SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE Director On Getting Back Up After RISE OF THE GUARDIANS Flop - Exclusive

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE Director On Getting Back Up After RISE OF THE GUARDIANS Flop  - <font color=red>Exclusive</font>

We have been sharing our chats with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse director and Academy Award-winner Peter Ramsey, and in this article he details getting back up after Rise of the Guardians flopped.

"So no matter how many hits I take, I always find a way to come back. Because the only thing standing between this city and oblivion is me. There's only one Spider-Man. And you're looking at him."

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, which isn't an easy feat when it comes to super-hero films. The message of the movie resonated with children and adults alike, and reminded fans that no matter how many times they fail or fall down, they can always find a way to get back up.

That saying rings true for director Peter Ramsey (Independence Day, Godzilla), who got his first big break with Dreamworks' Rise of the Guardians. Although that animated adventure was projected to do extremely well, it flopped hard, and Peter was lucky to pull himself back up and deliver the hit that we all know as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

While chatting with Peter, we learned about  Faceplant, a series that focuses on inspirational stories of those who have found success following failure. We also talk about a lot of other stuff, including Stan Lee and potential for future sequels and spin-offs!

To hear our full conversation with the director, click the podcast player below. Otherwise, scroll down for this portion of the transcript!

Literary Joe: I wanted to start off by asking you to tell me a little bit about Faceplant and exactly what's going on. I watched your episode about a week ago, and it obviously talks a lot about your journey from Rise of the Guardians to Spider-Verse, but can you tell me about how you got involved with that and your experience with Faceplant?

Peter Ramsey: Yeah, Faceplant, if people want to check out the episode, it's at millionstories.com, but Faceplant is a project that a friend of mine, Jeff Hare, had been involved with, you know, bringing Faceplant to life. And we had known each other from Dreamworks Animation, where we kind of worked together. And I just thought the idea of overcoming some kind of disappointment, or obstacle or set back into your career. I mean, yeah. As soon as he told me about the idea of the series, I was like, "Oh yeah, I got one of those!" 

And I know that my story is not like, I'm not coming back from a traumatic loss or, and a terrible health issue or accident or anything like that. So I can't pretend to have that tough of a story to tell. But the idea of working in a field and a career that you've dreamed of for decades and getting a big shot and it not turning out quite the way that you want felt pretty consequential to me, what had happened. It just felt like its something a lot of people would relate to. So I was happy to do it.


Literary Joe: Yeah. Nobody expected it to flop. I'm sure you guys were excited when setting it up. What was your inspiration for Rise of the Guardians?

Peter Ramsey: Well, Rise of the Guardians had been in motion at the studio before I was attached to it. And I thought it was really cool. For one, I was hearing about it, and the idea of bringing all these sort of, not even fantasy characters, but characters that to you, when you're a kid, they're real. I mean, let's face it, people believe in Santa Claus before they believe in God a lot of the time, really, you know, when you're a kid.

So when I would think about the power of that idea as the basis for a movie, it was always kind of intriguing to me. And I love the idea of making a movie that you see when you're a kid, and then 20 years from now, you're going to have a memory of it. That's it's gonna be sitting in there because I love that in my own life. I love thinking about movies that I haven't seen in like, 20, 30 years, but they still have that little glow back there. 

So the idea of being able to put something like that in a kid's head was also oddly kind of appealing to me. So I was really inspired by the idea of how that story would connect with kids and what they believe and, and why they believe, and those kinds of characters, that was the powerful thing for me.


Literary Joe: Once it started the flop, how did that affect your career before you eventually ended up with Spider-Man?

Peter Ramsey: Well, the funny thing was, it was my first feature film, and the expectations were gigantic. We had people in the business telling us it was going to if I said it now, it's just embarrassing to hear the predictions that people were making. So when it didn't do what everybody thought it was gonna do, I don't want to say I was in kind of a shock, but it just seemed unreal.

Cause the other thing about these movies that people should understand is you're working really hard for years on end. So it's a day in, day out marathon. And you are so in the middle of it, and there are so many details to get right. And there are so many aspects to consider that when you're done with one, you're coming out of sort of a bubble.You're in kind of this weird unreal state, and you're coming back to the real world because your life is totally different.

So it's that unreal feeling after it opened, I think part of it was just me being done with the movie and coming back to my real life and going, "Oh, okay, well, I guess that's over, I guess that was the end of that phase." And it was this weird thing where it almost felt like it didn't even happen. And that's the thing, a lot of times people don't understand how much time and production and everything that goes into these things.


Literary Joe: So the movie came out in 2012, but you probably started it in like 2010, right? 

Peter Ramsey: I think I started; it might have been the fall of '09. I think it started in 2009, yeah. So its like, I would show people my phone with my calendar on it, and they'd see, from, you know, 8:30 AM, until, you know, eight o'clock that night meetings, meetings, meetings, meetings, meetings, meetings, meetings, and then our lunch break, then meetings, meetings, meetings, you know, and then there's travel and then there's the promotional stuff.

So you're on a treadmill for three years straight, and then you kind of get spit out the other end, and you have to readjust to not having every minute of your day spoken for all of a sudden. It's a weird headspace to be in when it's over, for sure. Yeah, it is. It totally is.

And you're inspired and excited because you're working with super talented people. I mean, David Lindsay-Abaire who wrote and scripted, won a Pulitzer prize, Alexandre Desplat who came to compose, the music was like is one of the top, you know, film scoring composers, the cast, you know, it was just incredible for a movie. So it was this thing where it felt like, wow, I can't believe I'm in the middle of all of this. It's absolutely incredible.

*This interview has been edited for clarity. Audio is co-hosted by Nick Brooks (Toonado).

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind.
Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.

If you're interested in watching Peter's Faceplant episode, you can check it out here.

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