If the animated Oscar-winner SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE worked as an origin story for Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), then this year’s follow up SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE will be about how far the storytellers can take Morales and his friends as they push him to his limits – both physically and emotionally.
Sony Pictures Entertainment came to Las Vegas this week for the annual CinemaCon 2023 exhibition, and during the studio’s panel, they promised lots of characters, both old and new, in ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE. But then the footage that they showed drilled down into the deep emotions connecting very familiar characters that will be driving the story forward.
The events of SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE take place more than one year after the events of the first movie. Moore says that Miles Morales is still figuring out how to be a superhero in this sequel. “It’s how you wear the mask that really makes you a hero,” the voice actor said. Hailee Steinfeld joined Moore on stage in Las Vegas to remind those in attendance that her character, Gwen Stacy, has her own journey to embark on in the film. And then we met Issa Rae, a new addition to the cast who will be playing Jessica Drew.
But the footage shown at CinemaCon leaned into two personal relationships that appear to be at the heart of the movie. The first is between Miles and Gwen, which moves from his bedroom to the streets of New York City after Gwen portals into Miles’s multiverse. She begins to tell him about an elite Spider Society, which is in charge of keeping the multiverse intact. What she doesn’t realize is that her stories of their exploits are only making him jealous.
Miles is shy around Gwen, especially once she discovers how many drawings he has of her in his journal. But once Gwen meets Miles’s mom, Rio (Luna Lauren Velez), the tone changes. She begins to realize that her “baby” boy is becoming a man. The story takes on a huge emphasis for family, with Rio forcing Miles to promise that he’ll always “take care of that little boy” that resides inside of him. If you are a parent, you will want to bring tissues to this movie.
There wasn’t as much action as anticipated in the footage that Sony Pictures Animation brought to CinemaCon 2023. Instead, they really placed an emphasis on character development. Even as Miles and Gwen were swinging around New York City, testing each other’s abilities and expressing their concerns, it was made clear that they have precious few other people with which to discuss the difficulties of being Spider-Man. “Maybe some things are supposed to be just for us,” Miles wonders, and you can feel the weight of that realization.
We won’t have that long to wait and see what happens with these characters we have quickly grown to love, as SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE brings the feels (and the action) to AMC Theatres beginning on June 2. Be sure to sign up now for a reminder of when tickets go on sale, so you can see it opening night in your favorite AMC location.
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