In a weekend filled with comic conventions, odd announcements about Daredevil, and a late appearance by The Matrix Resurrections, a surprise trailer took the Internet by storm: the first look for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One). Granted, there was some warning on Friday from producer Christopher Miller, but it still proved to be a gift in a month already filled with geeky presents like the other Spider-Man movie – the live action Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)’s teaser turned out to be a pleasant surprise. For one thing, it finally offered a title for a film previously known only as “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2.” Of course, no film gets produced in a vacuum, and there are plenty of other things we know about the project. So let’s take a look at what we know so far about Spider-Man: Across the Universe (Part One).
(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)
At this point, the plot of Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) is up for debate, but the teaser and the name certainly offer some clues. For one, it’s clear Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) will be going on an adventure to other realities instead of the problem dropping into his dimension. He’ll clearly being journeying across the Spider-Verse. The actual footage seen in the teaser backs this up, with the second half offering a very stylized take on interdimensional travel.
Meanwhile, the first half suggests a few things as well. For one: Miles is grounded. Presumably, he is in over his head again. We’re going to guess the problem occurred at school since Miles tells Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) that his dorm at Visions Academy is much cooler than his childhood room.
Of course, she convinces him to go out and about as Spider-Man, and we imagine that may have something to do with his earlier troubles. How that will relate to his multiversal adventure remains to be seen. But maybe Spider-Man 2099 (from the first film’s post-credit stinger, voiced by Oscar Isaac) or Supaidaman (aka Japanese Spider-Man) will help him out in that regard. The latter character is based on the late 1970s Spider-Man television series from Japan. In that program, a man named Takuya Yamashiro acquires spider-like powers, a costume, and a transforming robot from an alien. Yamashiro’s mission: defeat Professor Monster and the evil Iron Cross Army. The character is said to be part of the film and we can’t wait to see how all of its out-there ideas get conformed to Spider-Verse proportions.
Also, it should go without saying that the developing relationship between Miles and Gwen will also be a continued source of tension. She crossed universes to meet up with him again, after all, and he never stopped drawing pictures of her.
(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)
Part of the fun of sending Miles out into the wider Spider-Verse is realizing the different takes on the Spider-Man concept and setting. In fact, the film is said to lean heavily into the idea that each universe will have its own, distinct look. The world of 2099, for example, is all tall spires and corporate autocracy. The look of Supaidaman’s universe will be heavily influenced by the Tokusatsu atmosphere of the 1970s Japanese Spider-Man show and similar programs.
But that’s just two worlds to discover; Gwen’s world could also be on the itinerary. If it looks anything like the Spider-Gwen comics drawn by Robbi Rodriguez, it could rival Miles’s own world as a startlingly vivid place with more than a few obvious nods to the mainline Marvel Comics world. Other worlds could include the look of the 1990s Fox animated Spider-Man cartoon, the old Spider-Man series from which the popular double Spider-Man meme originates, and maybe even a live-action realm. Also, and this is complete speculation, wouldn’t it be wild if Miles, Gwen, and Spider-Man 2099 visit the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
(Photo by ©Columbia Pictures)
Shameik Moore returns as Miles, as does Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen. Oscar Isaac will double down on his cameo appearance in Into the Spider-Verse as Spider-Man 2099. Jake Johnson is also set to return as Peter B. Parker, the middle-aged Spider-Man. It is unclear if we will see Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), or Spider-Ham (John Mulaney) again, to say nothing of Aunt May (Lily Tomlin) or Mary Jane Parker (Zoe Kravitz), but anything is possible. Presumably, though, Miles’s parents, Jefferson (Brian Tyree Henry) and Rio (Luna Lauren Velez) will be back, if just to ground him at the beginning of the film.
A new addition to the cast is Issa Rae as Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman. Created by Archie Goodwin and Marie Severin in 1977, the character was meant to stand far apart from Spider-Man, becoming a supporting character in Wolverine after her own series ended. She bounced around various comics throughout the ’90s before writer Brian Michael Bendis added her to the Avengers roster and made the character an important player in his Secret Invasion miniseries. It will be interesting to see how she meshes with the new Spider-Verse team and which of her various origins the filmmakers decide to use. In fact, there is room enough for her to be a minor antagonist before inevitably joining Miles and the others.
But that leads us to a key question, though: Who is the villain of Across the Spider-Verse? It is possible Wilson Fisk (Liev Schreiber) will resume his plan to smash the universes together, or will someone else emerge to threaten the fabric of reality? Curiously, the few Marvel characters who possess the ability to warp reality rarely associate with Spider-Man. So, for the moment, let’s just suggest Mephisto as a possible candidate. He has to debut somewhere, right? And he has some history with Peter Parker.
(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)
On the creative side of things, co-writer and producer Phil Lord returns – but this time, his usual writing partner, Christopher Miller, joins him on screenplay duties alongside fellow writer David Callaham. A whole new trio of directors take the helm on the visual front with Legend of Korra stalwart Joaquim Dos Santos, Soul co-director Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, production designer on the first film, taking over from Into the Spider-Verse’s Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman. But if the teaser is any indication, the first film’s Oscar-winning style will remain. Long time Spider-Man producers Amy Pascal and Avi Arad are along for the ride, as is producer Christine Steinberg. Ramsey serves as an executive producer. In December of last year, Daniel Pemberton revealed he will also be returning to provide music for the film.
(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) is expected to release on October 7, 2022 with the second part slated for 2023. But that’s not all. Early in Part One’s development, Pascal revealed the film will also serve as a launching pad for Spider-Women, an animated film focusing on Steinfeld’s Gwen, Rae’s Spider-Woman, and Silk, another Spider-themed hero who is also set to get her own animated television series from Lord and Miller. It is unclear if that version will be connected to Spider-Women, which will be written by Bek Smith and directed by Lauren Montgomery, but it indicates the Spider-Verse will be a well-established part of our film calendar.