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Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Peter Parker would be asking Doctor Strange to possibly rip a hole in the multi-verse, Sony Pictures graced audiences with the first-ever full-length animated Spider-Man film, featuring another beloved, but less-adapted web-slinging superhero who also had to deal with the existence of multiple dimensions: Miles Morales.
The Academy Award-winning flick Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse not only saw the young hero come into his own and take a leap of faith, but it also managed to fold in five other characters who hold the Spidey moniker — Peter B. Parker, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham, and Peni Parker and SP//dr — as it both deftly introduced all their various origin stories and then had them team up for an ambitious and visually-stunning adventure.
But while the highly-anticipated two-part sequel, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, won't be swinging into cinemas until late 2022 and 2023, this week saw the release of a short teaser trailer that gave fans a slight taste of what's in store, as details have been hard to come by — beyond some exciting casting.
Right away it's clear that the creative team working on the project are looking to push themselves creatively when it comes to working on this project as the trailer both maintained the colorful and distinctive style defined by the previous film, but also shows off how far animation technology has come since then.
Still, there's plenty of reasons for fans to begin counting down the days, if they aren't already.
Miles' next chapter
Unlike Peter Parker, who's been played by three different actors on the big screen so far and been the subject of what will become his eighth feature film, Miles has only ever existed in the pages of the comic or the more recent animated TV shows. This makes his second outing all the more special as it gives his fans more stories featuring him and allows us to follow his growth as a hero. The recent footage has revealed that not only is he older than he was when we first met him, but that he's still saving the day as Spider-Man, which means there's a lot more he's learned in the years since, which will no doubt be on display in this new adventure.
What's more, while representation in superhero films has come a long way since the first Spider-Man movie debuted in 2002, it's still pretty significant to see a character of color hold the title of Spider-Man, a character that's been a fan favorite since his inception all the way back in 1962, when Stan Lee and Steve Ditko introduced him Amazing Fantasy #15.
Oscar Isaac joins the Spider-Verse
Fans will remember the red-and-blue-suited hero from the newly released footage to be Miguel O'Hara, AKA Spider 2099, a Spider-hero voiced by Oscar Isaac who made a brief appearance in a post-credit scene that saw him interact with Lyla, his AI hologram as she quickly debriefed him on the movie's events and confirmed that his goober/gizmo is working and that he's ready to make a jump back to the "beginning": Earth-67.
In the teaser trailer fans can see him grappling with Miles, and while it looks like Miguel might be attacking him, it's probably more likely that he's trying to save him, as the device he's wearing on his wrist, is the same one Lyla confirmed was working — and the same one Gwen is wearing when she visits Miles in his bedroom. But the connection doesn't stop just there!
Into the Spider-Verse was a gift to fans as it both introduced new viewers to characters they might not have encountered before and treated comic fans to all sorts of references and deep cuts to actual comic book canon. Spider-Man 2099 falls into that camp as the movie features a few references to Miguel's origin story. For one, the company that Olivia Octavius works for (and Wilson Fisk funds) is Alechemax, the same one that Miguel works for years later, which results in his DNA being fused with that of a spider's, thus transforming him into yet another Spider-Man.
The second reference may not be one at all, but it's worth noting, as the spider that bites Miles and gives him his powers is actually colored the same as Spider 2099's suit and glitches like it might not belong to this particular universe, almost as if it comes from the future...
In any case, it's still exciting to see Isaac returning to the mantle of another hero, even as he prepares to debut as another one.
All new 'verses
While New York City plays a pretty important part in Spider-Man's story, it doesn't necessarily have to be the only city that features a web-slinging hero when it comes to the big screen, and Across the Spider-Verse seems to note that. Eagle-eyed (and eared) fans will have noted that the comic-style sound effects that appeared in Into the Spider-Verse, shows up again in the sequel, only now it's in a different language depicting a change of location to possibly a city in India. And the sitar-influenced music accompanying those scenes in the new trailer seem to drive that home further.
Taking a Spider-Man movie to other parts of the world means that some of the other Spider-Folk who might show up in this film could be some of the more niche versions of Peter Parker who appear in the comics, like Pavitr Prabhakar, who featured in Spider-Man: India for four issues. This would further highlight one of the key themes of the previous film: that truly anyone can put on the Spider-Mask and become a hero, because as Stan Lee himself said, the mask always fits... eventually.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) exclusively hits theaters on October 7, 2022, with Part 2 slated to be released in 2023.