Chris Miller & Phil Lord Chat About Puerto Rican Culture In Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse!

Our interview with Chris Miller & Phil Lord for Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse!

Miles Morales In Spider-Man Across the Spider-verse

Hey All!

With the spectacular second installment of the animated Spider-Verse Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse soon to hit theaters, I had the amazing opportunity to see an advanced screening of the film and interview writer/producers Chris Miller and Phil Lord, Issa Rae (Jessica Drew Spider-Woman), Daniel Kaluuya (Spider-Punk/Hobart ‘Hobie’ Brown), Shameik Moore (Spider-Man/Miles Morales) and Hailee Steinfeld (Gwen Stacy/Ghost Spider/Spider-Woman). I’ll share my thoughts on the film next week. I’ll just say it’s worth the wait folks! I wanted to kick off my interview coverage this week with the incredible conversation I got to have one-on-one with Chris Miller and Phil Lord. If you’re not familiar with Chris and Phil’s work, you probably are and just don’t know it yet!

They are the incredible duo behind The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and the first installment of this incredible animated franchise Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. They have made some of the best films of the past decade and I could not wait to chat with them.

As a Puerto Rican/New Yor-Rican and Cuban woman who was also born and raised in NYC, this film is very meaningful to me. This film actively shows more of Miles Morales’ culture and his Puerto Rican mom Rio Morales. His mom is played perfectly by Luna Lauren Velez. I can’t tell you how how emotional it was for me to see the Puerto Rican flag sprinkled throughout the film and to see Spanish speaking characters in a superhero film. I wondered how they captured the culture and the mannerisms of a Puerto Rican mom so well. I could see myself in his mom!

For my first question to Chris and Phil, I had to know if they had some members on the team who are Puerto Rican or did they with Puerto Rican consultant to make sure you captured the culture right in the film down to her little snap with the flag.

Interviewing Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Phil Lord:

We do have several Puerto Rican crew members including on the animation team and on the storyboard team. Luna Velez who was plays Rio Morales is Puerto Rican and you know a big part of the conversation and she even will text me and say oh for that scene you know my mom said that we need to do this or that and sometimes when we do our recording sessions, My mom is cuban, so it’s just us calling our parents asking if they have any ideas for this and that. So yes it’s a lot it’s a big long conversation and luckily we have great partners and even you know like I was even calling you know Angel Soto the director of the Blue Beetle Movie, who is Puerto Rican, and bringing them into the conversation about this movie. We were even calling all our friends and including them as much as we can in the conversation for this movie.

I thought it was incredible that they reached out to Angel Soto for advice on this film!

spiderverse puerto rican flag snap

This film showcases Miles’ Puerto Rican culture and mother more than in the last film, which I greatly appreciated. I wondered if that was something that they and the team were more mindful of wanting to include more of when making this second film?

Interviewing Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Phil and Chris:

Yes it was. How did we do!

They did amazing in my book!


It was a big ambition of our directors to include. Like they wanted to show like the neighborhood barbecue and watch like all the flavors of Miles neighborhood in Brooklyn come together. The barbecue has a little bit of like Jeff’s Family that are there and there’s a little bit of his side of the Caribbean influence because family his family has some Caribbean Heritage. It’s like a little bit of mix of everything and also if you go down like Avenue De Puerto Rico in in Brooklyn there’s like Mexican bakeries, which is why Miles goes to a Mexican bakery to get the cake. You there is a lot fine detail in that which is to say there is no monolithic culture in any where! 

We’ve all seen from the trailer how many spider characters there are in the film. I had to know how long did it take to decide how many and which spider characters were going to be in the film? I also shared my son is hoping for a Spidey & his Amazing Friends cameo!


We obviously had a massive treasure trove of different spider characters that have been around throughout the years and we wanted to put as many of them in as we could.  Ones that we could have that each could have it’s own unique style and unique look, so they look like they were drawn by a different artist and everyone had a lot of fun like building and designing all these characters. At the end of the day there is only a handful that can be really important to the story and figuring out which characters would help us tell Miles journey the most effectively and emotionally possible was the real driver of like which characters came to the forefront in the story.

Lastly I wanted to know if they were big comic book fans growing up and when did they get introduced to the character Miles Morales?


We were big comic book fans back in the 80s and we used to, well I used to ride my bike to the comic book shop every weekend and you know when we first started talking about this movie with the studio, they sent us a big pile of comics and we were like well what if we did Miles Morales. We knew he was a big popular character and it was new and at that time it was like brand new and they said yes in instantaneously. 

Phil Lord, Christopher Miller standing side by side

I can’t thank Sony enough for giving me the opportunity to chat one on one with Phil and Chris about this fantastic franchise.

Stay tuned to my interview with Issa Rae and Daniel Kaluuya and some fun facts Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld shared, and my review of the film! Spidey week has begun!

You can hear the full uncut interview over on my YouTube or you can click below:



Get your tickets now to Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse! You don’t want to miss this cinematic event!

Miles Morales as Spider-Man

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