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Donald Glover's Across the Spider-Verse cameo was last-minute, so his spot was held by a South Park-style joke

Release the 'Cardboard Cutout' cut!

Aaron Davis in Spider-Man: Homecoming
Image credit: Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures

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One of the most talked-about Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse cameos was that of Donald Glover imprisoned in Spider Society. Well, it turns out it was yet another cool moment which wasn't finalized until a few weeks before the movie was released.

Collider's Q&A with directing trio Justin K. Thompson, Kemp Powers, and Joaquim Dos Santos was a packed one, and this is another tidbit worth bringing up, as it highlights how fluid (and stressful for everyone involved) Across the Spider-Verse's creative process was up until the very last moment. According to Powers, Glover's cameo wasn't actually a thing until very late into production: "There were several things in those previews that we hadn't really sorted out yet, like you guys probably remember the Donald Glover cameo — he hadn't agreed to do it yet." For reference, this was in the weeks leading up to the movie's wide release.

With the live-action Aaron Davis (aka Prowler) cameo far from sorted out, Powers revealed a "cardboard cutout" was put in place for a long time: "So in the preview, we had, like, a South Park-style cardboard cutout of Donald Glover. He was like, “Hai, I'm Donald Glover,” and he was just like a flappy head, and everyone was cracking up. I'm like, “Is anyone gonna call Donald Glover and see if he's gonna do this cameo?” We recorded him just a few weeks before the film came out, so it was kind of crazy because it was like, the film still wasn't quite all there, but it was there."

In spite of all the cameos and nods that happen during the Spider Society scenes, Glover's appearance was perhaps the most shocking of them all, since he wasn't animated and came straight from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (this was confirmed a while back). It's interesting to learn that such a major actor wasn't locked well before the last stage of production on the movie, but then again, troubling reports from last year didn't paint a pretty picture of the creative process behind the hit animated sequel.

As for the on-screen future of the Prowler we saw in Across the Spider-Verse, chances are we might see him again on the Marvel Studios side of things, especially after he already appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Sony Pictures Animation's sequel was filled extensively with multiversal connections to the live-action flicks from both companies.

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