Jake Johnson’s Not A Spider-Man Fan, But Has A Great Reason For Doing Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Jake Johnson's Peter B. Parker in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man’s had a relatively consistent presence on the big screen since 2002, but 2018 marked the first time an animated Spider-Man movie was released to the masses. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse saw Shameik Moore’s Miles Morales being mentored in the ways of web-slinging by Spider-heroes from other corners of the multiverse, including Jake Johnson’s Peter B. Parker. As it turns out, the New Girl star isn’t a Spider-Man fan, but he was attracted to doing Into the Spider-Verse for a special reason.

Jake Johnson recently chatted with CinemaBlend’s own Jeff McCobb about how much he enjoyed his time on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which boasted a cast that also included Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman, Liev Schreiber as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, Kathryn Hahn as Olivia Octavius/Doctor Octopus, Brian Tyree Henry as Jefferson Davis and Mahershala Ali as Aaron Davis/Prowler, among others. But Johnson didn’t join this animated movie steeped in Spider-Man lore. Quite the opposite, as he specifically said in the interview:

I love playing Peter B. Parker, and I love being led into that world. I don't really know this Marvel world. I have not seen any of the other Spider Man’s. This is the first I've heard about the new Spider Man. So I don't follow it. I'm not passionate about it. I am passionate about the Spider-Verse, because those pages I got as an actor for Peter B. Parker were so good, and acting with Shameik [Moore] was so fun. And Kathryn Hahn who was Doc Ock, we got to do those scenes together and to be directed by those directors. I’m not kidding, if it wasn’t Spider-Man, if it was an indie movie called, like, Older Mentor, Younger Mentee, that would have been one of the best scripts I had. So the fact that it was Spider Man and connected to that world, I think is cool, but what really pulls me into Peter B. Parker is the story of somebody who used to have something great and it's faded, and maybe it's still in them, but really, maybe it's also time to pass it on.

There’s no question that Spider-Man is one of pop culture’s most famous superheroes, on the same level as the likes of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. So it’s difficult to go through life without hearing the name Spider-Man, let alone not instantly recognizing the character. But for Jake Johnson, that’s where the familiarity ends, as he hadn’t seen any of the live-action Spider-Man movies and evidently hadn’t even heard of the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home, which also looks to be playing around with the multiverse through characters like Jamie Foxx’s Electro and Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus.

Instead, what drew Jake Johnson to participate in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was the story of a teen who’s just getting started as a superhero being mentored by someone who’s been at the crimefighting game for a few decades. Strip away the fantastical elements, and that core story resonated with him. Combine that with the fun Johnson had recording with his co-stars, and he’s planted firmly in Camp Spider-Verse, though still not necessarily interested in exploring other on-screen interpretations of this property.

Luckily for fans of Peter B. Parker, it sounds like we’ll be seeing more of him, as last week, Jake Johnson said he was working on a contract to return for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2. When we left off with this version of Peter at the end of the first Spider-Verse movie, he’d returned to his reality and was preparing to make amends with his ex-wife Mary Jane Watson. So it’s likely he’ll be in a better mental space when we reunite with him in the sequel compared to where we found him in Spider-Verse, and even more likely he won’t hesitate to help Miles and the Spider-gang deal with whatever threat has emerged to plague the multiverse.

Along with Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld reprising their respective roles, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 will star Issa Rae as Jessica Drew, a different Spider-Woman. Oscar Isaac’s Spider-Man 2099 is also expected to return, and it was announced back in 2019 that we’ll spend time with Takuya Yamashiro, the main protagonist from the 1970s live-action Japanese Spider-Man TV series. Behind the scenes, Joaquin Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson are directing Spider-Verse 2, while David Callaham, Phil Lord and Chris Miller wrote the script.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 spins its web in theaters on October 7, 2022. You can discover what other movies are slotted for next year with our 2022 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.