Marvel Animation Age recently went to the fans in order to bring together the latest Greg Weisman Q & A, allowing fans to submit questions for the supervising producer of The Spectacular Spider-Man. And the fans responded, submitting an incredible amount of queries, out of which Marvel Animation Age picked the following. With the second season premiere of The Spectacular Spider-Man now upon us, Greg Weisman sits down with us yet again to answer your questions. Take it away, Greg!

When working on a series, such as The Spectacular Spider-Man do you always know exactly how you plan to end it? How far ahead is this show planned without giving away any specific spoilers? (James)

I have a vague plan for the entire thing, but I really only plan out a season at a time in any detail. But in order to plan out any individual season, I need to have a clearer sense of the season that follows. So the general thrust of Season Two was worked out during the prep of Season One. And the general thrust of Season Three was worked out during the prep for Season Two.

I love The Spectacular Spider-Man so much! I just wanted to know, what was the hardest part about making this show? (Alex)

The production schedule – particularly when Seasons One and Two overlapped. There were five truly brutal months for Vic Cook and myself.

If you could redo one aspect of The Spectacular Spider-Man, change one thing, what would it be? (Marc)

[Shrugs.] I’m not saying it’s perfect, but nothing leaps out at me as THE ONE THING that I wish I could change.

What is it like working on The Spectacular Spider-Man, a character which has a huge amount of history behind him, as opposed to the other shows that you’ve produced and developed? (Andrew)

It’s just fun. I’m a big Spidey fan, so it’s just a blast to be working with these classic characters and do our best to be true to them.

What is your opinion on the last few Spider-Man cartoons that have aired over the past couple decades? And why is this one different? (Mary)

I know we’re setting ours in high school as Stan and Steve did initially, and I’m pretty sure no other cartoon has done that. But I haven’t seen much of any of the more recent animated Spideys, so I could be wrong. Once upon a time I was very familiar with the sixties cartoon, but I haven’t seen that one in years either.

This is a bit of a complicated question, so I'll state it as clearly as possible. As far as I can tell, 'uncensored content' was only used in the DTV movie edits during production of The Spectacular Spider-Man. However, you've also stated that the team stopped producing the movie cuts after the Master Planner arc. What does this mean for the remaining two arcs? Were 'episode format' versions produced with real gunshot sound effects, specifically in the case of "Accomplices" and "Gangland?" (Jesse)

No. Our mixes with more footage and different sound effects were only for the now-discontinued movie versions.

After reviewing season one, and before doing season two, was there anything you looked at during the first season that you wanted to make sure was better in the second? (Ollie)

Generally, we wanted to top ourselves, I guess. But it’s not like we looked at Season One and said, “Wow, we really messed up. We better fix this mess.” Cuz we pretty much liked Season One a lot. (Though, of course, we may be biased – like any proud parents.)

I read online that the second season was done without following any specific broadcast censors. Does this mean that The Spectacular Spider-Man will be edited when it airs on Disney XD? How do you approach the level of violence when working on this show? (Skeets)

Season Two was written without Disney’s input. But their Standards and Practices department did have input on the second season’s post-production. They didn’t censor anything. The sound effects notes they gave were exactly the same as the sound effects notes that KidsWB gave on Season One. You’ll see no difference between the seasons from the standpoint of Standards and Practices.

When you make changes to a character, how do you decide what to change? You made Eddie Brock a friend of Parker instead of a colleague of his from work. You also made Gwen a bookworm and you made big changes to Tombstone. How do you come up with these specific changes and why? (Klonoa)

In every case, we try to get to the core of the character, i.e. find out what made that character important to the Spidey mythos. Gwen was ALWAYS a bookworm, a science major, second only to Peter in brilliance. It just wasn’t as obvious in college, cuz she was such a hottie. But we extrapolated backwards to what she might have been like in high school before she “bloomed” so to speak. Venom seemed to us to be the anti-Spider-Man, so we wanted to give Eddie as much in common with Peter initially as possible. We wanted to make them friends so that the loss would be greater. As much as Pete valued life, we wanted Eddie to be that fascinated with death – and by putting their parents on the same plane, it helped us accomplish all of these things. As for Tombstone, I’ll admit he was taking Kingpin’s usual role in our series, but it really seemed to fit him nicely. I mean, just look at the guy. He LOOKS the part, and to some extent the core of his character WAS the look and the name. We felt we’ve been VERY true to the Tombstone name.

What do you think about the treatment of the series since it has premiered? Kids'WB! ended right after it started and it became TheCW4Kids and now the show is on DisneyXD. Are you worried fans might lose track of the show? (Paul)

It’s a concern, of course, but ratings have steadily improved for us on Disney XD, so there’s no reason not to feel positive about the switch so far.

What do you think of the individual DVD releases for The Spectacular Spider-Man and why was the "movie format" dropped after just one DVD? Will we be seeing lots of behind-the-scenes stuff on the season one DVD? (Dave)

I really wish the movie format had not been dropped. There are scenes deleted for time from the episodes that were put into the movie. Nothing earth-shattering, but some neat stuff (like Shocker’s escape at the end of “Group Therapy”) that now you won’t get to see.

Do you think that it was a good idea for Disney XD to air Season One first rather than skipping straight to Season Two? Why? (Spaceway)

I definitely think it was a good idea for them to air Season One first. Give viewers who may have missed it on broadcast television the chance to catch up. I personally wish they had aired it over (at most) four weeks (i.e. an arc per week) as opposed to thirteen weeks, but I don’t run the network.

On behalf of Spider-Man fans, I'd like to thank you for giving us a real Spider-Man cartoon after so long. What kind of mark do you hope The Spectacular Spider-Man leaves when it is finished? (Spider-Ham)

Our goal, both arrogant and naïve perhaps, was to create THE Spider-Man show that people would remember decades from now. That’s still our hope.

Even Gargoyles fans managed to get at least one question in!

Have you ever considered rebooting the Gargoyles franchise? As much as I love the Gargoyles, I'm old enough to remember when it first aired, sometimes I feel it could use something new. (Dalgrod)

Have you checked out the GARGOYLES comic books? They pick up right where the series left off, and we’re very proud of them. All the issues are now collected in three trade paperbacks. “Gargoyles: Clan-Building, Volume One” is already available through Amazon and other bookstores. “Gargoyles: Clan-Building, Volume Two” will be out in July 2009, and “Gargoyles: Bad Guys: Redemption” will be out in August 2009.

The Marvel Animation Age and would like to thank the fans for submitting their questions and Greg for his participation in this interview, and his work on the show. Cheers Greg! 

Check out much more at Marvel Animation Age.
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