Who knew the perfect recipe for a truly amazing Spider-Man film was adding more spider-heroes? Sony Animation's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is not only being named the best Spider-Man film but also among the best films of the year. While it is just reaching its first weekend in theaters, the film has a near perfect Rotten Tomato score from critics and audiences alike... so why not get rolling on a sequel?
Following the early praise for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, it was already announced a couple weeks ago that Sony Animation is planning a sequel and a female-centered spinoff. Per a Vanity Fair interview with Sony chief Amy Pascal, the sequel will focus on Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy and a budding romance between the two spider-heroes from different universes.
As teased in the film's previews, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse centers on 13-year-old Miles Morales as he becomes Spider-Man, with the mentorship of crime-fighting veteran Peter Parker at his disposal. The pair are soon visited by additional spider-people -- including a 16-year-old Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir, and Peni Parker.
Since Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy are nearly the same age, and share an origin story that have them suiting up into spider-heroes, it's no surprise the two hit it off. However, in the new release the pair become friends -- a move producer Christina Steinberg may have helped pushed for in service of the character's agency when first introduced to audiences.
A romantic storyline between Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen is canon in the comics in a 2017 issue titled "Sittin' in a Tree," so the decision to implement it into the animated sequel isn't too much of a surprise to fans. Phil Lord's original script for Into the Spider-Verse reportedly included a bit of their romantic storyline, but that was ultimately cut in service of taking time to introduce all the characters and to avoid overstuffing the story.
The Into the Spider-Verse sequel will be directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, best known for his work on The Legend of Korra and Voltron. David Callaham will be penning the script, amidst his already highly-anticipated screenplays for Wonder Woman 1984 and Zombieland 2, currently in production. The new Spider-Verse franchise is shared with the new Marvel live-action universe Sony has begun this year, notably with the huge success of Venom.
The comic book characters are each fairly new to Marvel -- as Miles Morales was introduced in 2011 and Spider-Gwen in 2014 -- but have been huge fan favorites among many comic book fans. We'll have to see just how moviegoers receive Into the Spider-Verse as it just swung into theaters last night. However, the flick has already cashed in $3.5 million, making it the tenth largest preview gross for an animated feature film to date.