Last year was full of innovative films, but one in particular may elevate future movies into a whole other dimension: Sony Pictures’ “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
Though the “Incredibles” franchise has certainly warmed audiences up to the idea of blockbuster animated superhero flicks, the newest “Spider-Man” film may be a breath of fresh air both for animation and for the superhero subgenre.
A four-year labor of love, “Spider-Verse” pulled out none of the stops when it came to experimentation with style.
Longtime superhero fans were treated to a film that essentially brought the experience of flipping through comic book pages to life.
The directors of the movie, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, made use of dotted halftone textures, paneling, and various other experimental visual tactics to pull off this effect.
The whole production team seemed to be taking a huge leap of faith with “Spider-Verse.”
Creating the film meant trying to turn out a product that could bridge the assumed gap between audiences who like animation and audiences who go to see live-action hero flicks.
As Steven Zeitchik of the Washington Post explained, “Animation and superhero movies each tend to play to disparate audiences.”
The former tends to focus on reaching young children, while the latter tries to target teenagers with a “story of the dispossessed rising above.”
Even against those odds, “Spider-Verse” managed to rake in a worldwide gross of $322.9 million and a Rotten Tomatoes score of 97 percent.
So what does this mean for the future of superheroes?
Many speculate that Hollywood executives and audiences alike may be more receptive to the idea of big-budget animation that’s not just for kids.
Animation fans have been waiting for a 2-D renaissance in the Western world for a long time, and the reception of Sony’s latest venture may be the answer to their prayers.
Though it’s too early to see where this unprecedented addition to the extensive “Spider-Man” franchise will take the art of filmmaking in the future, there has certainly been a shift in the conversation.
With any hope, the films of the next few decades will take the plunge into new possibilities.