SDCC 2018: Sony Pictures 'Spider-Verse' and 'Venom' Panel Recap


Sony Pictures took over Hall H on Friday night to showcase its upcoming Marvel films.

First up was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Rodney Rothman, Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, and Phil Lord took the stage.

The first question from moderator Jessica Chobot is about why Miles Morales is so important to the film.

"We love Miles Morales," Lord said. "When Sony came to us and said we want to do an animated Spider-Man movie, 'We said we'll do it but it has to be Miles.' And then we got carried away in a groove from there. He's just an inspiring character. The whole idea is ho to we tell this story in a refreshing way...How to we put a good spin on it and Miles is a good start."

Why was Shameik the perfect Miles?

We love him ever since we saw him for the first time in Dope. We've known him for a while from different auditions and things," Miller said. "He's got a really unique, positive take on life. This is his first Comic Con, the first time he's been here, and from the beginning we're like this guy is the guy and we were right."

Why does Moore like Miles Morales so much.

"He's a black Spider-Man, black and Mexican. I think that that's very powerful and iconic. I was thankful for the opportunity. The fact that it looks this beautiful...was a pleasant surprise. The fact that I was able to have the opportunity to audition, book, and become the original Miles Morales it was like, 'Oh my god, this is amazing!'"

Growing up, Moore wanted to be Spider-Man.

Jake Johnson is asked about his role as Peter Parker.

"It's Peter Parker at 40 and it's Peter Parker with a bad back and it's Peter Parker who is not sure he wants to be Spider-Man," Johnson said. "It's chubby Peter Parker!"

"Miles needs him to be a mentor but he doesn't see himself as a mentor," Johnson said. "He sees something special in this guy and it reminds him of what's important about having these powers."

What's their relationship like?

"There's two different perspectives," Moore said. "miles just needs a teacher he doesn't wanna be spider-man all the sudden bit by this spider and has duty of saving multiple universe

What was it like to play Spider-Gwen for Hailee Steinfeld?

"The fact that she is really just the toughest and the coolest and the smartest and the most capable one in the room and she knows it, there's something really incredible about her," Steinfeld said. "She's got so much to her and it was really fantastic playing a character like her."

"Miles story takes place in an alternate dimension to our own," Lord said. "The thought of this movie was what if those different stories intersected. What would it do? How would it shake them up if these people met? I think that's the power of this character. We told this character's story so many different ways."

The team brought clips from the film.

Miles get dressed for school, as his pants shrink. He realizes he might have hit puberty. As he walks through school continuing his thought, text boxes showing the thoughts pop up on the screen like a comic panel. In school, he gets his hand stuck in Gwen's hair and can't get them out. After he fails to get his hand out, the nurse has to shave her head to get him free from her.

At night, Miles visits Peter's grave and apologizes for not doing what he wanted him to do. He thinks he can't do it alone. At his own grave, Peter Parker approaches from behind. Miles accidentally knocks him. As police approach, Miles grabs Peter and flees. Peter accidentally we web shoots onto a train and they both end up being dragged with it. It plays like a music video with witty beats of dialogue interspersed.

Later, Peter is tied to a punching bag. Miles realizes he is Peter Parker and questions why he isn't dead. He goes on to figure out that Peter is from a different universe and can teach him how to be Spider-Man. Peter freed himself.

Later, there is a hall of Spider-Man suits. Kingpin reveals himself, his body is massive. He is going to hunt Spider-Man. The two flee from a lab and use trees in the woods to run. They are pursue by armed scientists with laser guns. After getting caught in webs, Gwen Stacy saves them, and says she is from another, another dimension.

The Lizard chases them in a quick cut. Explosions in New York City. Action beats.

In a Spider-Cave, Spider-Man Noir greets them, with Penny Parker her giant robot voiced by Komiko Glenn, and Spider-Ham voiced by John Mulaney.

Next is Venom. Ruben Fleischer, Riz Ahmed, and Tom Hardy take the stage. It is Hardy's first time in Hall H.

Flesher starts out by talking about how excited he is to be here with this movie. "This guy is trying to bite people's heads off the whole time and this guy is an evil megalomaniac who wants to take over the world."

Why did they choose Tom Hardy for the role?

"I love officially everything he's been in," Fleischer said. "There's no one more exciting to watch on screen. He just brings so much complexity and depth to every character he inhabits."

What appealed to Hardy?

"Venom is, by far, for me the...coolest Marvel super hero that there is. I just like the way he looks first and foremost. Then, also, there's my son and he's a massive Venom fan. He was a very strong influence on me as to why I ought to play Venom specifically...So I did something where I bite people's heads off which my son can't see."

He introduces a clip from the movie.

Eddie Brock enters a convenience store. He knows the lady here. She says he looks like s---. He's not feeling well. She suggested to him previously that he medidate. At home, he puts a disc in his DVD player and while laying on the floor meditates. Flashes of him running through the woods kick in. He smacks his face on the couch. He pounds pills. He looks unwell and calls someone to say he's feeling very sick. He awakens, startled. Later, he walks through an alley and sees Venom in the reflection of a car window before being flung against a wall.

Riz Ahmed's character rules that human beings are disposable. Man and symbiote combined is the future. He tests one on a man who is bent out of shape violently. Eddie is tests later. As ra result, he brutally beats men in his apartment with Venom's help. His motorcycles is sandwiched by cars but Venom holds them off.

Venom tells Eddie his previous life is over. Eddie doesn't want to just hurt people. Venom emerges and talks to Eddie face to face. After Eddie's body is bent and broken, Venom heals him and stands 10 feet tall. He holds a man up and licks his face.

Ahmed's character is proud of his creation. Action scenes flash by. Eddie starts to come around on the power. His gal seems concerned about that. A woman throws spikes out of her back and into civilians at a market.Venom's arms turn into giant axes and he wipes out a slew of enemies. More action scenes. Venom fights Ahmed's symbiote counterpart. Venom threatens to eat a man's face off of his head who is bothering the woman in the convenience store. When he asks "What the hell are you," half the face disappears and Eddie and Venom say, "We are Venom." Then, he eats his head. Eddie emerges and says goodnight to the woman.

Hardy says he was inspired by his roles in Legend to take on a movie with a counterpart. "I wear an earpiece. I would record," Hardy said. "It depends, If I'm Eddie Brock and Venom is talking to me, than only Eddie hears it but all the other actors don't know how to speak."

Ahmed opens up about his Carlton Drake character.

"He's a genius billionaire inventor," Ahmed said. "Life trying to answer the question of what does the future for humanity look like...He thinks, probably, we've got a future in outer space and he comes across the symbiote."

Ahmed's character is Riot.

"We're definitely planning a huge world with this Venom story and we want to be able to satisfy our own desires and the desires of fans to explore all of the characters in the film," Flesher said.

"Jenny Slate, who I'm a massive fan of...she plays the lead scientist at the Life Foundation," Ahmed said. "Here she brings a lot of soul and warmth and humanity to this character."

Will Spider-Man be involved?

"I think we can all agree it would be pretty amazing to see Spider-Man and Venom face off in a film," Fleischer said. "I have to think that the studio is thinking the same way and at some point down the road they're gonna run across each other's paths."


Tom Hardy would like to go "toe to toe" with Tom Holland's Spider-Man.

"I can't wait for it," Fleischer said.