Last fall’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse was chock full of spider-people and Stan Lee cameos that totaled up to a crowd-pleaser. Since the film’s release, however, we’ve learned about several moments that didn’t make the final theatrical cut. That would include “filthy, pornographic” dialogue from Nic Cage as Spider-Man Noir and an extremely dark joke about John Mulaney’s Spider-Ham. However, there’s a particularly intriguing subplot that almost happened involving Tom Cruise and James Cameron. It’s not hard to imagine an actual animated Spider-Tom (he already dangles from helicopters and high-rises all the time), right? This wasn’t that, but it sounds like a delicious (albeit confusing) mess.
/Film interviewed the filmmakers ahead of the film’s digital video release that includes an “alternate universe mode” feature. During the talk, screenwriter Rodney Rothman explained how Cruise’s voice in Into The Spider-Verse would have arrived with a very intricate backstory. That is, with Miles Morales’ Spider-Man learning-curve not being aided by comic books but by Spider-Man movies. Also relevant — James Cameron developed a mid-’90s Spider-Man movie that never materialized (director Sam Raimi took over in the aughts with elements of Cameron’s vision in a David Koepp script). And back in the late ’80s, Tom Cruise almost played Peter Parker in a Cannon Films project that got shelved.
Whew. Well, Rothman nearly combined the Cruise-Cameron references:
There’s a line from Doc Ock that’s a very direct reference to Doc Ock’s most famous line in Spider-Man 2. Is the Tom Cruise stuff in the alternate universe version? So there was a whole period of time where Miles, rather than learning about being Spider-man from a comic book, learned it from watching the films. There was a movie version of a movie about Spider-Man in Miles’ universe about the real person Spider-Man, but it was a James Cameron-directed movie with Tom Cruise as Spidey. Yes. Spidey. And it was James Cameron and Spidey and Tom Cruise on the audio.
Director Peter Ramsey added that the audio would have been “literally the director’s commentary with guest star, Tom Cruise,” to which Rothman pointed out that everyone realized what a complex process this would have been to include in the film. That’s the case because it was already difficult enough for them to explain Cruise and Cameron’s prospective involvement in this interview, let alone to an entire audience. And not every casual Spidey fan keeps up with hardcore trivia from decades past.
Yes, this would have been an enjoyable subplot, but Into The Spider-Verse was already stuffed to the brim with goodies, including Spider-Man 2099 and an infamous Spider-meme. There will also be multiple cinematic followups, given that Sony aims to rapidly expand its Spider-Verse, including an all-female spinoff. So, there’s room for future Tom Cruise inclusion as well. He’ll probably be hyped, as always, if and when that happens.