Into The Spider-Verse's Alternate Universe Cut Adds Some Serious New Dimensions To The Film

Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy are bursting into your homes this week with the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Blu-ray. (Image: All Images, Sony)

In an alternate universe, the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse had a different opening, new ways for Miles Morales to figure out his powers, a creepy introduction for Peter Parker, a plane ride, and even another Spider-Man movie inside the movie! And guess what? That alternate universe is real, thanks to the Blu-ray release.

You can see all that and more on the new Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Blu-ray, which is now available. It has a solid selection of traditional special features, such as mini-documentaries, interviews, director commentary, Easter egg revelations, music videos, and more.

The main event, though, is called “Alternate Universe Mode,” which is an extended version of the film, hosted by producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Instead of just letting you watch different scenes on their own like most home releases do, the “Alternate Universe Mode” intercuts numerous alternate takes, deleted scenes, and even some new characters and side stories into the movie.

Most are seen in very, very crude, hand-drawn storyboards with scratch voices over them, but the additions take the 117-minute film up to around 140 minutes. While completely fascinating, the experiment works mostly to prove that the movie released in theatres is exactly how it should be.

Here are the biggest changes in the alternate version of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.


Spider-Ham kicks things off in the Alternate Universe cut.

It Has a Different Opening

Instead of just opening with the titles, the Alternate Universe version of the film opens with the “Spider-Ham: Caught In a Ham” short, which not only makes the whole package feel like an old-school night at the movies, but also shows what Ham was doing he got pulled into Miles’ world.

Ganke Had a Huge Role

In the comics, Ganke is Miles’ best friend and the one person who knows his secret. However, he’s not in the final movie at all. That’s because the Ned character in Spider-Man Homecoming was so directly influenced by Ganke that the filmmakers didn’t want audiences to think they were ripping off that film. Even if it was, in a way, the opposite. So he was cut very early on.

Ganke is all over the Alternate Universe version, though. First, he and Miles meet in a music room where Ganke almost gets bitten by the spider that’s stowed away in Miles’ backpack. And in this version, that’s when Miles himself gets bitten, not in the subway tunnel.

Later, once Miles has begun to exhibit powers, Ganke has to try and unstick him from the ceiling by any means necessary (butter, crowbar, Vaseline). At that point, Ganke is convinced Miles is Spider-Man, though Miles isn’t quite sure.

While Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man isn’t directly replicated in the Alternate Universe, Spider-Man: The Motion Picture is certainly a homage.

Spider-Man: The Motion Picture

To convince Miles he has the same problems as Spider-Man, Ganke takes Miles to the library to watch Spider-Man: The Motion Picture. Miles suggests they just watch it on YouTube but Ganke goes off on a diatribe about he doesn’t like to bootleg movies. The film (which we see in storyboards like the rest of these scenes) is directed by Will Gluck (Easy A, Peter Rabbit) and stars fictional actor Todd Crews.

As they watch the movie, Miles and Ganke turn on the director commentary which is Gluck along with the real Spider-Man, who it’s explained was a consultant on the film. They watch a scene where Peter Parker gets stuck in a Maserati, and on the commentary, Spider-Man explains how, at first, he couldn’t unstick himself from things. That finally convinces Miles he really is like Spider-Man. Oh, and both Ganke and Miles agree the movie is terrible.

Miles Had Nightmares

A few times in the Alternate Universe cut, Miles has nightmares about what’s about to come. He sees visions of dangerous, inter-dimensional portals, losing his family, and more, before waking up in a panic.

Somehow, Kingpin is even more sinister in the Alternate Universe.

Kingpin Was Even Worse

There’s a messed-up addition when, during Mary Jane’s speech after the original Peter Parker dies, Wilson Fisk takes the stand and says he’s making a sizable donation to local law enforcement to help bring down the people who killed Spider-Man. Miles knows it was Fisk who did it and the enormity of his task, to defeat him, scares him silly.

Additional Training Montages

Once Miles is sure about his powers, he and Ganke go back to watching Spider-Man: The Motion Picture to see how movie Spider-Man learned to be Spider-Man. They realise that Spider-Man always nailed his moves, like swinging and sticking to walls, on the third try, so they figure that’s the trick. But of course, it’s not. Miles fails again and again and again, which is cross-cut with Peter’s successes in The Motion Picture. Miles also tries to use his web shooters like a fishing pole or bullwhip, but none of it works. It’s almost as if he needs a teacher of his own.

Put on some pants, Peter.

No Pants Peter

Peter B. Parker’s entry into Miles’ world is given a little extra time in the Alternate Universe cut. Once he’s sucked out of his own dimension, he lands in Miles’ dimension...without any pants. A kid sees him and screams so Peter grabs the first thing he can to cover up, which is a jackhammer. The cops are called, Peter is arrested and they joke about the size of his “bits.” Finally, he asks for them to open the window, which they do, and he shoots web outside and escapes.

Spider-Man: Homegoing

In the diner, once Miles and Peter realise who they are, Peter explains to Miles how the dimensions work with ketchup and mustard. As he lays out the plan, he calls it “Spider-Man: Homegoing,” which not only makes sense, it’s a meta joke about the recent Marvel live-action film.

Flying to the Hudson Valley makes no sense. Flying in the Hudson Valley though? A thing of beauty.

Flying to the Hudson Valley

Once, the Spider-Men realise they have to go to Fisk’s lab in the Hudson Valley, they don’t take a bus, they take a plane. (Which, as someone who grew up in the Hudson Valley, makes little to no sense. It’s like a three-hour drive, max, plus there are only a handful of small airports. It’s not cost or time effective.) They to go JFK, get on the plane, and Peter gets mad at Miles for asking him Spider-Man questions in the cabin, so they both sneak into the bathroom and Peter answers some of Miles’ questions there.

Brothers Connect

In the final film, we never see Miles’ dad Jeff and Jeff’s brother Aaron speak to each other. But in the Alternate Universe cut, once Miles has been gone for a while, Jeff actually goes to Aaron’s apartment to talk to him and asks if he’s seen Miles, which he admits to. We also find out they haven’t spoken in two years. The scene ends with a pizza being delivered to Aaron and him using that as an excuse to close the door.

What’s up danger?

Danger During ‘What’s Up Danger?’

The “What’s Up Danger?” scene is certainly one of the best in all of Into the Spider-Verse but, in this cut, it ends a little differently. Everything is basically the same until, while swinging through the street, Miles smashes through a truck and tumbles onto the street, with the music stopping abruptly. It’s a much less heroic ending to the scene than in the theatrical version.

Doc Ock Is Back?

In the final film, we just assume Doc Ock is killed by the truck that hits her. But, in the Alternate Universe, she gets back up and decides to throw herself into the void of the multi-verse before Miles destroys the collider, “The power of the multiverse in the palm of my hand,” she says, leaving her story open for another day.


While some of that sounds really cool, the problem is that not all of it is necessarily seeded through the end of the movie. The changes, especially the Ganke stuff, never pay off later in the film. And that’s probably because the idea was changed so early on in development that nothing really exists with that character by the end of the movie. So basically this version is not very “good” as a cohesive story and works much much better as an experiment. Thankfully, the whole movie that we got is pretty much perfect — and exists just to give fans some fun little things to check out.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is now out on Blu-ray.


Comments

    Just like many others I wish they would've worked on the justification of Miles being able to use all of his powers after, what, doing a cool flip off some glass? Ok.

      What do you mean? Spider-Man's powers do not appear gradually nor are unlocked. He had them all from the beginning but his lack of determination held him back. He also had gotten kind of trained before by Other Parker.

        A bit of a mishap on my part in the wording about "powers" my bad. I understand where you're coming from with the point of lack of determination. Miles, to me at least, didn't show any competency with any of his powers or even basic Spider-Man-isms throughout the whole film until the very end. The fight or flight system is kind of what bugs me, I guess. (Haven't read any of his comics though, if you have though I'd love more clarity on this?)

        Original Parker barely met him but recognised his potential. Alternate Parker showed him how to relax whilst wall crawling and barely showed him how to use his web slinger. We were never shown the "Oh, I'm getting the hang of this" moment until the What's Up Danger scene then immediately into the final battle. You could argue that his final chat with the crew was the first part of this but I would've much preferred it to have been with May and Miles with her showing him what the original Peter was like.

        I love to hear a more in-depth take of what you took away from those final moments, cheers.

          Ah, what you are talking about is a common plot device in movies for dramatism (and also for practicality). In reality, most people have to train hundreds of hours before getting the "knack" of a skill to the point of mastery. A movie doesn't have the luxury of hundreds of hours--not to mention, it'd be rather boring to watch, so they make use of devices such as "epiphanies", "increased stakes", "cornering", etc. Properly used they are seamless and powerful and I believe Into the Spider-verse pulled it out.

          Miles is constantly held back through the movie from becoming Spider-Man by a lack of determination that is informed into his psyche by external factors: he knows that his father despises vigilantes, that his uncle despises goody-two-shoes, that for all his powers, Spider-Man is not invincible (in fact, he saw him die) and that his plate is already full with his school life and the shifting paradigms of puberty. It is a bit too much for a kid that never asked for becoming the heir to such legendary legacy. The fact that there are other, more experienced and heroic Spider-people around also makes his commitment unnecessary.

          That all comes to a point when he realizes that his lack of commitment is going to force alternate Peter to sacrifice himself in order to be able to stay behind and send the others to their respective dimensions. Don't know if you remember but it was only at that moment when he got his "comic book cover"; not when he got his powers but when he decided to be a hero. In other words, he already had the potential to be and do everything he ended being and doing, he just had not taken ownership of it.

            Thank you, I completely understand your interpretation of the final act now. Even just a simple training montage would've done wonders for me, personally. I get they can be kitschy these days and there's no topping Rocky's in my opinion but they can be effective.

            It'll be a delight to revisit the film with an alternate perspective. Cheers, pylgrim!

    I could have done without the Post Malone song being part of the story. If they changed that out for, I dunno, a GOOD song, then it would have been "near perfect". As it is, years later when we all go back to watch this, we get to hear Post "I look like my dick smells strange" Malone demonstrate a genre of music that history will look back on with shame.

      I'm too hot on the "Top 40" tunes either but Post happens to be a well rounded musician in my opinion, sure he makes music that appeals to the masses for the most part but who didn't in their hey-day?

      Last edited 21/03/19 11:39 am

        Nah, man. He just straight up sucks and is a lowest-common-denominator artist.
        I don't know what the crate digging quip is in reference too (I'm assuming you just wanted to use the phrase), but if he was a "very talented artists and well rounded musician" (Are you "Always Tired" or something? How are you seriously making this observation? I literally just saw a video of him playing guitar and it was terrible!), he'd be praised, not universally despised by people who like music that doesn't, you know, suck.

        His music is all hook. It's thematically similar to a nursery rhyme. And with Spider-verse, they put his IRL stank on an otherwise neat package.

        Also he rhymed the words "stuck by ya" with "sunflower".

        Last edited 21/03/19 11:33 am

      The difference here is that I can acknowledge your opinion and respect it... what you deem to be "good" or "bad" is based on personal preference/bias which everyone has been cultivating their whole life and is personal each other. As for "crate digging" in layman's terms it means to try and find the gems through all the dust (old hip-hop term).

      As for the rhymes, it's quite apparent that he's not a "conscious/metaphorical" rapper, if you want that go listen to J. Cole. At the end of the day if it works, it works. Nevertheless tirade on good sir and enjoy the rest of your day!

        Yeah, yeah, you do you, I do me etc. Have an up vote, you champ!
        More importantly, where'd the rest of our posts go?!?

          Had to re-word my initial response, it came off a bit "pretentious". I couldn't really see your original responses because of the edit, they should be there now though. I get a bit worked up when speaking about the arts or any kind, even more so when the topic is music, my bad.

            HA! me too, bruss! I'm a bit of an elitist for some reason. I am passionate about both music and art. I keep my life full of both.
            Have you ever read about "Advanced Genius Theory"? It's mostly there for fun but I'm utilising it to try and be less aggressively opinionated about music and art so I don't ruin other people's fun. It's a long process...

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