The director for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has revealed the villain for the upcoming third film in the series.
Back in 2018, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse not only brought Miles Morales' Spider-Man to the big screen but also the Spider-Verse through a fresh, revolutionary style of animation.
Come 2023, the Spider-Verse is about to get even bigger with Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, followed by 2024's Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.
In addition to reuniting Shameik Moore's Miles Morales and Hailee Steinfeld's Gwen Stacy, the Spider-Verse sequel is also bringing new characters into the fold, including Oscar Isaac's Spider-Man 2099.
But even though Across the Spider-Verse isn't set to release until June 2, 2023, the film's directors are already talking about the subsequent threequel and just who the trilogy's heroes will face.
Spider-Verse Director Reveals the Threequel's Villain
In talking with Total Film via Games Radar, Kemp Powers, the director of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, revealed that the 2023 film is only the beginning for its antagonist The Spot, confirming that he will be "the villain of the next two films:"
“He’s the villain of the next two films… and let’s just say that the Spot and Miles are connected in surprising ways.”
The fact that The Spot, voiced by Jason Schwartzman, will be Across the Spider-Verse's villain has been known for some time.
His role in the 2024 threequel, however, was not known yet.
According to Powers, what makes The Spot an ideal villain is "his ability to open portals across dimensions:"
“The Spot is an interesting villain because he seems like a joke, but when you really look at his powers, there’s incredible potential. His ability to open portals across dimensions sets him up perfectly for the Spider-Verse.”
In the comics, The Spot's actual identity is Dr. Jonathon Ohnn, an MIT scientist who works for Kingpin and gains his abilities through an experiment gone wrong.
While this origin story could easily track with Kingpin's role in the 2018 film - and its Multiversal storyline - his abilities also lend themselves to the franchise's tradition of cutting-edge animation.
In fact, director Joaquim Dos Santos described The Spot's powers as "living ink" and "something that can only really happen in animation."
But apart from how Ohnn's powers will serve the film visually, the villain's presence in the sequel - and now the threequel - seem to be tied to Miles and his journey.
The directing trio actually described the polka-dotted baddie as “an awesome sort of opposite to Miles,” noting that the movie’s hero is only as strong as its “awesome villain."
Powers, in particular, noted that Ohnn's arc "really does complement the journey of Miles," likely explaining the need for his character throughout the rest of the trilogy:
“And similarly is Spot. From the very beginning he just seemed like endless potential, both visually and arc of the character. Because you know by the way that’s not a costume, that’s his skin. By the way that he’s wearing it you know it’s not a guy in a polka dot suit. That’s actually his skin. So you know, the arc of Dr. Ohnn Spot is one that does really complement, without giving away the story, it really does complement the journey of Miles in this film really well.”
Did Spider-Verse Director Ruin the Sequel's Ending?
While Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse offered fresh and compelling takes on two established web-slinging villains, it sounds as if The Spot won't just challenge Miles' abilities but also his personal growth.
Granted, this is something the 2018 Spider-Verse film did as well with The Prowler. However, in that film, Miles was just beginning to take the leap of faith.
Now that he knows who he is as Spider-Man, that identity will need to be pushed and challenged in a different way. And, since The Spot will serve as the third film's villain, it sounds like that journey will span the next two films.
While the details of how "The Spot and Miles are connected" remain to be seen, it is surprising that Powers chose to reveal Ohnn's role in the third film so early.
this reveal confirms that, despite whatever Miles and his ever-expanding crew of web-slingers come up with to fight The Spot, it won't succeed and the villain will live.
Maybe this knowledge won't make a difference or hurt the viewing experience, but it's still a bold choice.
It also suggests that - if the rumors are true - cinema's live-action Spideys (Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland, and Tobey Maguire) may face The Spot in Beyond the Spider-Verse as well.
In the end, not only is the Spider-Verse trilogy getting closer, but it's also getting more interesting.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse swings into theaters on June 2, 2023; Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse is set to release on March 29, 2024.