Devoted fans of Disney XD’s “Spectacular Spider-Man” gathered at Comic-Con International in San Diego for news on the future of the show and a preview of the rest of the second season, currently airing on Monday nights. The panel consisted of Greg Weisman (Supervising Producer, writer) Josh Keaton (the voice of Peter Parker), Robert Englund (the voice of Vulture), Victor Cook (Supervising Director), Sean Galloway (character designs), and Kelly Hu (the voice of Sha Shan Nguygen.).
The panel began by showing video from already aired episodes of Season 2, billing them as “What You Saw.” After each of these was another segment billed as “What You Missed.” Among these were deleted scenes of Ned Leeds asking out Betty Brant and an extended version of Spidey’s rescue of Gwen during his final battle with the Master Planner.
The first question was to Josh Keaton, who admitted he shared more than a small affinity for Peter’s character. “I was a nerd in high school. I was into science and computers,” Keaton said. “I couldn’t get a date to save my life.”
Greg Weisman was then asked the question on every fan’s mind: what about season three? “The short answer is we just don’t have a pick-up yet,” Weisman said. “We’re hopeful but we don’t have any news yet, I’m afraid.”
“I really want to see a season three,” the moderator commented.
“So do I,” Weisman answered wryly.
Victor Cook had one step fans could take to help push for a season three. “We’re all hoping for [it],” Cook said. “The season one box set is coming out soon. Buy two.” Cook went on to say that the box sets would certainly be a motivation for Disney XD to pick up the series.
Galloway emphasized how much work had been done on the second season to make it distinct from the previous year. Because “Spectacular Spider-Man’s” timeline is such that one season equals one year in the lives of its characters, the second season (set in the winter of Peter’s first year as Spider-Man) required massive re-designs for nearly every set and character. “[The] second season was like designing a whole new show over again,” Cook said. “We had to re-design every character in a winter coat.”
Another major plotline of the new season is the production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Peter’s high school. In the play, the role of Nick Bottom is filled by a reluctant Flash Thompson, hoping to gain the attention of Sha Shan. Hu promised that the relationship plotlines had more surprises in store. “It gets a little steamy later,” she said.
One Shakespeare fan asked Weisman if he had a personal connection to “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” “I was conceived during a production of ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream,'” Weisman joked.
One fan asked why Gwen Stacey was written as more of a nerd on the show. “We didn’t want to just take college Gwen Stacey and plop her down in high school. We tried to take characters like Gwen and Mary-Jane and extrapolate back to what those characters would have been like in high school,” Weisman said. “Not everyone blooms by the start of junior year, but if you stay tuned, Gwen is evolving.”
Weisman also addressed the idea of writing a series that is ostensibly just for young boys. “I don’t believe in writing stories to any one group,” Weisman said. “I want to have things in there that appeal to them. But I have a daughter and I want the show to appeal to her too. I want it to appeal to forty-five year old fan boys like myself. I think that’s about writing on multiple levels.”
Another fan asked what Galloway’s favorite character design was. “My favorite is probably Sandman,” Galloway said.
Galloway also addressed his favorite fight scenes. “They showed a little bit of the Venom fight. It’s pretty brutal. I think it’s one of our longest fights. We have one set at an opera. That’s a good one.”
Weisman spoke briefly about season 2’s Stan Lee cameo, which required a lot of work, including a new character design. “No one but Stan Lee could have played that dock worker,” Weisman joked.
Any chance of seeing more Stan in the show? “If we get a third season,” he said.
Will we see villains like Hobgoblin or Hydroman? “If we get a season three,” Weisman repeated. “Hobgoblin for sure. Hydroman… no comment.”
Many fans wanted to know when the show would tackle some of Spidey’s most iconic plotlines. Addressing questions about famous character deaths, like Gwen and Captain Stacey, eventually moving Peter to college and what might be going on with Norman’s wife, Weisman had the same refrain. “We’ve barely scratched the surface of what we want to do,” he said. “Season three would finish off Peter’s junior year and season four would start his senior year. College would be a long way away. There’s so much to get too and we don’t want to rush it.”