×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

John Mulaney’s Pitch for ‘Spider-Ham’ Film: ‘‘Spotlight’ … but Family Friendly’

There is much to celebrate about “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”: groundbreaking inclusion, a ’90s hip-hop soundtrack, Kathryn Hahn’s neurotic villain. But the arguable breakout star of the film is Peter Porker, aka Spider-Ham, voiced by John Mulaney.

The prolific comedy writer, stand-up, and rising animation star (see “Big Mouth”) charms as one of the more oddball Spider-folk to enter the storyline of lead Miles Morales. Porker is a crime-fighting pig whose day job is as photographer for his hometown paper, the Daily Beagle.

He’s also a throwback to the classic Warner Bros. cartoon character Porky Pig (“Spider-Verse” is a Sony Pictures release, and includes a joke abut a copyright infringement lawsuit). He wafts through the air whenever a freshly baked pie is cooling and wields a wooden mallet to take on bad guys.

His unlikely popularity already has producers Amy Pascal and Avi Arad mulling over a possible standalone film. Variety caught up with Mulaney to get his pitch for that project.

“[Spider-Ham] is a fun guy who is capable of great rage,” Mulaney boasted of his cartooned character. “To go see him back at the Daily Deagle — I could see a Watergate-like story at the Beagle where he’s both a reporter and Spider-Ham by night.”

The “Oh, Hello” co-creator says he “never thought that the Clark Kents and the Peter Parkers leaned enough into the day job.” He muses, “This would be more like ‘The Post’ or ‘All The President’s Men’ or ‘Spotlight,’ but we’d make it family friendly. Lots of bacon jokes, or, ‘that’s hamfisted,'” he said.

The anthropomorphic animal made his debut in 1983, in the Tom DeFalco and Mark Armstrong comic, “Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham.” The humor part comes easy to Mulaney, and he does have some comic-book cred of his own.

“I remember buying the ‘Superman Death’ series, when he died in the ’90s. I went to Moondog Comics in Chicago, which was under Tower Records, but you know that,” said Mulaney.

“I got it in a sealed thing, with the black Superman logo on it. Everyone was putting them in these cases, and I opened mine to read the book. And they were like, ‘You fool. That’s no longer sealed. You just possibly lost yourself $100,000,'” he concluded.

More Film

  • Gone With the Wind Screening

    Film News Roundup: 'Gone With the Wind' Sets Event Cinema Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Gone with the Wind” sets a new record, “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” is acquired, and Tracy Oliver signs with Topic Studios. EVENT CINEMA RECORD The 80th anniversary release of “Gone with the Wind” has grossed $2.23 million in six nationwide screenings on four dates — a record as the [...]

  • Made in Abyss - Journey’s Dawn

    Film Review: ‘Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn’

    It’s a Herculean effort to take a multi-volume manga like author Akihito Tsukushi’s “Made in Abyss,” adapt it into a popular anime television series, and then compress the show into a coherent feature (technically, two movies), but the folks at Sentai Filmworks have done just that. Part one, “Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn,” will screen [...]

  • HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market

    HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market Winners

    Eighteen prizes were presented on Wednesday afternoon at the closing ceremony of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. The project market sits alongside FilMart as part of the Entertainment Expo in Hong Kong. “Wong Tai Sin Assassination” to be directed by Wong Hoi and produced by Derek Kwok Tsz-kin, was named the winner of [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Makes Concession on Film Financing in Agent Talks

    The Writers Guild of America has made a concession in film financing in its negotiations with Hollywood talent agents — the second in six weeks of talks. WGA West executive director David Young said Wednesday that it had made a “significant move” toward reaching a deal with the Association of Talent Agents for a revamped [...]

  • Noah Centineo He-Man

    Noah Centineo to Play He-Man in 'Masters of the Universe' Reboot

    From a boy (who’s loved) to He-Man. Noah Centineo is in talks to take on the superhero in Sony Pictures and Mattel Films’ “Masters of the Universe.” Brothers Adam and Aaron Nee are directing the reboot. Mattel Films is partnering with Sony on the movie, which is based on Mattel’s beloved toy line that spawned [...]

  • Disney Fox Takeover Placeholder

    Disney, Fox Employees Grapple With Day One Transition on Two Hollywood Lots

    What kind of a boss will Disney be? That’s a question facing employees at 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, National Geographic Partners, FX Networks, and other assorted parts of Rupert Murdoch’s former media empire. Wednesday was their first full day as staffers of the Walt Disney Co. and the initial moves have done little to [...]

  • Derek Tsang Hong Kong actor Derek

    'Better Days' Director Derek Tsang Lands in World Cinema Spotlight

    Hong Kong actor-director Derek Kwok-cheung Tsang has recently found himself in the spotlight of the world of cinema, but for the wrong reason. Tsang will be joining a Hong Kong filmmakers panel at FilMart on Thursday with Sunny Chan (“Man on the Dragon”) and Pang Ho-cheung (“Love in a Puff”). The 39-year-old filmmaker was expecting [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content