Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is maybe the best Spider-Man movie yet, with a killer soundtrack, awe-inspiring visuals, a clever script, and refreshing twists on familiar characters, like Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. Also, there’s a talking pig dressed like a spider voiced by John Mulaney. What’s not to love?
Apparently some monsters disagree. Spider-Verse co-director Rodney Rothman called Spider-Ham “simultaneously the most popular and the least popular character” (it’s like Spider-Pig from The Simpsons Movie all over again), but there was one joke that unanimously killed during test screenings. It was removed from the final cut, though, because it led to “bad laughs.” It’s during the scene where Spider-Ham tells Miles Morales that everyone — Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker, etc. — has lost someone they care about.
“The way that scene [originally] went is Noir said he lost his Uncle Benjamin, Peter lost Uncle Ben, and Gwen lost Peter. We went through everyone,” Rothman said on The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith podcast. “Spider-Ham said he lost his Uncle Frankfurter. And then he said, ‘He was electrocuted, and it smelled so good.’” The joke “would destroy,” but it also undercut the sincerity of the scene. “We just decided, ‘This is a bad laugh. This is throwing off the energy in the scene.’ Spider-Man is a real person with real feelings, and we wanted people to get that,” Rothman explained. Considering Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has made over $300 million at the global box office and was nominated for Best Animated Feature, I think the people got it.
This cannibalistic moment remains, however.