Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse arrives in 2023
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’s release is still way off at this point. Given that the animated movie was supposed to be out in theaters by now, that doesn’t make the wait any easier.
Still, while the next Spider-Man film won’t be with us until mid-2023, we’ve been learning new and interesting bits and pieces about the superhero flick. That’s because multiple toy stores received merchandise ahead of the movie’s former October 2022 launch, meaning we’ve been given more clues about which Spider-People will debut (or return) in Across the Spider-Verse.
That’s not all, though. Below, we’ve compiled everything worth knowing about Sony’s next animated Spider-Man movie. That includes its release date, voice cast, plot details, sequel plans, and more.
Full spoilers for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Spider-Man: No Way Home follow. We’ll also cover possible spoilers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, but we’ll alert you before we reach them if you’re avoiding spoilers pre-release.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse release date
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse arrives in theaters on June 2, 2023. The film was originally supposed to wallcrawl its way into cinemas in April 2022, but its launch was pushed back to October due to the pandemic.
It’s since been delayed for a second time, owing to the fact it needs more work. This is an incredibly ambitious animated flick – over 1,000 people are working on it, according to co-screenwriters and executive producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (via Deadline ) – so everyone needs time to make it as good as possible.
Speaking to Deadline, Lord and Miller said: “We could try to get it out at the original date and it would be fine. But the expectation for this film is it has to be as groundbreaking and special and wonderful as the first one was. So we thought ‘let’s make it great.'”
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’s first teaser debuted at Brazil Comic-Con (CCXP Worlds) in December 2021.
The teaser shows Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy reuniting in the former’s universe, Miles travelling to new dimensions, and his first encounter with Spider-Man 2099, who’ll be voiced by Moon Knight and Dune star Oscar Isaac. There’s plenty of humor and action to be had, too, which shows that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse will retain a lot of elements that made the first movie a huge success.
Meanwhile, new footage was debuted at Annecy Film Festival in June, but it’s yet to make its way online. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before an official trailer is released.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse cast
Here’s the confirmed cast list for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse so far:
- Shameik Moore as Miles Morales
- Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen
- Oscar Isaac as Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099
- Jake Johnson as Peter B. Parker/Spider-Man
- Issa Rae as Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman
- Shea Wigham as Captain George Stacey
- Jorma Taccone as Adrian Toomes/The Vulture
- Jason Schwartzmann as Johanthan Ohnn/The Spot
Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld and Jake Johnson will reprise their roles from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Meanwhile, Oscar Isaac will co-star after making a cameo appearance in the first movie’s post-credits scene.
Speaking to ScreenRant (opens in new tab), Isaac teased what we can expect his character, personality wise, saying: “What makes this character so funny is that he’s the one Spider-Man that doesn’t have a sense of humor. Because all of them act like – they’re wisecracks, right? Everybody wisecracks, except this guy just doesn’t. He’s a very serious Spider-Man.”
Issa Rae (Insecure, Rap Sh!t) will play Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman. During Across the Spider-Verse’s 2022 Annecy Film Festival presentation, Sony revealed (opens in new tab) that Rae would voice the fan favorite character, who’ll also be pregnant in the film.
Three other characters were confirmed alongside Rae’s Drew. Shea Wigham (Boardwalk Empire, True Detective) is voicing Captain Stacey, the father of Steinfeld’s Spider-Gwen, in his first-ever voice acting role. Jorma Taccona (The Lonely Island) will play the Earth-65’s version of The Vulture, who cinephiles will remember from 2016’s Marvel movie Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Finally, Jason Schwartzmann (Fargo, Moonrise Kingdom) has been cast as The Spot, aka the movie’s primary antagonist. One of the lesser known Spider-Villains, The Spot – real name Johnathan Ohnn – is a scientist who tried to mimic Marvel superhero Cloak’s superpowers. Unsurprisingly, the experiment goes awry, with Ohnn’s body becoming covered in giant, black spots. However, Ohnn realizes these are portals to other worlds and dimensions, and begins using them for nefarious means.
Considering Across the Spider-Verse will continue to explore the Spider-Man multiverse, The Spot seems like the perfect villain for this film. Expect him to pose a big threat to Miles and company.
According to co-director Kemp Powers, Valve’s iconic videogame series Portal was a key influence on The Spot’s aesthetic (via IndieWire). Additionally, a new toy leak (thanks to Reddit for the, erm, spot), reveals “If The Spot can realize the true power of his abilities, he could become a threat to entire universe”. Sounds ominous.
Potentially massive spoilers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’s cast follows. Do not read past the tweet below if you’re avoiding spoilers.
Other Spider-People appear certain to turn up, too. Kimiko Glenn’s Peni Parker and Nicholas Cage’s Spider-Man Noir might return, while John Mulaney’s Spider-Ham was seemingly confirmed as part of the cast by a piece of clothing merchandise (via Twitter user 3CFilmss).
Spider-Ham’s likely appearance isn’t the only character leak, with Spider-Punk toy merchandise has been spotted in the wild (via Twitter user malachi ). Other social media users, including preterniadotcom and haileestan2007 , posted images of toys that reveal Cyborg Spider-Woman and Ben Reilly, aka Scarlet Spider, will also feature in the flick. The trio are also part of an Across the Spider-Verse puzzle (per Twitter user MCU Campus ), so this pretty much confirms they’ll show up in some capacity.
Additionally, Across the Spider-Verse’s first trailer teased the potential arrival of Spider-Man India. Japanese Spider-Man’s appearance has also been hinted at by Phil Lord (via ScreenRant ), but it’s unclear if this particular iteration of the character will feature just yet.
Live-action Spider-Man stars Tom Holland, Zendaya and Jacob Batalon have all expressed interest in appearing. The trio are reportedly “just waiting for the phone call,” and given that both Lord and Miller have strongly hinted that the upcoming movie could tie into the MCU, their involvement no longer seems like an outside possibility. Speaking to Collider , however, Lord and Miller declined to comment on whether the trio will cameo.
Lord and Miller have also teased the possibility of other Spider-Men alumni in Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield making appearances. The duo had supporting roles in Spider-Man: No Way Home and, with Across the Spider-Verse continuing Miles’ exploration of the Spider-Man multiverse, fans think that the pair could certainly show up in the animated sequel. Speaking to Variety (via Fandom), Lord said of those rumors: “It’s a high bar to clear. The gauntlet has been thrown [by Spider-Man: No Way Home]”, before Miller added: “All things are possible in the multiverse.” Watch this space, then.
In total, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse may contain around 240 characters (per Variety). However, Miller has clarified that 95% of these individuals will be background characters, so don’t expect a massive Spider-Man team up.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse plot
Here’s the movie’s official synopsis (via Collider ): “Miles Morales returns for the next chapter of the Oscar-winning Spider-Verse saga, an epic adventure that will transport Brooklyn’s full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man across the Multiverse to join forces with Gwen Stacy and a new team of Spider-People to face off with a villain more powerful than anything they have ever encountered.”
Sony Pictures’ Twitter account posted a brief description of some of the film’s scenes, which were shown at Annecy Film Festival 2022. If you’re avoiding spoilers, though, don’t click that link.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly (EW) after the first teaser’s reveal, Phil Lord and Chris Miller explained why they made the decision to tell the next chapter in Miles’ arc across two movies. “Miles’ story is an epic,” Miller and Lord said. “We wrote what we thought the story needed to be, and to our surprise we realized it was two movies instead of one. We’re working on them both as we speak.”
Lord and Miller also cryptically hinted at the numerous universes that Miles and company will travel to, adding: “Every dimension looks and feels radically different from all the others. They all look like they were drawn by a different artist.”
According to the duo, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’s story will comprise six main universes (per film critic Erik Davis ), though there’s no official word on the other notable dimensions we’ll see. We’ll visit the worlds of Miles (Earth-1610), Spider-Gwen (Earth-65), and Spider-Man 2099 (Earth-928), but the other three are a mystery. Other dimensions will also be visited in blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments.
Lord and Miller doubled down on their promise to explore other realities with Collider, with Miller saying: “The idea that we’d be going to different dimensions really opened up an opportunity artistically to have each world have its own art style, and to be able to push the folks at [Sony Pictures] ImageWorks to develop a way to have each dimension feel like it was drawn by a different artist’s hand. Seeing the development of that stuff is breath taking, and really, it’s the reason we keep doing it, because it’s so hard to get it right.”
Speaking to IndieWire (opens in new tab), co-director Joaquim Dos Santos revealed that Across the Spider-Verse’s team had worked closely with real-life Marvel artists, such as Spider-Man 2099’s creators – including Rick Leonardi and Kris Anka – to bring their work to life in Across the Spider-Verse. “Comics are the R&D and the foundation for all these franchises,” Dos Santos said. “But oftentimes the creators barely get a mention in the credits, so making sure they’re a part of this is super important.”
Meanwhile, Lord and Miller also hinted that Across the Spider-Verse may tie into the MCU. Speaking on an episode of the Happy Sad Confused (opens in new tab) podcast, the duo teased that MCU flick Spider-Man: No Way Home could have implications for Miles Morales and Gwen Stacey in their movie.
“The multiverse is big and wide,” Miller said, “And all things grow. Why would you think [that in] a multiverse, in which many things are possible, that [those things are] not related?”
“Everything’s possible except for this one thing that everyone wants,” Lord added sarcastically. It’s clear, then, that Across the Spider-Verse will deliver on its promise of fan service while also breaking new narrative ground for the decades-old character.
“The writers and director[s] are all buddies of ours, so we sort of have been in the loop as far as what’s going on [in other movies],” Lord said on the same podcast. “And we are always trying to make sure we’re not stepping on each other’s toes and telling different types of stories, and different themes, and all that stuff – because people want an original story that feels new and interesting. It’s our job to give it to them.”
Lord also told IndieWire that their Netflix movie The Mitchells Vs. The Machines gave them the confidence to push Across the Spider-Verse’s visuals even further, saying: “It’s been fun to have the confidence, to go even harder and push the medium even further and take Miles [Morales] to places you couldn’t imagine.”
And what of the potential for characters to return from the first movie? As you’ve probably guessed, the duo simply teased to EW: “Miles will reunite with some old friends and meet… a lot of new ones.”
Where The Spot is concerned, co-director Kemp Powers told Cartoon Brew : “From the very beginning, he just seemed like endless potential visually and the arc of the character. His arc really complements the journey of Miles in this film really well.”
Meanwhile, co-directer Justin K Thompson revealed that 17 new tools were created to allow The Spot’s various ink-style spots to function fluidly during the movie. So it sounds like The Spot won’t just be a tragic villain of sorts, but one as visually spectacular as any other aspect of the flick.
With those official comments out of the way, what can we determine from what we’ve seen of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and where its predecessor left off? (Potential spoilers follow!).
For starters, it seems that it’ll take place sometime after Into the Spider-Verse. Miles and Gwen are older – they’re 15 or 16 years old, according to Powers – so there’s been a time jump since the first film.
As for Spider-Man 2099’s role, we think he’ll be Miles’ new mentor. Okay, he’s seen grappling with Miles in the movie’s first teaser, but we’re confident that he’s simply trying to recruit Miles in order to stop The Spot wreaking havoc across the multiverse. Read our Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Easter eggs article for more details on how that dynamic could play out.
It sounds like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse will be full of emotional story beats, too. Lord and Miller revealed that there’s one Spider-Gwen scene that’ll really tug at our heartstrings. Based on another of their answers in a tweet above, we’ll see Miles grappling with what it truly means to be a Spider-Man in this film.
Thompson and Powers told Cartoon Brew that we’ll see more family-based drama play out between Miles, Gwen, and their respective parents as well, so maybe you’ll want to bring a pack of tissues with you to your screening next year.
Lastly, ComicBook.com tracked down some of the movie’s merchandise and snapped photographs of story beats for Miles, Spider-Man 2099, and Peter B. Parker. Again, if you’re avoiding spoilers, don’t open the link. For those of you who are more curious and can’t resist looking, though, feel free to check them out.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse sequel
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’s sequel, which is now called Beyond the Spider-Verse, is expected to land in cinemas on March 29, 2024. Its release date was revealed alongside Across the Spider-Verse’s revised launch date, although Beyond the Spider-Verse’s date could change if it requires a longer development cycle.
Understandably, very little is known about Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse. Given its title, though, could we see Miles and company make the jump into live-action and potentially appear in the MCU? It would be a hugely crowd pleasing moment if that happened, but we’ll have to wait and see how Across the Spider-Verse ends first.
For more Marvel-based content, check out our MCU Phase 4 and Marvel Phase 5 hubs. Alternatively, read our ranking of every Spider-Man movie to date.
By Tom Power