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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse's original ending was hated by fans, so a new one was written, animated & recorded just 8 weeks before the movie debuted

It simply needed a bit of hope.

Miles Morales in the Across the Spider-Verse ending
Image credit: Sony Pictures Animation

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Did you love Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse's final scene? You should know it was a late-game addition that only happened because of a not-so-positive screening.

As part of Collider's FYC series with Landmark Theatres, a screening of Across the Spider-Verse recently took place with a beefy after-screening Q&A with directing trio Justin K. Thompson, Kemp Powers, and Joaquim Dos Santos. In spite of the many interviews about the creative process and the countless changes the movie went through up until its release, new juicy reveals came out of this reunion.

Collider's entire recap of the conversation's most surprising bits is worth a read, but we were especially surprised by the co-directors' comments on what went down with the ending and how it was 'rebuilt' extremely close to release: "... the ending that you just watched, 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,' and, 'Oh, it's coming! They're gonna get the band back together,' — that wasn’t there until about six weeks before the film wrapped," said Thompson.

The movie's final scene, albeit short, isn't a visually plain one, so this is kind of shocking to hear, but not surprising after all the talk about the VFX artists' struggles throughout the process. However, it sounds like this actually was a last-minute change that needed to happen to get the movie to where it should be: "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," Thompson added.

Across the Spider-Verse final scene
Image credit: Sony Pictures Animation

Indeed, the last scene with the two Miles (protagonist and surprise villain) is kind of a downer despite being an excellent cliffhanger. The solution? Looking at Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back's masterful ending: "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.”... The audience went through the roof."

Powers added that, in hindsight, "it kind of came across like a snuff film" when put in front of an audience. We have to agree; it wasn't the right note to end on, especially if you want the audience to be pumped for Beyond the Spider-Verse, whenever the threequel finally comes.

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Fran Ruiz