The first Spider-Verse movie was a smash hit, likely far exceeding any expectations set by those at Sony Pictures. The critical praise alone rivaled even the live-action installment which had been the studio's bread and butter.
The character is far different than the original Spidey and comes from unique circumstances. Among them are an affinity to graffiti, being stuck in a private boarding school, and, most importantly, being hunted down by his father—despite his good intentions.
Having his parental figure unknowingly try to take down his son put Miles into some very interesting situations. Now, it seems the sequel will be borrowing some of those ideas once again.
Across the Spider-Verse Borrows a Storyline
I’m an interview with Games Radar, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse director Kemp Powers discussed Hailee Steinfeld’s Gwen Stacy, her role in the upcoming sequel, and how the story will borrow a key element of the original film.
While Miles Morales was hunted by his father while under the mask, Stacy will be as well, with her father being “the cop in charge of tracking her down:”
“[This film explores] the unique dilemma of being Gwen Stacy. She’s a vigilante seen as responsible for the death of her world’s Peter Parker... [and] the cop in charge of tracking her down is her father.”
In a separate previous interview with Empire, producer Chris Miller noted that Hailee Steinfeld’s Spider is on her own journey and that “there’s a lot of her world in this movie:”
“She sure is [on her own journey]. The movie opens in Gwen’s world, and she has a lot of things going on. There’s a lot of her world in this movie.”
Phil Lord added that the “tension between the romantic possibilities for her and Miles” is a key focus:
“There’s tension between the romantic possibilities for her and Miles and their desire to keep their friendship intact and not to risk it. That’s a really interesting place for two characters to be, especially when they’re so young.”
Speaking with IndieWire, Lord emphasized that the upcoming sequel will “go even hard and push the medium even further:”
“It’s been fun to have the confidence… to go even harder and push the medium even further and take Miles [Morales] to places you couldn’t imagine.”
Exploring Gwen Stacy’s Story
While Peter may not have to deal with family hunting him down this time around, it does seem to be a common problem for other Spider-People.
Some might think it’s not so great to see the second film having a similar plot point to the first, but it could work out great on a character level.
Miles will be in a unique spot to help Gwen deal with her father’s hate of her alter ego, something he’s had to deal with himself. This all also plays well in developing the relationship between the two—especially on a deeper level.
As for the death of Gwen’s Peter Parker, given the popularity of Andrew Garfield’s tragic past with his own Gwen Stacy, it would be a smart move to lean into those parallels. The audience already has a recent connection to similar events, so, in theory, it might be even more impactful for viewers than it might normally be.
While Miles was the main character of the first outing, it’s looking like Steinfeld’s Spider-Gwen could get that attention in next year’s follow-up.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse releases on June 2, 2023, while a new teaser trailer is set to be released imminently.