that the film's directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin K. Thompson, and Kemp Powers were overpowered by co-producer and co-writer Phil Lord, who sought final approval for every sequence.

Meanwhile, Lord's partner and collaborator, Chris Miller, was allegedly MIA during the majority of the production.

Amy Pascal and Sony Dispute the Claims of the Animators

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
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Credit: Sony

Amy Pascal, the co-producer of the film and former Sony executive, disputed the claims when she was asked by Vulture about the animators' claims. She insisted that the production of an animated film is always an "iterative process" while also admitting that overhauls and changes did happen.

She also expressed that she found it unsurprising to see that around 100 animators quit the project due to the grueling process.

"One of the things about animation that makes it such a wonderful thing to work on is that you get to keep going until the story is right," she said.

"If the story isn’t right, you have to keep going until it is. I guess, Welcome to making a movie."

Michelle Grady, the executive vice-president and general manager of Sony Pictures Imageworks, also shoot down the claims of blaming Lord for the film's alleged issues and iterated that revisions "happen on every film" and it's always been part of the process.

She also said that the animators' claims do not represent the majority of the crew and found the difficult process "extraordinarily rewarding" in the end.

Will Beyond the Spider-Verse Be Able to Reach the Planned March 2024 Release?

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
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Credit: Sony

Right now, Sony is scheduling the release of the third film Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse on March 2024 which is already less than a year.

However, Stephen (not the real name), one of the animators that spoke with Vulture, expressed doubt that the film will be able to reach the deadline as he disputed the assumptions that the two films were being made at the same time.

"There’s no way that movie’s coming out then. There’s been progress on the pre-production side of things. But as far as the production side goes, the only progress that’s been made on the third one is any exploration or tests that were done before the movie was split into two parts," they said.

"Everyone’s been fully focused on Across the Spider-Verse and barely crossing the finish line. And now it’s like, Oh, yeah, now we have to do the other one."

Sony declined to comment on whether the third film will be able to reach the March 2024 deadline.

The claims that we're hearing in the report are certainly unfortunate if true since no artists deserve to have an unsustainable working condition and it is interesting to see whether this issue will be addressed even further as the story is now out to the public.

It is also curious to see if the third film will actually release early next year given what we know now about its alleged production status and it's not surprising at this point if we'll hear a delay very soon.

Also Read: Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse BTS Photos Reveal More of Donald Glover Surprise Cameo

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is still showing in theaters everywhere. You can check more details about it here.

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