Spider-Verse directors reveal that Daniel Kaluuya's Spider-Punk was nearly cut from the film

Spider-Punk in Across the Spider-Verse
(Image credit: Sony)

Just like the original film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, this year's much acclaimed sequel Across the Spider-Verse featured an impressive ensemble cast of characters. Whilst the likes of Miles Morales, Spider-Gwen, and Peter B. Parker returned, there were also several exciting new additions from Pavitr Prabhakar (a.k.a. Spider-Man India) to Jess Drew (a.k.a. Spider-Woman). 

However, there was one character who stood out within this spectacular crowd of Spider-People - of course we are talking about none other than Hobie Brown, a.k.a. Spider-Punk, voiced by Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya. Casually striding onto the scene with all of his swagger, Hobie instantly became a fan-favorite winning audiences over with his rebellious nature and easygoing charm. 

Which is exactly what director trio Kemp Powers, Joaquim Dos Santos, and Justin K. Thompson expected, as they revealed in a recent interview with GamesRadar+. However, whilst they were aware that Spider-Punk would be a hit, Santos admitted that at one point the character nearly didn't make the final cut of the film. He explained: "It's funny as he had to earn his way into the film - he almost got cut out of the movie! There were versions of the Spider-Society he wasn't involved in - but the scenes suffered for him not being in it. It became really elevated when he joined."

Across the Spider-Verse

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

It's hard to imagine the Spider-Verse sequel without Spider-Punk, so we are thankful that the filmmakers fought to keep him in there. And the same is true for the movie's fans - even only a quick glimpse at TikTok will hit you with several fan edits centering on the beloved character. Powers couldn't be happier with the response: "It was so gratifying for him to be such a hit as when information was leaking out about the movie, many people were asking online where their favorites were, like Spider-Man Noir etc. We were like all 'come on, you gotta trust us, you'll love the new characters' but the fans came back saying they wouldn't. But hey - look what happened!"

In fact Spider-Punk is so popular people are crying out for him to get his own spin-off - whether that's in the form of a short film or a TV show. 

When we spoke to the character's voice actor Kaluuya earlier this year, he revealed that he was keen on the idea, believing that there is more to explore in Hobie's world. The directors agree, but added that the same can be said for many of Across the Spider-Verse's characters. 

Thompson explained: "Whilst making this movie we wanted to ensure that all of our characters and the dimensions they come from could open up - honestly, it was like making six films. We invested as much into each of them so they could stand alone if needed. And we wanted to give audiences a true sense that they were visiting something as fleshed out as a separate movie. We were geeking out whilst making it thinking how rad it would be to work on an entire film set in just one of these dimensions. We've heard from fans that they want a Spider-Punk series or a Spider-Gwen short - I'd love to see a Pav short!".

Now that's an idea we wouldn't say no to! At the moment it looks like there's only a Spider-Woman spin-off film in development, but it definitely sounds like more could be on the horizon.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is out now to buy or rent on digital.

For more on the movie, check out our interviews with composer Daniel Pemberton, star Shameik Moore, and actor Daniel Kaluuya.

Emily Murray
Entertainment Editor

As Entertainment Editor at GamesRadar, I oversee all the online content for Total Film and SFX magazine. Previously I've worked for the BBC, Zavvi, UNILAD, Yahoo, Digital Spy and more.