Spider-Verse Team Reveals Spider-Punk Was Being Created With Daniel Kaluuya's Voice Before He Was Cast

Even before Daniel Kaluuya was cast as Hobie Brown in Across the Spider-Verse, the character was being written with his voice in mind.

Hobie Brown, aka Spider-Punk, has been the runaway favorite Spider-Verse character for Marvel fans since the debut of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The British rocker with a rebellious spirit spends his handful of scenes in Across the Spider-Verse establishing himself as one of the very best Spider characters around. A lot that has to do with the vocal performance from Daniel Kaluuya. The ties to between Kaluuya and Hobie run deep, so deep that he was actually the person used as inspiration for the character long before he was cast.

Speaking to EW in a recent interview about Across the Spider-Verse, director Kemp Powers revealed that the creative team was using interview clips of Kaluuya speaking to help visualize the character.

"As we were doing visual development on the character, we were actually using audio clips of interviews with Daniel Kaluuya," Powers explained. "Daniel Kaluuya's natural speaking voice was right in the pocket of that effortless cool we envisioned the Hobie character having from the beginning."

Powers went on to say that Kaluuya was a seamless fit for Hobie once they did cast him, and that he understood the character on a deep enough level that he brought a good bit of improv to his role. In fact, one of Hobie's best lines was improvised by Kaluuya.

"Initially, there wasn't dialogue there," Powers said of Miles and Hobie's exchange when the latter first removes his mask. "That was actually a piece of dialogue we wrote after seeing it in edit: 'How are you even cooler under the mask?' We threw that to Daniel in the recording booth and let him ad-lib a bunch of things. He started saying lines like, 'I was this cool the whole time.' And that's the one that stuck."

Hobie Got a Bigger Spider-Verse Role After Kaluuya's Casting

In that same interview, the producing/writing duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller revealed that Hobie didn't initially have a substantial role in Across the Spider-Verse. In fact, there was even talk of saving him for the third movie. Once Kaluuya landed the role, however, they rewrote the character to give him a bigger story.

"He was in and out of the picture for a little while because we weren't sure which elements we were going to stick in this part and which were going to migrate to the next movie," Lord explained. "When we met Daniel Kaluuya, we realized that he had to be Hobie Brown, no matter the cost. And Hobie had to be in the movie because that personality needed to be part of the story."

"Some people were like, 'Is there a way to simplify this? There's so many characters. Do we really need Spider-Punk?'" Miller added. "But once we got to know Daniel, we rewrote the part so it became more necessary."