It’s a big universe out there, one filled with Spider-People. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is far from the first Spider-Man movie (and definitely won’t be the last), but it is the first feature film to introduce audiences to the other Spider-Man, Miles Morales.
**SPOILER WARNING: This story contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.**
Reportedly, a Miles Morales sequel is already underway, so, since we’re already talking about more Spider-Verse movies, why not take it a step further? Into the Spider-Verse introduces a group of Marvel comics-canon characters with backstories as fun and encapsulating as Peter Parker’s. And because we love them so much, we’ve decided to muse over just what their movies would look like.
Here are six characters from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse who deserve spin-off films, ranked.
We know you probably expected Spider-Ham to be further up our list — because, c’mon, Spider-Ham — but John Mulaney’s wise-cracking, anthropomorphic cartoon pig (or, rather, his spider bitten by a radioactive pig) possesses the least emotional resonance in the film. He’s more of a comedic plot point than a character we’re supposed to connect with. Just because he’s last on our list, though, doesn’t mean he’s last in our hearts. And we don’t just say that out of fear that he’s going to pop out of nowhere and whack us with a mallet.
Spider-Ham’s spin-off would probably work best as a series of cartoon shorts. We’re thinking an origin story based on Larval Earth, one that includes his origins as a strange test subject bitten by a radioactive May Porker. Animal versions of classic Spidey villains would abound, and appropriate silliness would ensue.
Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta, Hotel Artemis) brought a special level of emotional vulnerability to Miles’ dad, Jefferson Davis. Plus, there’s nothing better than a good Dad Joke.
While we’re unsure of just how much of Jefferson’s backstory is included in the Into the Spider-Verse universe, Jefferson is a complicated character in Marvel’s comics. He did some time in jail after pairing up with his brother, Aaron Davis, but was eventually freed by none other than Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and kinda-sorta began working as a double agent to spy on a crime boss. Eventually, Jefferson meets Rio Morales while in therapy — they fall in love and have Miles.
The Jefferson we know from Into the Spider-Verse has a strict set of morals, so a sort of cop drama in which we see Jefferson’s backstory and he learns the error of his ways to become the man we now know would be a treat. And any chance to have Mahershala Ali back to voice Aaron Davis is good in our book.
Peni Parker and SP//dr
Most of the other stories we’re thinking about here are origin stories. But for Peni (voiced by Kimiko Glenn of Orange Is the New Black fame), we’re envisioning a post-Into the Spider-Verse adventure. In this story, Peni Parker and her trusted sidekick, the radioactive spider who co-pilots the SP//dr mech suit with her, would return to their homeworld, rebuild the suit, and go on a suitable (ha) adventure.
Obviously, this is an anime-style production. Peni’s animation in Into the Spider-Verse and the character’s Japanese origin makes it a necessity. And who wouldn’t want a Spidey anime? Especially one in which Peni goes up against M.O.R.B.I.U.S., the Kaiju version of Morbius, the Living Vampire. It’s almost too perfect.
Peter Parker/Spider-Man Noir
This Peter Parker is all gritty panache, sliding through oddly specific metaphors like the true hard-boiled investigative reporter he is. Voiced by Nicolas Cage (Face/Off, National Treasure), Spider-Man Noir comes across as rough and tough but, in the end, has a true heart of gold, just like all other Peter Parkers.
This Peter Parker grew up in an alt-world Great Depression with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, who were staunch activists looking to take down Hoovervilles and unethical work environments. Ben dies (because this is still a Peter Parker story, after all), and Peter goes full Spidey, though he takes on a little bit of a darker tinge than the Peter we all know so well. For one, he kind of possesses spider-god powers? It’s a lot, and a self-aware comedy — a la The Lego Batman Movie, maybe? — seems like the right way to go.
It should go without saying that the world needs a Spider-Gwen spin-off. We need it like we need to breathe, no matter what form it takes.
As Spider-Gwen, Gwen Stacy is a punk-rocking ballerina with the kind of tragic backstory that usually goes to fueling a man’s sense of righteousness (the death of a loved one). She couldn’t save her sweet friend Peter Parker, so she became a person who can save everyone else. It’s a story we rarely see for young women and could easily turn into the kind of movie that would prompt little girls (and children of all kinds, no doubt) to run around in Spider-Gwen costumes for Halloween.
Thankfully, there’s already something potentially on the horizon. Lauren Montgomery, co-director of Batman: Year One, is reportedly in talks to direct an all-female spin-off for Into the Spider-Verse. No doubt, Gwen Stacy would play a large part, though there are plenty of other Spider-Women to swing alongside her.
As the unsung hero of every Spider-Man story that came before, Aunt May finally gets a chance to kick ass and take names in Into the Spider-Verse. Voiced by Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie, Nashville), this version of May Parker hits baddies upside the head with baseball bats and keeps the keys to Peter Parker’s Spider-Cave safe.
Even if it’s just a 10-minute short of Aunt May sipping tea and knowing too much, we want it. In fact, that sounds kind of perfect. Greenlight it, please.