At this point, it’s probably easier to list who isn’t a fan of Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The December film is a critical and audience darling that found its way onto many top 10 lists, including CinemaBlend’s, and has been called the best superhero movie of the year and perhaps the best Spider-Man movie ever. Now you can add Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson’s voice to that chorus. Take a look:
Rian Johnson may be a few weeks late to the inter-dimensional party, but now that he’s seen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, he has seen the light and joined the rest of us to bask in its magnificence. The Last Jedi director clearly loved the animated film, and beyond just seeing it as the best superhero movie of 2018 or the best Spider-Man movie ever, he went so far as to call it his favorite superhero movie ever. That is high praise indeed.
Even more than his own gushing opinion about the film being his favorite on Twitter, Rian Johnson actually called it next level. Furthermore, he thinks that it will be extremely influential moving forward. The director likened Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse to the Velvet Underground, a rock band in the 60s and 70s that didn’t enjoy major commercial success in its time but is now viewed as one of the most influential rock bands of all time.
The Velvet Underground and its avant-garde music were hugely influential to the rock and alternative genres, and the band went on to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
This comparison shows that Rian Johnson thinks that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse‘s influence will extend well beyond its own sequels and spinoffs, but to the superhero and comic book genre itself. And perhaps like the Velvet Underground, we may only come to understand the full scope of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse‘s influence years down the line with the benefit of hindsight.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was unique, inventive, incredibly funny, heartfelt and completely unafraid to go for it. The film showed the power of animation, daring to create something new, and trusting the audience to come along for the ride. Those are not bad lessons for the superhero genre and movies in general to look to. Who knows, maybe Rian Johnson himself will even take inspiration from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse for one of his future films, like his Star Wars trilogy.
Fortunately, unlike the Velvet Underground, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse looks as though it is and will be appreciated in its time. A sequel and a spinoff film are already in the works and Spider-Verse has enjoyed commercial success, crossing $ 133 million domestic and nearing $ 300 million worldwide.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has already begun to win some awards too. At this past weekend’s Golden Globe Awards, the Sony film beat out category mainstays Disney and Pixar to win the Best Animated Motion Picture award.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is now playing. Rian Johnson’s next film, Knives Out, hits theaters on November 27th. For all of the biggest movies to look forward to in this new year, check out our 2019 Release Schedule.
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