As the release of the latest installment in Sony’s animated Spider-Man franchise – Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) — looms large, it’s fair to say superhero fatigue remains a myth.
With Spidey’s MCU counterpart Tom Holland helping Spider-Man: No Way Home break box office records, and no less than 10 superhero movie releases due in 2022, demand and anticipation are high.
What’s more, it doesn’t feel like four years since 2018’s Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse stunned critics and audiences alike, leading producers to confirm back-to-back sequels in the form of Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) and (Part Two) — the latter due in 2023. But will this year’s Miles Morales adventure live up to the hype? Here’s everything we know.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) release date
Miles is now due his comeback on October 7, 2022, having originally been set for screens on April 8 but being delayed due to the pandemic.
It’s (currently) the only superhero film slated for distribution that month, which bodes well for its box office takings in a year also boasting DC’s recent batmanSony’s Jared Leto-led Morbius and much-anticipated Phase 4 MCU contributions Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessBlack Panther: Wakanda Forever and Thor: Love and Thunder.
Following its theatrical window, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) will hit streaming for a fixed period first on Netflix (likely 18 months) before moving to Disney+, thanks to lucrative deals signed between the streamers and the studio last year. The agreement means other major studio releases including Morbius, Uncharted and Bullet Train will follow suit.
What’s the plot?
As with any superhero film these days, the studio is keeping plotlines close to its chest. However, thanks to a teaser trailer released late last year, there are some things we know, and others we can discern.
It’s likely the movie picks up a good time after the previous one ended, as early shots show an older-looking Miles out of sorts after Gwen makes a surprise stop in his bedroom. We also know Spider-Gwen will be a major player, producer Amy Pascal having confirmed the film will explore elements of Miles and Gwen’s relationship that couldn’t fit into Into the Spider-Verse.
Spiderman 2099, the futuristic version of everyone’s favorite wallcrawler who appeared in New York in the Into the Spider-Verse post-credits sting, is seen grappling with Miles’ Spider-Man in the teaser, and looks to be a key component of events this time around.
It’s hard to know if they’re fighting or just struggling, but what we can glean is that Miguel turns his wrist gadget to 928, implying he’s attempting to bring Miles into his timeline. Gwen also sports a similar wrist device, suggesting she may have partnered with Miguel and is hoping to recruit Miles into the duo’s mission.
One of the tastiest rumors in circulation however is the idea of an MCU/Sony character crossover. Following the success of Spider-Man: No Way Homewhich brought historic Spidermen together in the form of Andrew Garfield, Tobey Maguire and Tom Holland — plus loaded comments from writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller about the endless possibilities of the multiverse — there’s the distinct possibility characters from No Way Home could appear in this animated outing. It’d certainly be in line with the tone of this franchise, which likes to play with the perceived boundaries of the superhero pantheon.
Other hints this Marvel-melding might become a reality could been seen in the prevalence of hexagons in the trailer, which were used as portals in Captain Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 — as well as in TV show WandaVision to represent the Westview Anomaly (or “The Hex”) to connect realities.
It’s a certainty that other Spider-people will be part of this year’s gang (Spider-Woman and Japanese Spider-Man have been confirmed) though whether indications of Spider-Man India, Punk or Silk in the teaser are accurate is yet to be seen .
One of the biggest questions left unanswered is: who will the villain be? At present, there’s no concrete evidence identifying the big bad, though some speculation points to The Spot, one of Kingpin’s scientists who could be causing havoc across realities having created a black portal.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) cast
It’s no surprise that the leads in the star-studded original film return for this installment, with Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld voicing Miles Morales and Gwen Stacey, and Jake Johnson once again picking up his mantle as Peter B. Parker (Miles’ mentor for another universe in Into the Spider-Verse).
Issa Rae is down to play Spider-Woman, and Oscar Isaac confirmed as Spider-Man 2099. Fan favorites such as Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir and John Mulaney as the logic-fond Spider-Ham remain unknown quantities.
Is there a trailer?
Yes, on December 5, 2021, Sony released a 2 minute 30 second teaser trailer for the film. As well as showing Gwen dropping in on Miles unannounced (for TBC reasons) and the easter egg-strewn tumble of Miguel and Miles through the multiverse, it also shows a style and tone very much in line with its predecessor. Expect a variety of impressive new animation styles to match time periods, characters and worlds, and an equally addictive soundtrack. Said soundtrack will be available on Apple Music and Amazon. Hear some of it in the trailer below:
Who’s making it?
Much of the creative team from Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) has been imported for Into the Spider-Versemost notably movie-making masters Phil Lord and Chris Miller — the brains behind 22 Jump Street and the surprise success of The Lego Movie— who play both producers and writers, along with extra scriptwriting from Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984 and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings).
The aforementioned Amy Pascal also produces, along with Avi Arad (producer of many a Sony superhero flick) and Christina Steinberg (National Treasure, Rise of the Guardians). New to the team are accomplished animation directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson.
With a potential MCU crossover in the works, things could get even harder to keep track of. As a refresher, here are all the Spider-Man films to date, up to and including Across the Spider-Verse (Part One).
- Spider-Man (2002) dir. Sam Raimi, Spidey: Tobey Maguire
- Spider-Man 2 (2004) dir. Sam Raimi, Spidey: Tobey Maguire
- Spider-Man 2 (2007) dir. Sam Raimi, Spidey: Tobey Maguire
- The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) dir. Mark Webb, Spidey: Andrew Garfield
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) dir. Mark Webb, Spidey: Andrew Garfield
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) dir. Jon Watts, Spidey: Tom Holland
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) dir. Jon Watts, Spidey: Tom Holland
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) dir. Jon Watts, Spideys: Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, Tobey Maguire
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) dir. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
- Spidey: (voiced by) Shameik Moore Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) (2022) dirs. Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, Spidey: (voiced by) Shameik Moore
- Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part Two) (2023) dir. Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, Spidey: (voiced by) Shameik Moore