Photo: ‘Across the Spider-Verse’
Immediately following the release of the hit 2018 animated film, ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’, a sequel has been anticipated by both Spider-Man and general Marvel fans alike. The original film garnered a number of awards, including the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, so a sequel was always inevitable. However, considering not only the success but the clever writing and fantastic visuals of its predecessor, can a sequel to ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ really hold a candle to the original?
After a hiatus following the portrayal of Spider-Man by Andrew Garfield in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’, Spider-Man had finally returned to blockbuster status with the release of ‘Captain America: Civil War’. Tom Holland’s portrayal of Spider-Man put the masked web-shooter back on the big screen, following this introduction with a new Spider-Man origin film, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ in 2017. Just one year later, ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ was released telling another Spider-Man origin story. Although Spider-Man had seen a number of animated series in the last couple of years, including ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ and ‘The Spectacular Spider-Man’. An animated Spider-Man film, however, was a relatively fresh concept. ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ put not only an animated Spider-Man on the big screen for the first time in years but introduced the world to comic favorite hero, Miles Morales.
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‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’, directed by Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, and Rodney Rothman, stars Shameik Moore, Haliee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Cage, Mahershala Ali, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Liev Schreiber, and Zoë Kravitz. The story follows Miles Morales (played by Shameik Moore), a young kid living in New York City, who is bitten by the same spider that turned Peter Parker into Spider-Man. When other Spider-People from other universes are brought to Miles’ universe, they have to defeat Kingpin (played by Liev Schreiber) and return to their original universes. The visuals of the film were nothing less than spectacular, with the animation style taking inspiration from comic-style art and incorporating bright and beautiful colors and character designs. The story, above all else, stands out as a unique take on a Spider-Man origin story while also feeling like something familiar. Overall, ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ proved itself worthy as a standalone Spider-Man film and deserving of more story.
‘Across the Spider-Verse’ – Plot, Cast, and the Threequel
‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ is the upcoming 2023 sequel to ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ starring Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac, Brian Tyree Henry, Jake Johnson, Issae Rae, and Daniel Kaluuya. Production has already begun and Phil Lord, producer on the film, said the film would have a number of different styles in animation. As far as plot, it seems that the film will be picking up sometime after the end of the original film, as Miles Morales in the trailer was shown to be in college now. It also seems that ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ will involve Spider-Man 2099, also known as Miguel, (played by Oscar Isaac) and him getting involved with the rest of the multiverse.
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It is unknown as of now who of the original Spider-Gang will return besides Gwen Stacy, but appearances by Peter B. Parker, Peni Parker, Spider-Man Noir, and Spider-Ham are to be expected. It is also safe to assume that there will be new Spider-Man variations in the upcoming film that we have not seen yet. It was said in a tweet from Phil Lord that we will be seeing a Japanese Spider-Man in the film and he has been designed. Other variations that would be interesting to see are the Superior Spider-Man, Six-Armed Spider-Man, and the Scarlet Spider. As of now, it is not unlikely that these Spider-People, and many more, make brief or lasting appearances in the movie. At the moment, there is no word on who the main villain will be or what the source of conflict will be for the film.
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Currently, there is a teaser trailer that showcases Miles, Gwen, and Miguel (Spider-Man 2099) all in action in the new film. In the trailer, we see Ghost-Spider (Gwen Stacy) visit Miles in his childhood bedroom through a portal that allows her to travel to other universes. The other big scene shown in the trailer is Spider-Man 2099 attacking Miles Morales in a visually stunning fight. At the moment, it is unknown why Miguel is attacking Miles, but it will be intriguing to see why the two are going at each other since both are likely heroes in the film.
On top of all of this, it was also announced that ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ is the first part in a two-part series, meaning there will be a third Spider-Verse film coming sometime in the next couple of years or so. The film is titled ‘Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse’, so it is likely that the threequel could explore alternate versions of not just Spider-People, both other Marvel heroes. It will be interesting to see how the end of ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ will set up the sequel and possibly the final film in the series.
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Will it Live Up to the Original?
The question on everyone’s mind right now is if ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ can live up to the original, ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’? It seems as of right now that Sony and the team behind the upcoming sequel are pouring everything into making sure this film is just as strong as the previous entry. It was stated that this film will have 240 characters, six separate universes, and a monstrous animation crew to pull this project together. ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is often praised as not only one of the best Spider-Man films of all time, but also one of the greatest animated films ever. Even if the sequel may not live up to the expectations of the original, it will likely do an excellent job of continuing the story begun in ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ and pave the way for the threequel, ‘Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse’.
By Spencer Hoffman
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”
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Spencer Hoffman is a writer for The Hollywood Insider and current film student. He is an avid consumer of cinema and television and enjoys sharing his insight on these topics within his features and reviews. He strongly believes in the power of the written word and the importance of truth in everything. Spencer aligns with The Hollywood Insider’s views of empowerment and raising all types of voices up. He hopes to entertain and incite meaningful conversation with his pieces.