A new Spider-Man fan film debuted on YouTube a few days back and believe it or not, the film is a full 2-hour experience produced as a non-profit passion project. Even more unbelievable is that this film was released without any input from Marvel or Sony Pictures. The fan film titled Spider-Man: Lotus is set shortly after the death of Gwen Stacey and follows the grieving Peter Parker as he considers giving up the role of Spider-Man.
Parker changes his mind after he is approached by a sick child asking that Spider-Man visits him before his death. According to comic readers, the fan film loosely follows the plot of “The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man” Amazing Spider-Man #248. The film’s success was also thanks to support from actors Andrew Garfield and director Jon Watts.
But even with over 2 million views, Spider-Man: Lotus has been shrouded in some nasty controversy over the past few years. Mostly due to actor Warden Wayne’s racist and homophobic past which came to light in recent months. Warden Wayne who is the lead actor and co-writer for Spider-Man: Lotus was caught up in racist drama following a series of screen captures showing nasty comments made by Wayne on social media.
At first, fans thought perhaps the content was fabricated but Wayne came forward and confirmed they were indeed real. Back in June, Wayne posted an apology on Twitter blaming his sheltered childhood for his behaviour. He also claimed that his racist behaviour was “pushed onto” him as a result.
I’ve been wanting to come forward about this for a long time. Please read. pic.twitter.com/kz42egpAs5
— Warden Wayne (@mrwardenwayne) June 19, 2022
Spider-Man: Lotus filmmaker Gavin J. Konop chimed in on the matter too. Konop claimed to be disgusted by Wayne’s comments. However, he stated that he was satisfied with the apology. Soon after all this took place, Konop then faced his own accusations of racism after screenshots of racist, homophobic and sexist remarks made by Gavin appeared online.
Konop ended up posting a video on YouTube with a formal statement. In the video, he admitted to making some of the comments. However, Konop also claimed some of the accusations were fake. One, in particular, was where he insulted Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts.
After the apology video went live, backers who helped fund the fan-made Spider-Man: Lotus film weren’t impressed by the ongoing controversy. As a result, many of them demanded refunds. To make matters worse, the entire visual effects team on the Spider-Man: Lotus project also walked out.
One of the artists, Max Aurnhammer then also posted a video on YouTube explaining the ongoing controversy. Beyond the racism allegations, the VFX team also reported that the film’s direction was no longer aligned with what Spider-Man represents.
The VFX team posted their departure video back in September last year. Almost a year later, Spider-Man: Lotus finally made its debut. Of course, with a few rocks stumbled over here and there. A new VFX team worked on the film’s animations. However, by the sound of things, a lot of the original planned VFX content was cut due to the team leaving the project.
The question now is whether or not Sony or Disney will demand Spider-Man: Lotus be pulled from YouTube. At the moment, the film is still on the platform. It debuted on 12 August and has amassed over 2 million views. It is unclear at this point what the future holds for this fan film. You can watch it below: