Across the Spider-Verse's ending sets up an Endgame-sized sequel 1
Gwen Stacy stands next to Peter B. Parker in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Sony Pictures Animation

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a massive film — so massive, in fact, that its story can’t be told in just 2 hours and 16 minutes. Instead, the long-awaited sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ends with, of all things, a title card that literally says, “To be continued…” Fortunately, while some may be disappointed by the unfinished way that Across the Spider-Verse ends, it doesn’t cut to black without laying the groundwork for a sequel that certainly seems primed to be the biggest animated superhero film ever.

That sequel not only already has a title, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Versebut also a March 29, 2024 release date. That means comic book fans have just a little less than a year to wait until they finally get to see the full arc of Miles Morales’ (Shameik Moore) latest web-slinging big-screen adventure. Although it’d be foolish at this point to outright predict what surprises may lie in store in Beyond the Spider-Versetoo, it’s definitely been set up to be a bigger blockbuster than both Across the Spider-Verse and its 2018 predecessor.

As a matter of fact, Across the Spider-Verse’s cliffhanger ending doesn’t just narratively evoke the now-famous conclusion of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. It also suggests that Beyond the Spider-Verse may end up rivaling the seemingly untouchable scale of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.

Miguel holds Miles down in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Sony Pictures Animation

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse leaves all of its central characters in vastly different places. Miles Morales, for his part, ends the film stranded in a universe where there’s no Spider-Man and an alternate, embittered version of himself has instead taken up a life of crime as The Prowler. Miguel O’Hara (Oscar Isaac) and Jessica Drew (Issa Rae), meanwhile, team up with Ben Reilly (Andy Samberg) in the film’s third act to not only stop Miles from preventing his father’s death but also capture and defeat The Spot (Jason Schwartzman) before he single-handedly destroys the multiverse.

Notably, Miguel and Jessica aren’t the only characters who put together a team at the end of Across the Spider-Verse. Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) also recruits Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), Spider-Punk (Daniel Kaluuya), Spider-Byte (Amandla Stenberg), and Spider-Man India (Karan Soni) to help her find Miles, save his father’s life, and beat The Spot. As the film’s final scene reveals, Gwen even convinces Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), and Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), all of whom were initially introduced in Into the Spider-Verseto help her on her quest.

Based on the way Across the Spider-Verse ends, it seems safe to say that Gwen’s team will likely come to blows at some point with Miguel O’Hara and Jessica Drew’s squad in Beyond the Spider-Verse. In case that possibility isn’t exciting enough, Across the Spider-Verse’s final minutes also see The Spot arrive back in Miles’ original universe. That means Beyond the Spider-Verse will have to resolve not only the lingering conflicts between its various web-slingers but also the threat that The Spot poses to Miles’ family and the multiverse at large.

Miles Morales soars through the air in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Sony Pictures Animation

The fate of the entire multiverse is already hanging in the balance by the time Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse ends, so as far as starting points go, Beyond the Spider-Verse couldn’t ask for a much bigger one. While finding a way to tell an even larger story than the one featured in Across the Spider-Verse isn’t an easy thing to do, either, the film does a good job of setting its sequel up to do exactly that. Of course, whether or not the 2024 film will actually be able to match the sheer apocalyptic size of a blockbuster like Avengers: Endgame remains to be seen.

Between the Civil War-esque conflict that has already divided its friendly neighborhood wall-crawlers and The Spot’s dangerous quest to ruin Miles’ life, though, Beyond the Spider-Verse already has everything it needs to deliver a truly massive cinematic experience. It may very well turn out to be just as big and ambitious as any other superhero movie that’s ever been made.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is now playing in theaters.

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