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When it was originally announced, it seemed like Sony's animated Spider-Man movie was going to be a simple origin story of Miles Morales -- the Spider-Man who assumes the mantle in a universe where Peter Parker dies -- but now we know that things are more complex than that. Titled Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Sony is teasing that Miles won't be the only one shown to wear the mask in the movie. A multiverse full of Spider-Men (Spider-Mans?) is on the table, and we can tell you that there is no shortage of characters who could appear in this movie.
Into the Spider-Verse looks to be taking most of its inspiration from the massive Spider-Verse storyline that took over the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. The event saw Peter Parker teaming up with different Spider-Men from across the multiverse -- some different versions of him, others completely different -- to combat a threat that sought to kill all Spider-Men for good. A huge swath of characters both old and new was recruited, delivering some instant fan-favorites. We don't know if the plan is to have cameos in Into the Spider-Verse or if the film is a launching point for a new brand of animated one-shot films starring Spider-Verse characters (which would be cool of Sony), but we hope that these are the Spider-People that get to swing by.
Without question, the most popular character to come out of Marvel's Spider-Verse. Spider-Gwen, as she's popularly known, is a variation of Gwen Stacy who was bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker (he became the Lizard, FYI) and become the Spider-Woman of Earth-65. Spider-Gwen was created by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez. When she was first introduced, she was almost an immediate star with her cool costume propelling her to the cosplay circuit. Following Spider-Verse, Gwen has shown up, well, pretty much everywhere. She got her own comic book series and regularly appears in other books, TV shows, and video games. If Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is introducing other characters, Spider-Gwen is practically a sure thing.
In the year 2099, Peter Parker and his Spider-Man legacy are long dead until geneticist Miguel O'Hara accidentally splices his DNA with a spider's genetic code (it happens). O'Hara decided to become the new Spider-Man and protect the streets of New York from the villainous corporation Alchemax and futuristic versions of classic Spider-Man bad guys. Spider-Man 2099 is a fan-favorite and has shown up in multiple video games and TV shows since he was created in 1992. He recently came back in a big way when he was stranded in the present day Marvel Comics alongside Peter Parker and then participated in the Spider-Verse event. Spider-Man 2099 is a unique and popular twist on Spider-Man, and he has a lot to offer for a movie role. Who doesn't want to see the Batman Beyond of Spider-Man?
Spider-Man Noir is a darker take on the Spider-Man mythos that plays out like a gritty black and white noir film. In the 1930s, investigative reporter Peter Parker is bitten by a magic spider and, after dreaming about a spider god, he wakes up surrounded by black webbing. Donning a costume, he became The Spider-Man to punish bad guys with sometimes lethal force. Rather than wielding a sharp wit, Spider-Man Noir prefers firearms, not holding himself to the same standard as other versions of Spider-Man. Spider-Man Noir has all the usual powers like wall crawling and spider-sense, but he is not as strong as most other Spider-Men. He's appeared in several different media over the years (he has the best levels in the Shattered Dimension video game), and he's proven to be a mainstay of Spider-Verse-related stories.
The tale of Spider-Man and his message of great power and responsibly is universal, and Peter Parker is one of the most relatable superheroes ever created. His story doesn't only have to take place in New York City, though, and one mini-series explores that idea. Pavitr Prabhakar was a simple university student struggling to pay for school with his Aunt Maya and Uncle Bhim. One day, an encounter with a yogi grants him the powers of a spider, which he used to battle the crime lord Nalin Oberoi, who has been possessed by a demon. The series does some really interesting things with the Spider-Man mythos and is an example of how a familiar story can be adapted in creative and fresh ways. Spider-Man India recently showed up in Spider-Verse and was a member of Web Warriors, a team of Spider-Men from across the multiverse.
Life isn't so bad for Peter Parker all the time. In one universe he begins a family with Mary Jane, raising a daughter named May. After losing his leg in a battle with the Green Goblin, effectively ending his superhero career, Peter devotes himself to being a better husband and father. However, that spider blood is hereditary and May develops her own spider-powers in high school and decides to follow in the family business as Spider-Girl. Originally appearing in a What If? one-shot, Spider-Girl gained her own long-running comic book series, before reappearing once again in Spider-Verse. Her inclusion in any movie would be an interesting look at a possible future for Peter, how his legacy goes on to affect and inspire his loved ones, and how May forges her own path as a superhero.
The Marvel Mangaverse is a reimagining of familiar Marvel characters in the style and inspiration of manga. This world's Peter Parker has a markedly different origin from the main one. In the Mangaverse, Peter Parker is a ninja of the Spider Clan and was taught martial arts by his sensei, Uncle Ben. After Uncle Ben is murdered by Venom, Peter begins training in secret to get his revenge. This version of Spider-Man has its fans and the Mangaverse definitely has potential to provide a unique style and flavor to these animated Spider-Man films.
Someplace out in the multiverse is a world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals with mans like Captain Americat and Ducktor Doom. Peter is just a spider living in the basement of May Porker, but after she becomes irradiated from an atomic-powered hairdryer and bites him, Peter transforms into a pig, but will all the powers of a spider. Is he spider or is he pig? Both, for he is Spider-Ham! Spider-Ham is certainly one of the sillier incarnations of Spider-Man, but maybe that's why he just kind of keeps showing up. Whenever there's trouble in the multiverse that involves Spider-Man, you can bet it'll involve Spider-Ham somehow. From appearances in video games and TV shows, Spider-Ham has cemented himself just for how ludicrous and comic booky he is, so it's practically guaranteed he gets a spot in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.