Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Almost Didn’t Include One of Its Most Beloved Characters

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Almost Didn’t Include One of Its Most Beloved Characters

Thank you, Daniel Kaluuya!

Alex Stedman

Updated:

Aug 25, 2023 11:35 pm

Posted:

Aug 25, 2023 11:33 pm

Warning: The following story contains some spoilers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

Among the many Spider-people web-slinging around Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, one in particular has become a new favorite with fans: Daniel Kaluuya’s Hobie Brown, a.k.a Spider-Punk. But, as writers/producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller revealed in a recent interview, this summer’s hit sequel almost didn’t feature our beloved Brit with an anarchist streak.

Speaking to EW, Lord said Hobie was “in and out of the picture for a little while,” as he and Miller weren’t sure what they were going to include in Across the Spider-Verse and its now indefinitely delayed sequel Beyond the Spider-Verse. That all changed, however, when Kaluuya entered the picture.

“When we met Daniel Kaluuya, we realized that he had to be Hobie Brown, no matter the cost,” Lord told EW. “And Hobie had to be in the movie because that personality needed to be part of the story.”

Still, that didn’t mean they didn’t get a little bit of pushback on it.

“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.”

“When we met Daniel Kaluuya, we realized that he had to be Hobie Brown, no matter the cost.

That rewrite would prove a smart one, as Hobie quickly garnered the favor of fans with his badass attitude, unique design, and Kaluuya’s relentlessly cool, confident performance. As IGN’s Tom Jorgensen wrote in his 8/10 review, Kaluuya “stands out as the self-assured Spider-Punk, and the kickass anti-authoritarian who paradoxically finds himself serving a multiversal police force is such a cool wild card that I think I have to spell wyld with a ‘y.’”

As co-director Kemp Powers said later in the EW interview, Hobie “earned” his way into Across the Spider-Verse by serving as a “catalyst” in Miles Morales’ story. Fellow co-director Joaquim Dos Santos elaborated further, pointing to one scene in particular: when Miles is imprisoned by the Spider Society, Hobie advises him to use his whole hand, not just his fingertips, to send enough electricity to bust his bubble of captivity.

Of course, as a member of the Spider Society, Hobie is an odd source for that information. But that’s just the kind of chaos that Across the Spider-Verse needed in that moment.

“There was a version of that scene that didn’t have Hobie in it, but he really pushed that scene over the edge,” Dos Santos said. “We were trying to figure that out for a very, very long time, and he was the chaos element who told Miles not to fall in line. He really saved the day.”

For more on Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, check out our breakdown on why the Across the Spider-Verse edits are not what you think.

Alex Stedman is a Senior News Editor with IGN, overseeing entertainment reporting. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her reading fantasy novels or playing Dungeons & Dragons.

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