Into the future of the Spider-verse
The future of the Spider-verse
Seemingly out of nowhere, Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse has quite rightly been hailed as one of the best films of 2018. Critics praised the striking colour palette and unique art-style, while fans marveled (pun intended) at finally seeing their favourite, somewhat obscure, alternate web-slingers being given the feature-film treatment. But now the dust has settled, and the childish grin has nearly left our faces, you can’t help but look ahead and wonder what Sony will take us with in the inevitable sequel and potential spin-offs. After all – it’s a big old Spider-verse out there.
Into the Spider-verse 2
The closing minutes of the movie heavily hinted that this may not be a one-off project, rather the beginning of something much larger. Whilst Miles lays in bed after foiling Kingpin’s plan and closing the rift, we hear Spider-Gwen speak to the freshly-crowned hero; presumably through a phenomenon created by Fisk’s machine. This opens the door to the pair, along with their new-found Spider-gang, being reunited in a future story. This, paired with the post-credit scene involving Spider-Man 2099, lets us infer a couple of elements about the sequels potential plot. What we do know is that if this was just the beginning, then the future projects will look to double down on what made this one such a success – heart, humour and style.
Miguel O’Hara (2099) must be in a sticky situation if he’s resorting to dimension hopping as a way of problem solving; and as the sequel will likely have to expand and go even bigger to have a chance of topping its stellar predecessor, the threat will have to be deadlier and the crossovers will have to be crazier. Spider-Verse prides itself on being a mostly original story, but if we look to the comics, we might find some inspiration as to where we’re heading. A recent run entitled ‘Spider-Geddon’ depicts the Inhibitors; a group of dimension jumping vampires with a taste for anyone ‘spider-related’. It wouldn’t be too hard to imagine the sequel following Miles and Miquel as they get the gang back together, while looking even further afield to bolster their ranks in order to survive. The original narrative gets rather convoluted for those who aren’t on top of all things comic related, so things would definitely be streamlined in the name of accessibility to the masses. That being said, the sequel will have to expand its scope, and roster, if it’s to build on what came before. So, a menace to all of Spider-kind is the perfect excuse to draft in more players from across the Spider-Verse. Here’s hoping for Scarlet-Spider.
Female Fronted Spin-Off
One of the standout characters in Miles’ first adventure was Hailee Seinfeld’s Spider-Gwen. Fans were ecstatic to see their most beloved female protagonist make her big-screen debut in full comic-book glory. They weren’t disappointed as Gwen was one of the standouts in an already brilliant film. So much so, it is rumoured that she will lead a spin-off alongside two other popular female heroes in a Spider-Women movie. Reportedly joining her on the silver-screen are Spider-Woman and Silk. Following the success of her previous movie outing, it stands to reason that Spider-Gwen will be the focal point of the movie, with the rest of her trio being given an introduction in early stages. In terms of story, the plot could take inspiration from the team-up of the same trio from back in 2016. The run focused on Silk and Spider-Woman becoming trapped in Gwen’s universe (potentially as part of the fallout from Kingpin’s plan) and pitting themselves against evil versions of themselves. If they wanted to be particularly bold, they could even begin to add in the other iterations of Spider-Woman that have been published over the years, playing off how the mantle is so easily thrown around. There’s obviously the possibility that Miles will make appearance in some capacity, but anything more than a cameo and weaving him too deeply into the plot would take the spotlight away from the titular group – which would be an enormous disservice to those characters.
While the movie certainly heavily hinted in a direct the sequel in the future, it also laid the groundwork for features about any number of Spider-folk; particularly the ones we were introduced to here. While it’s unlikely we’ll see a full spin-off for everyone we met in Spider-verse, the more well-known characters could easily be given a solo outing. With this being a Sony property, it isn’t tied to any other established canons, which allows future movies to go in wackier directions and tackle storylines that wouldn’t be possible in a live-action franchise. Plus, since every new Spider-person who visited Miles had a distinct aesthetic and style, any spin-offs would be eclectic enough to sustain their own films without diluting what makes Spider-verse unique; all while still being part of the same cohesive universe.
Spider-Man Noir, for example, could star in his own black and white detective drama in his native 1930’s setting. Nicolas Cage’s depiction was lauded by viewers who would surely get a kick out of seeing him in his own story. The most likely candidate for a Noir movie would be an adaptation of his original and most popular comic, with some tweaks to fit it into the established timeline. In his debut outing, Peter uses his newfound powers to avenge the deaths of his Uncle Ben (as always) and, more interestingly, his mentor Ben Urich; and investigative reporter for the Daily Bugle. This has the makings of a unique and albeit more light-hearted take on his traditional gritty noir tale.
Unfortunately, despite a charmingly zany performance by John Mulaney, it’s hard to see how a solo Spider-Ham movie would work. His character is quirky, and his one-liners do land, but it’s immensely difficult to sustain that over a couple of hours. However, don’t count Ham out just yet. While a feature-length picture is a hard sell, an animated short could be where he shines. Something Disney-Pixar nail quite often before their new films, a ten-minute Looney Toons-style sketch would give the fans what they want. It allows the character to strut his stuff without his specific style being shoehorned into someone else’s movie and upsetting the tone; and it frees up the writers to be as outlandish as they want, without worrying about the repercussions it has on the full picture.
Let us know what you thought of Into the Spider-Verse, and what you’d love to see from its inevitable follow-ups, in the comments!