Sony Pictures’ “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” won’t be released in theaters until June 2, 2023, but that didn’t stop the studio from revealing the first 15 minutes of its upcoming CGI-animated sequel at the Las Vegas CinemaCon Monday night. First reactions to the new footage were, well, off the wall.
The first of two planned sequels to “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “Across the Spider-Verse” is the followup to the 2019 Best Animated Feature Academy Award winner produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. And those two were on hand at the Caesars Palace Colosseum to tease a rough cut of Miles Morales’ next chapter, which is still in its early phases of rendering and animation, they said. The film did, after all, just move back from its planned October 2022 release date to June of next year.
The specific type of “Spider-Verse” animation is a lot of work – and the movie has a lot of people working on it. “Across the Spider-Verse” features 1,000 crew members (besting the original’s own record) and 240 characters as opposed to the original film’s 40. Oh, and this one is also unfolding across six (count ’em) universes.
And since “Across the Spider-Verse” is only part one of the two-pronged sequel, Sony also revealed the title for the next sequel, set to release some time in 2024: “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.” It probably didn’t take them much time to come up with that one.
There’s a lot of Spider-Man stuff happening at Sony. In addition to the “Spider-Verse” stuff, both “Across” and “Beyond,” Sony also teased “Venom 3” at the conclusion of Monday’s presentation. Plus, there was the big Bad Bunny news: the rapper-turned-wrestler-turned-actor is set to star as Marvel’s first-ever Latino lead character in a live-action film when he takes on the role of El Muerto.
The Puerto Rican musician will star as a super-powered wrestler whose powers are passed down from generation to generation. In comic books, El Muerto, aka Juan Carlos, fights Spider-Man in a charity wrestling match and nearly unmasks Peter Parker. “El Muerto” will be released on January 12, 2024, Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch said at CinemaCon before bringing out Bunny.
“Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse” returns audiences to the adventures of Morales, voiced by Shameik Moore. This time around, he’s on a journey across the multiverse with Gwen Stacy (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld), aka Spider-Woman, and a new fleet of Spider-People who must face a powerful villain. Also rounding out the voice cast are Oscar Isaac, Issa Rae, and Jake Johnson.
Additional reporting by Tony Maglio.