Among the many, many awesome things that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse contains, Nicolas Cage‘s work as “Spider-Man Noir” ranks pretty high up on the list. Don’t misunderstand me here, because his fellow cast members John Mulaney and Jake Johnson are great, too. But Cage’s surprisingly not-so-crazy take on an otherwise crazy version of the classic Marvel Comics superhero is superb. And as the filmmakers revealed in an interview with Collider, Cage’s crazier side was on full display in the original cut.
According to co-writer Rodney Rothman, he and his partners Bob Persichetti and Peter Ramsey made up a lot of weird, noir-ish-sounding words and slang for Cage to say while he was recording for the part. And as usually happens when one makes up random words for an actor to say in a multimillion-dollar movie production, some of them were actually pretty “filthy.” Even “pornographic”:
ROTHMAN: We loved working with him. And obviously, he had fun with it. You do tend to over-prepare for Nic Cage because it’s kind of like, “What would be funny to make Nic Cage say?” You end up writing an extra 20 lines just to like hear him say it even though you know it’s not going to be for the movie. In the movie… what does he say? “Biscuit-boxer”? We literally had him record like 50 different weird slangs. Like, “You turtle-slapper.”
RAMSEY: A lot of them would have gotten us an NC-17 rating.
ROTHMAN: We literally had him record something and then it was in the movie… And then someone bothered to Google it and it turned out to be a filthy, pornographic act, and we had to spend a lot of money.
PERSICHETTI: It wasn’t from the ’30s at all.