Sony Pictures and producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller presented the first 15 minutes of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse at CinemaCon on Monday. The footage featured unfinished animation and storyboards but nevertheless revealed what Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy have been up to since their Oscar-winning 2018 predecessor, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
The sequel, as Lord and Miller revealed, is even bigger than Into the Spider-Verse — so big that it had to be split into two films — as it sports 240 characters and takes place across six universes.
While we will not reveal any major spoilers from what was shown at CinemaCon, the most spoiler-sensitive readers should proceed with caution from this point.
The footage began with Gwen Stacy, aka Spider-Woman (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld), sneaking into her home while her police officer dad George is busy in the kitchen. Judging from their brief exchange, their relationship seems chilly.
George Stacy is out to catch Spider-Woman, who authorities believe killed their universe’s Peter Parker. At this point, he’s unaware that his daughter and the target of his crusade are one and the same. Soon, both Gwen and George are drawn separately to a crime in progress at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
Although called Adrian Toomes here, the Vulture attacking the Guggenheim is a native Italian and also not from this universe. Gwen’s Spider-Woman arrives on the scene much to George’s chagrin. Inside the museum, Gwen combats Vulture in a high-flying, web-slinging battle royale. And just as it seems it couldn’t get much worse for her, an interdimensional portal opens and Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2009 (Oscar Isaac) and a five-months-pregnant, motorcycle-driving Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman (Issa Rae) arrive to help her battle Vulture.
Miguel reveals that Gwen and her allies in the previous film didn’t actually save the universe so much as they unintentionally created a rift in the multiverse that allows the likes of Vulture to enter a different universe.
We’re going to skip the major spoilers that happen at the end of this particular sequence and move on to …
Following this battle, the film reintroduces us to Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) as he rushes to make a parent-teacher conference at school. There, he expresses his dream to attend Columbia University in New York City where he can study quantum physics. His parents Rio and Jefferson (Luna Lauren Velez and Brian Tyree Henry, respectively) would rather he stay closer to home in Brooklyn. Miles’ Spidey-Sense then kicks in and he quickly excuses himself, which almost certainly opens the door to how he will inevitably reunite with Gwen in this film.
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Overall, the first 15 minutes of Across the Spider-Verse get right into the swing of things, setting the stakes for Gwen while also quickly establishing the dynamic between Miguel and Jessica — and all this against the backdrop of a major battle with Vulture.
That the film then pivoted to a more grounded sequence between Miles and his parents indicates the Into the Spider-Verse sequel will retain the same sweet balance between superheroics, multiverse madness, and familial drama that served the Oscar-winning original so well.
In more CinemaCon news, Sony also announced the sequels to Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Ghostbusters: Afterlife and another expansion of its Spider-Man universe in El Muerto, which will star Bad Bunny as Marvel’s first live-action Latino lead.