Last week, Sony announced that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 would arrive in theaters in spring 2022, meaning it will probably be a while until we learn any specific plot details. However, just days after that release date information came in, it’s been revealed who the sequel’s first new Spider-Man will be: Takuya Yamashiro, the main protagonist from the 1970s live-action Japanese Spider-Man TV series.
This update comes straight from producer Phil Lord, because when a fan on Twitter offered to design the Japanese Spider-Man if he was written into Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2, Lord responded:
When we’ll see how Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2’s version of Takuya Yamashiro looks remains to be seen. His original costume was just the traditional Spider-Man suit with thinner eyes, but it’s possible Into the Spider-Verse 2 could give him a radically different look to make him stand out more.
Either way, Japanese Spider-Man’s inclusion in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 isn't a complete surprise. At the beginning of this year, Phil Lord promised that if Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse crossed $200 million domestically, he would include this particular Web-Slinger in the sequel. Into the Spider-Verse ended its theatrical run with a little over $190 million domestically, so it didn’t quite reach Lord’s goal, but evidently he and the other creative minds involved decided it was worth including Japanese Spider-Man regardless.
Although Takuya Yamshiro may look like the traditional Spider-Man when suited up, that and the traditional spider-powers are all that he shares in common with Peter Parker. In the Japanese Spider-Man TV series that aired from 1978 to 1979, Takuya gained his special abilities through a blood transfusion from Garia, the dying warrior from Planet Spider.
Takuya also received a special bracelet that contained his Spider-Man costume, his web-shooters and the ability to control Garia’s ship, The Marveller, which could transform into a giant humanoid robot named Leopardon. Takuya has also appeared in the Spider-Verse and Spider-Geddon comic book events, and Leopardon appears in the Ready Player One novel. It’s a good bet that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 will have Takuya piloting Leopardon too.
Sony gave the green light to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 and a female-led spinoff in November 2018, a month Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was released, due to the “incredible buzz” surrounding it. That proved to be the right call, as Into the Spider-Verse was met with critical acclaim and later walked away with many accolades, including a Golden Globe and Academy Award.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 will swing into theaters April 8, 2022, with Joaquin Dos Santos directing and David Callaham tackling the script. Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for continuing coverage, and be sure to look through what’s coming out next year in our 2020 release schedule.