Back in 2018, Sony Pictures Animation successfully blew our minds with the release of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. The movie introduced us to a very new version of the titular web-slinger, and audiences around the world were left agog watching what can be called one of the most ambitious and impressive animated features of all time. Fans have been chomping at the bit ever since waiting for the big screen return of Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse – and while we recently learned that our wait for has been extended, with the blockbuster delayed until 2023, our excitement for the film has reached new levels this evening thanks to the Sony presentation at CinemaCon 2022.
The annual Las Vegas convention for theater owners launched tonight with Sony hosting a show inside Caesar's Palace's Colosseum, and while there was a lot of celebrating the box office success of last year's Spider-Man: No Way Home, easily one of the most thrilling parts of the event were the updates about Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse. It was back in December that we first got a sneak peak at the upcoming comic book movie, but tonight the crowd at CinemaCon was treated to the first fifteen minutes of the in-development film – the footage put together using very rough animation.
Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse doesn't begin in Earth-1610 – the universe inhabited by Miles Morales – and instead the movie opens by providing us with our first in-depth look at Earth-64, which is the universe where Gwen Stacy a.k.a. Spider-Woman (Hailee Steinfeld) lives.
We see her arrive back home after a round of vigilante action, and we instantly get the sense that things aren't going well in the environment. Her father, Captain George Stacy of the NYPD, is convinced that Spider-Woman is a harmful force in the city, and has been trying to arrest her. Meanwhile, Gwen has had to keep her superhero identity a secret, knowing that her dad won't understand.
Shortly after she arrives home, a call goes out on the radio for officers to respond to an attack by the Vulture at the Guggenheim Museum, and Captain Stacy heads out the door. What he doesn't know, obviously, is that Gwen is right behind him after she suits up in her bedroom.
Arriving on the scene, Spider-Woman starts by webbing up her father and one of his colleagues, and she charges into the museum ready to save the day. What she doesn't see coming, however, is that the Vulture who is attacking isn't the Adrian Toomes of Earth-64, but instead is a newcomer from the multiverse who has an Italian accent and a sepia coloring.
The hero and villain scuffle, and for a brief moment it looks like Spider-Woman may die... but then a strange portal opens up above them. From out of this interdimensional hole arrives Miguel O'Hara (Oscar Isaac), the Spider-Man from futuristic Earth-928 (who we first met in the post-credits scene of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse). As it turns out, Miguel is mighty pissed at Gwen because he has been cleaning up a mess that he views her as being partially responsible for – namely the explosion of Kingpin's collider in Earth-1610.
While the Spider-People fight with Vulture, Gwen tells the mysterious new web-slinger that she and her friends saved the multiverse through their actions, but he argues that a door was left open for other villains to move across realities... like this new version of Adrian Toomes.
When Vulture ends up getting the upper hand, Miguel resentfully calls on his assistant, Lyla (Greta Lee), to get him some backup, and in arrives another hero via portal: Jessica Drew a.k.a. Spider-Woman of Earth-404 (voiced by Issa Rae). She rides a motorcycle through the museum and joins Miguel and Gwen in the brawl – with Gwen being particularly shocked by the fact that this mystery woman is crimefighting while five months pregnant.
Vulture makes a dash towards the skylight roof of the building, setting off explosives that cause the glass to shatter, and Miguel grapples with him in the open air. Their battle is briefly halted by a police helicopter, though it proves more dangerous than helpful, as the winged villain hits the whirly bird and it starts to crash. Thankfully, Gwen, Miguel, and Jessica have the skills to save the pilots and web up the flying vehicle before it can hit the ground, and at the same time they are able to subdue Adrian Toomes.
As things get calm, Gwen is confronted by Captain Stacy, who holds his gun on her and tells her that she is under arrest for the murder of Peter Parker. With no other options, Gwen takes off her mask and tells her father the truth... but it does no good. He still plans on arresting her. This devastating moment is then interrupted by Miguel, who contains Captain Stacy in a force field. Miguel is ready to leave, but Jessica says that they can't just leave Gwen, who tells them that she doesn't know what to do. Miguel tells her to join the club, and tosses her what appears to be some kind of wrist-worn interdimensional travel device.
Meanwhile, in his own universe, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is extremely late for a meeting between the principal of his school (Rachel Dratch) and his parents (Luna Lauren Velez, Brian Tyree Henry). Miles is hoping that he can take part in a quantum physics program at Columbia University, but his mother worries about him being outside of Brooklyn... even though he'll still actually be in New York. He knows that people can teach him what he wants to learn, and they aren't all within his home neighborhood.
As Miles makes his case for pursuing his dreams, he is suddenly struck by his spider-sense, and has to make a quick exit – and his father, who you'll remember is a police officer, basically follows him out the door when he gets an emergency call. Miles' mom is left alone with the school administrator, and she drops a hard truth on him, saying, "He’s lying to you – your son. He’s lying and I think you know it."
Because the footage was so rough, it obviously didn't have the same kind of unique and breathtaking quality that the finished Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse has, but the scope of the story from what we got to see is incredible. It's beyond exciting that we'll be getting to see the animators play with a wide variety of aesthetics as the narrative bounces between different dimensions, and all of the characters are so vivid and emotional that it's impossible not to instantly be caught up in their individual dramas. This movie can't get here soon enough.
Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, and set to feature the voices of Oscar Isaac, Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, and Issa Rae, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is now scheduled to arrive in theaters on June 2, 2023 (with Part II, now titled Spider-Man: Beyond The Spider-Verse, currently set for March 2024). Stay tuned for more updates about the movie here on CinemaBlend, and keep on the look out this week for many more major updates from the film world out of CinemaCon.
In the meantime, you can learn about all upcoming releases this year by heading over to our 2022 Movie Release Calendar.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.