Shang-Chi Writer Dave Callaham Says He Started Writing Spider-Verse 2 Before the First Movie Came Out

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings writer Dave Callaham has been helping to build a bigger Marvel Universe for some time. Before Callaham was handed the task of bringing Shang-Chi to the big screen, he was hired by Sony Pictures and filmmakers Chris Miller and Phil Lord (21 Jump Street) to write a script for the highly-anticipated sequel, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2. In a new interview, Callaham recounts the strange process of being brought in to write Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 before anyone in the world had ever seen a frame of the first film. Talk about a leap of faith. 

Here's the story that Dave Callaham told to THR

"[Chris and Phil] said, 'We have this animated Spider-Man movie we are doing.' They were still working on the first movie. They couldn't tell me what it was going to look like. Because it's them, I said, 'I'll come in and see what you have. I don't get it.' They showed me an animatic, which at the time looked like napkin drawings with temp vocals and no animation styling behind it. I could feel the heart behind it, but I couldn't imagine how spectacular this thing could be yet. They showed me some still images of some of the art they had been working on. With them, I trust them implicitly and I believed they were going to do something special. I said, 'OK,' and they said, 'Great. Pitch us a sequel.' So I began the very strange process of working on the sequel for a year before the original came out."

(Photo: Sony Pictures)

Well, talk about getting in on the ground floor! Callaham quickly found his leap of faith in Lord and Miller rewarded by being in a position to write the sequel for an Oscar-winning hit film:

"It wasn't until that movie came out that it made any sense to anybody in the outside world what it was that I was up to. Then suddenly the interest went from zero to 100 overnight. Suddenly people loved the movie and a couple of months later it wins an Oscar and then the trajectory changes a little bit."

Now Dave Callaham has helped to write the script for a major Marvel Cinematic Universe hit (Shang-Chi) and is attached to the sequel of a major Spider-Man franchise sequel. So where do things stand with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2? According to Callaham: 

 "...I am still [writing it] (laughs) — the process continues. I am now writing it with Phil and Chris. The three of us. Sometimes it's one of us. Sometimes it's two of us. Sometimes it's three of us, depending on our availabilities, which I am actually very glad for, because they were too busy finishing the first movie when I was writing the initial draft of the second. But I can't emulate their writing style. I do my best, but now I've been able to see how they do their thing and it's been great. I'm sure we will be writing stuff for that movie until it feels more like an ever-evolving script."


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 is set for release on October 7, 2022.