Important no-spoiler warning for those who are going to see Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse today from Christopher Miller. However, the main story here is about how much news we got about Sony's most prized preexisting IP right on the precipice of the animated sequel's wide release. More from Variety, edited for concision:
"Producer Amy Pascal says a Spider-Woman and live-action Miles Morales movie are in the works. 'You’ll see all of it...It’s all happening.' Producer Avi Arad teased that moviegoers will see a 'Spider-Woman' movie 'sooner than you expect.'
"'I cannot tell you yet, but it’s coming,' he said.
"Pascal also said a fourth 'Spider-Man' movie with Tom Holland and Zendaya is still in the works, but the writers strike has paused development. 'Are we going to make another movie? Of course, we are...We’re in the process, but the writers strike, nobody is working during the strike. We’re all being supporters and whenever they get themselves together, we’ll get started.'"
Now obviously we have to be a little wary of anything Spidey-related when Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige aren't directly involved. The Tom Holland trilogy was fantastic for the most part, but of course, that was a Marvel co-production. The juggernaut of the MCU drove Holland's character narratively. Sony has always struggled to stand on its own in live action to create a competent Spiderverse. Good news? They're slaying it in the animated space.
...So does that mean that characters from the Spider-Verse franchise can make the jump? Interestingly, I stumbled upon this in the AM: Hailee Steinfeld, who plays Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen, didn't do much to, um, shoot down the possibility of teaming up someday with the likes of oh, you know...Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield!!
Both those guys who preceded Holland in the role of Peter Parker came back for No Way Home and couldn't have nailed it any harder. Garfield in particular was a highlight and such a great story beyond the work he did on that NWH set. He crushed it so hard as Spidey during his initial run, only to have too many cooks in the creative kitchen lead to rushed world building and uneven results in the two Amazing Spider-Man flicks.
I don't think Steinfeld is spoiling anything from Across the Spider-verse here. It's a mere a hint that, in addition to the massive news dump of Spidey-ness we've gotten, there may be even more ambitious plans. Alternatively, she may be simply suggesting that everyone from every medium will be in play for when Avengers: Secret Wars comes out. Also cool that Steinfeld stars as Kate Bishop/Hawkeye protégé in the MCU already.
Thought that was very worthy of noting in this Spidey news blog. Circling back to what's actually been announced and publicly intended, though. Can't help but concur with the Stranger Things writers that their in-house star Caleb McLaughlin is an excellent choice for Miles Morales.
…But Sony better get a good story together soon if that's the case. McLaughlin turns 22 in October, so it may not be long till he ages out of the role if they want to explore Miles' high school years. I know older actors who are definitely not high school age get cast all the time. It's just that the suspension of disbelief barrier has lowered of late.
I'm assuming the Spider-Woman movie Avi Arad alludes to will be a spin-off of Sydney Sweeney's character from Madame Web, which is set to release in 2024. To come out so early with this news suggests Sony must be pleased with how the upcoming movie is turning out. And well, Sydney Sweeney is one of the biggest stars on the planet at the moment.
What I'm most intrigued by beyond Miles' live-action debut is the continuation of Holland's Spider-Man. Speaking of stars, Zendaya is too big of a box office draw on her own to leave out of the fourth movie. It'll be so interesting to see how they address the whole memory wipe plot point from No Way Home. I'd assume Peter and Zendaya's MJ get back together somehow. Hope it isn't a cheap retcon or easily explained away. If they can earn that return and pay off the glimmer of faint recognition from that last NWH coffee shop scene, it'll be one of the best sequences of cinematic Spider-Man ever.
Alright. That should do for now. Time to figure out a way to see Across the Spider-verse soon here before it's spoiled into oblivion.