Miles Morales encounters an array of new Spider-People in “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” including Daniel Kaluuya’s Hobart “Hobie” Brown (aka Spider-Punk). While Spider-Punk plays an integral part in the sequel, as well as became a fan-favorite due to his carefree attitude and spiky mohawk, writer-producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller revealed in an interview with EW that the anarchic superhero was nearly cut from the film.
“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 said.
However, when the writer-producers met Kaluuya, they “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,” Lord continued.
Along with Spider-Punk, “Across the Spider-Verse” introduced such Spider-variants as Jess Drew/Spider-Woman, Miguel O’ Hara/Spider-Man 2099 and Pavitr Prabhakar. Peter B. Parker, Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker and Spider-Ham from “Into the Spider-Verse” also appeared in the sequel.
“Some people were like, ‘Is there a way to simplify this? There’s so many characters. Do we really need Spider-Punk?’” Miller said. “But once we got to know Daniel, we rewrote the part so it became more necessary.”
According to “Across the Spider-Verse” co-director Kemp Powers, before Kaluuya was cast, the actor’s voice was used as source material for the British rocker hero in the animated feature’s early stages.
“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.”
“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” features the voices of Kaluuya, Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Karan Soni, Jake Johnson, Kimiko Glenn, Issa Rae and Oscar Isaac. Although the third installment “Beyond the Spider-Verse” was scheduled to open March 29, 2024, the Sony Pictures animated film is currently undated due to the ongoing dual union strikes.