Just like that, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) and his extra-dimensional spider-pals are web-slinging back into our lives with Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The sensational 2018 film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse dazzled audiences with a colorful splash of comic book-themed animation while highlighting the journey of young Miles Morales into the world of superheroism. As both film titles imply, Miles’ Spider-Man isn’t alone. There’s a vast multiverse littered with countless variations of the wallcrawler, and in this sequel, Miles is seemingly still holding onto his connection with Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), a Spider-Woman from another universe who aided him in saving the multiverse.
Across the Spider-Verse promises fans a bigger and bolder expansion of the interdimensional Spider-people network than we already know. Just how far does the rabbit hole go? With so many people sharing the same web-slinging moniker and powers, the real question becomes: is there an inherent fate or destiny all Spider-people have in common that makes them who they are? It’s a question that Miles will ultimately confront in his latest adventure. If you’re prepared to zip across dimensions with our favorite animated Spider-Man, there are some facts surrounding the film that might interest you and amplify your excitement.
1. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are among the writers attached to the film
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Who are Phil Lord and Christopher Miller you might ask? Well, these two have shared a fairly prolific tenure in Hollywood for well over a decade. As far as comedic animated adventures are concerned, the pair wrote and directed films like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and The Lego Movie.
They’ve also directed live-action films such as 2012’s 21 Jump Street and its sequel 22 Jump Street. While Miller didn’t join his longtime pal for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Versehe partnered with Lord and others in penning the latest sequel.
2. Oscar Isaac voices Spider-Man 2099
There’s a new web-slinger in Across the Spider-Verse that’s going to take a fair amount of the spotlight. If the marketing material isn’t already an indication, he might also be a tad antagonistic toward our plucky Brooklynite hero. The Spider-Man of 2099 leads a crew across dimensions with a singular goal in mind. Under the mask is a man by the name of Miguel O’Hara who is voiced by none other than Oscar Isaac of Star Wars and Moon Knight fame. This is Oscar Isaac’s fourth appearance in a Marvel project which includes X-Men: Apocalypse, Moon Knightand a brief vocal appearance as Spider-Man 2099 in Into the Spider-Verse.
In the world of comics, Miguel became Spider-Man after an incident that saw his genetic code rewritten with spider DNA. As a geneticist who sought to recreate the original Spider-Man’s abilities in others, he inadvertently became the lucky recipient.
3. The film is part one of two
This is an important detail that many who set out to see Across the Spider-Verse might not be aware of. While the movie will likely be just as engaging to the younger crowd all the same, adults might be rather perturbed when a “To Be Continued” message splashes across the screen during a pivotal climactic moment.
That’s right, this film is part one of a two-part narrative. It’s wise to prepare yourself and any in your party who attends the film with you for the inevitable cliffhanger. Perhaps, it’s an upset that could have been avoided if “Part 1” was anywhere in the title. However, the filmmakers dropped “Part 1” from the title opting to give the threequel a separate name to cap off this animated trilogy: Beyond the Spider-Verse.
4. Jessica Drew makes her on-screen debut as Spider-Woman
Fans of the Spider-Verse might know Jessica Drew – a former Hydra spy gifted with spider powers. In Across the Spider-Verseshe makes her first big-screen debut. Insecure‘s Issa Rae brings her vocal talents to the character.
In the film she operates alongside Miguel as an inter-dimensional traveler who cleans up “anomalies.” She is one of many Spider-people who appear in this riveting sequel but is, perhaps, one of the most notable given her recent popularity in the comic book medium.
5. This sequel utilized the most animators ever used in any single film
Everyone knows the number one rule of a film series: each and every sequel must be bigger and bolder than its predecessor. Across the Spider-Verse aims high and overshoots this target by a longshot. Not only does the film boast an impressive volume of comic book characters in a single movie, but over 1,000 animators were put to work in creating a kaleidoscopic amalgamation of vibrant colors and art styles as shared by the producers and writers at 2022’s CinemaCon (via CBR).
Across embraces many distinct and differing visual tones. For instance, cooler hues in splashes of watercolor patterns often appear to indicate sadness, regret, or a strong emotion a particular character is feeling while other dimensions embrace different stylings like that of the Golden Age of Comics. It’s truly a magnificent feast for the eyes making this animation record believable.
6. Spider-Man: a hero of many films
Spider-Man is a popular hero, to say the least. Audiences young and old adore his quippy banter and youthful charm. Fighting bad guys doesn’t always have to be dark and tragic. With Spider-Man, there’ll undoubtedly be plenty of jokes along the way.
With that said, Across the Spider-Verse marks the 10th feature film to hit the silver screen featuring the web-slinging hero in many different varieties. So, there’s no shortage of Spider-Man entertainment. And it’s likely that the running faucet of Spidey entertainment won’t shut off any time soon.
7. A Spider-Man of many universes
There’s a certain expectation to uphold when you name a film Across the Spider-Verse. What you can glean from this is that we’re about to take a trip through many other dimensions, not just the home base of young Miles Morales. Well, the film lives up to the name by offering viewers a glimpse (or extended stay) of six different universes. And this isn’t even counting the litany of Spider-Verse Easter eggs that are evidence of many other known universes. Heck, there’s even a brief nod to Spider-Man’s Atari 2600 incarnation from 1982.
8. Jason Schwartzman voices the hapless villain, The Spot
Jason Schwartzman knows comedy like the best of them. And it’s clear from the earliest trailers that he injects a fair bit of humor into his villainous role as The Spot, a character that is connected to Miles Morales in several ways. His name is derived from the obvious spots that dot his otherwise white personage. He can use spots to create wormholes on the fly that allow him quick travel or opportunities to trip up his enemies.
As one can glean, even from the marketing material, The Spot doesn’t exactly have a handle on his powers. Schwartzman’s vocal talents will undoubtedly leave many audiences laughing at his misfortune, but as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World proved, the actor can be a formidable villain as well.
9. The return of Spider-Man Unlimited
There will assuredly be a plethora of Spider-Man variations from the wall-crawler’s comic book, TV, film, and even video game legacy to call to attention in the film’s treasure trove of Easter eggs, references, and crossovers. One such appearance that super fans with a keen eye in the trailers and marketing material will undoubtedly recognize is special to many who watched a certain late-90s animated series entitled Spider-Man Unlimited.
The popular series aired sometime after Marvel went bankrupt in the mid-90s which led to the licensing of Spider-Man to shift, eventually landing in Sony’s corner. Saban produced the series and largely created something wholly original with stories not entirely found within the pages of comic books. It’s exciting to see this now, lesser-known, incarnation of the character make a return of sorts.
10. Across the Spider-Verse is now linked to the MCU
In one of the trailers for the film, we see Oscar Isaac’s Miguel O’Hara angrily reject Miles prefacing his frustration with the statement, “Don’t even get me started on Dr. Strange and that little nerd back on Earth-19999.” This is a clear reference to the interdimensional upset Tom Holland’s Peter Parker caused in Spider-Man: No Way Home. The MCU Earth is also famously designated as Earth-19999. Therefore, the animated realm of Spider-folk is now officially linked to the MCU, even if in a small capacity.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is now in theaters.