You can check out Collider’s full half-hour Q&A with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse filmmakers Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Chris Miller, and Phil Lord right here, but in this house, any behind-the-scenes anecdote about Nicolas Cage is news-worthy enough to discuss on its own. In the animated Spidey flick, Cage provides the voice for Spider-Man Noir—a black-and-white alt-universe Peter Parker who swings through the Great Depression—which meant writing a ton of 30s-era slang for the Face/Off star.
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.
I also recently nabbed an exclusive interview with Cage for his upcoming film Between Worlds, and I asked the National Treasure actor what he did specifically to get into that noir mindset. In a Classic Cage answer, he revealed it was more about “essence” than anything concrete.
What specific things did you do in your vocal performance to channel noir icons like Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse?
Nothing specific but more of a recall, more of a collage of memories, to try and bring some kind of flavor or color of it – but nothing 100%. It’s still very fluid. It’s more of an essence of the way those guys would talk in their movies back in the 30’s.
You can check out the full story from the Q&A in the player above. Again, you can watch the full interview here, and be on the lookout for our exclusive interview with Nicolas Cage next week.