‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’: Phil Lord and Chris Miller Reveal What Interested Them in the Film

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller decided to board the project only "if the movie didn't center on Peter Parker," Lord says of the decision to focus on Afro-Latino teenager Miles Morales in the animated blockbuster's Art of the Movie book.

"At that time, Miles was easily the most exciting character in the Marvel Universe. Oddly enough, around the same time, I went to the Jeff Koons retrospective in New York City — and love it or hate it — all his art is about other people's work," Lord said.

"It made me like, 'We could perhaps create a post-modern Spider-Man.' So, we leaned into this idea of a post-modern Spider-Man in this environment that has multiple spider-people from all of the comics."

The LEGO Movie director, who co-wrote Spider-Verse with director Rodney Rothman, introduced the project at Sony's CinemaCon presentation in 2018, where Chairman Tom Rothman hailed the project as a "brand new take on the most iconic character of them all" to fulfill the wishes of fans who "clamored" for Miles — a new spin on the classic Marvel superhero birthed out of Marvel Comics' Utlimate imprint, from creators Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli.

Lord, who said he and LEGO partner Miller were "so excited" and "so proud" of Spider-Verse, explained the appeal of bringing Miles to the big screen:

"His story is a sensation in the comics, we loved it there, and we were so inspired to try to find a way to tell his story visually that would be commensurate with that," he said. "It's a totally revolutionary style of animation as Tom was talking about, and it was too big of an opportunity for us to pass up."

Miles' "really unique character," added Miller, was in part to both his similarities and differences from the flagship Spider-Man.

"It's his Brooklyn upbringing, it's his culture. He's half-Puerto Rican, half-African-American, he's a product of a happy and alive family, he's 13-years-old," Miller said.

"All that tells the kind of hero he's going to become, and we're going to get to experience the Spider-Man legend through this new and exciting lens."

Spider-Verse, released Dec. 14, has since webbed up more than $227 million worldwide and is expected to launch a sequel and a female-centric spinoff.