Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse elected to steer clear of controversy or confusion by cutting a Spider-Ham joke just before the film's theatrical release.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse co-writer and co-director Rodney Rothman opened up about Spider-Ham on Jeff Smith's The Q&A podcast. During the conversation he revealed the tremendous effort and commitment behind bringing the four-legged Spider-character to the animated movie in a way which would not be so divisive for audiences.
"He was simultaneously the most popular and the least popular character," Rothman said. The film was very focused on delivering a concise message to the audience as it developed an otherwise easily confusing multi-verse. In fact, the filmmakers cut a gag which would have featured Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire lending their voices as their respective Peter Parker characters but it was ultimately cut to keep everyone on track.
Shortly before release, Rothman and company elected to cut a Peter Porker bit which was apparently slaying at test screening because of its shocking and surprising nature. It was a sequence shortly after Spider-Ham's moment of sincerity, in which John Mulaney's character tells Shamiek Moore's Miles Morales that losing people is part of the Spider-Man job.
"The way that scene [originally] went is Noir said he lost his Uncle Benjamin, Peter lost Uncle Ben, and Gwen lost Peter," Rothman said. "We went through everyone. Spider-Ham said he lost his Uncle Frankfurter. And then he said, 'He was electrocuted, and it smelled so good.'"
This joke "would destroy" with audiences who previewed the movie to help steer it in the right direction in terms of quality. However, the filmmakers "just decided" it had to go as the team referred to it as a "bad laugh."
"Spider-Man is a real person with real feelings, and we wanted people to get that," Rothman said.
Ultimately, the final cut of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse seems to have been the right one. The film has now not alone won at the Golden Globes but is nominated for Academy Awards. Very few comic book movies have received such prestigious honors, with praise from critics and fans alike. Not to mention, the film has easily surpassed $300 million at the worldwide box office, prompting spin-offs and a sequel to start development at Sony Pictures.
What was your favorite part of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse? Share it in the comment section or start a conversation with me on Twitter, @BrandonDavisBD! Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is now playing in theaters worldwide.