If you've spent any amount of time on the Internet over the last day or so, you've probably noticed that everyone in the nerd world is talking about Sony's instant animated hit, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In addition to raving about how wonderful the movie is, fans have been taking to social media to talk about all of their favorite Marvel and Spidey Easter eggs that the filmmakers managed to get into the movie. Of course, one of the most talked-about of these Easter eggs references perhaps the most memorable scene in the history of Spider-Man movies: Tobey Maguire's infamous street dance in Spider-Man 3.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse! Continue reading at your own risk...
Despite being about Miles Morales' version of Spider-Man, Spider-Verse begins with a short story about Peter Parker. The original Spider-Man starts as New York's hero, and it's not until his tragic death later in the first act that Miles takes over. So everything kicks off with Peter Parker (voiced by Chris Pine) introducing himself to the audience, and getting everyone up to speed about how he became the hero that he is today.
This narrated montage goes through all sorts of big moments in Spider-Man history, from his important decisions in the comics, to some major marketing fails, such as the ridiculous Spider-Man novelty ice creams. In one way or another, all of these references are pretty self-deprecating jokes for Spidey, but the filmmakers embrace the humor. At one point in the montage, Peter brings up one of the more embarrassing moments in his history.
The Tobey Maguire-starring Spider-Man 3 gave audiences plenty of things to laugh at, but the ridiculous and overly-confident dance down the street definitely takes the cake. It's so absurdly over the top, and has remained a popular meme amongst Marvel fans in the decade since its release. During the montage in Spider-Verse, Peter brings up the dance from his past, and audiences get the chance to see the animated version of the character doing the same terrible dance on the sidewalk.
While speaking to Vanity Fair about the scene, producer Avi Arad said that you can't be faithful to the character of Spider-Man without being willing to make fun of yourself, and that's what this scene was all about.
“It’s the only way to do it,” Arad said. “You can laugh at yourself. It’s actually a part of Stan Lee—Stan was this guy. He was self-deprecating.” The bit gets a huge laugh in theaters, but Pascal was initially concerned fans might not be in on the joke: “We weren’t really sure if everybody was going to understand the dancing. But I guess the world knows it as well as we do.”
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is now playing in theaters.