Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Invented a New Ending Weeks Before Release

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Invented a New Ending Weeks Before Release

Just a few weeks before release, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse had a different ending. That original ending is still in the movie, but now it comes a few seconds earlier. With the movie nearing completion, the filmmakers realized their ending didn’t work as intended, a change had to be made, and a whole new ending was created. One that drew inspiration from a galaxy far, far away.

Speaking to Collider, Across the Spider-Verse directors Kemp Powers, Joaquim Dos Santos, and Justin K. Thompson revealed that a test screening reaction to the film’s original ending—Miles being captured—forced them to add the ending currently in the movie: Gwen Stacy putting together a Spider-team to get Miles. And they figured it out by looking at one of the best sequels ever made, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

“The ending … where Spider-Gwen goes out and gathers Peter B. and Mayday and Peni and Noir and Ham, and she kind of gets the band back together to go save Miles, and you’re filled with hope and excitement that, ‘Oh, they’re gonna go back’ …. that wasn’t there until about six weeks before the film wrapped,” Thompson said. “We actually had a screening and it just ended with Miles on the bag, and everybody was just like, ‘Boo!’ And we went, ‘Oh god, what are we gonna do? We gotta do something.’ We ran back and we quickly scrambled and brainstormed and realized. We went back and watched The Empire Strikes Back again, and said, ‘How did Empire Strikes Back do it?’ And we realized, ‘Oh, they gave you hope at the end.’”

If you remember, though The Empire Strikes Back ends with Han being captured and Luke getting his hand chopped off, the actual final scene features Luke getting a new hand, and he, Leia and the droids watching as Lando and Chewbacca take the Millennium Falcon to rescue Han. It’s a hopeful cliffhanger.

“Okay, we need our ‘Go Rescue Han’ moment,” Thompson recalled. “So we boarded it, animated it, put it all together within six weeks, and then screened it again. The audience went through the roof, and we went, ‘Okay!’”

Making things easier too is that, while it’s not in this movie, the directors knew what was coming next in the story, so creating this “rescue Han” moment felt pretty logical. “In our minds, we had the continuity, like we knew where the story was going. So we were like, “Okay, this is fine because we know where it’s gonna pick up,’” Powers said. “It’s a cliffhanger for a reason. But we didn’t know until we put it in front of an audience how it kind of came across like a snuff film.”

Read much more with the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse team over at Collider and watch the movie on Netflix.

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