Across the Spider-Verse greatly expanded the world of its predecessor. Into the Spider-Verse was primarily focused on Miles’ journey towards becoming the web-slinging hero, but the sequel gave more of a spotlight to Hailee Steinfeld’s Gwen Stacy while introducing a pantheon of Spider-People.
As part of the extra focus on Gwen, audiences were able to get a greater glimpse into her headspace as she grappled with her relationships and duties as Spider-Woman.
Across the Spider-Verse Changed Up Key Gwen Sequence
In the opening scenes of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Gwen‘s origin story is shown. In her universe (Earth-65) she was best friends with Peter Parker (voiced by Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Jack Quaid) until Pete transformed himself into the Lizard.
In the original film from 2018, during Gwen’s introduction, the same story was told, but it went a bit differently. Into the Spider-Verse showed silhouettes of Gwen kicking the Lizard, who then transforms back into Peter as he sails across the screen. It was a pretty quick moment.
In Across the Spider-Verse, this event was more drawn out. Gwen waits for Peter to show up at their school dance, but the Lizard appears instead and Gwen is forced to suit up as Spider-Woman and drop part of the ceiling on him. It’s then that she realizes that she‘s just killed Peter.
This was undeniably a retcon, but one that was likely done for budgetary reasons. Into the Spider-Verse simply recycled the Peter B. Parker animation model for Earth-65 Peter’s death. Across created an entirely new model for the character, who was voiced by The Boys star Jack Quaid:
Additionally, since Across had more of an opportunity to display Gwen’s origin in full, the sequence with the Lizard was able to be greatly elaborated upon.
What Will Spider-Verse 3 Bring for Gwen Stacy?
Obviously, plot details for the 2024 threequel Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse are being kept tightly under wraps. But given where Across the Spider-Verse leaves Gwen, some educated guesses can be made about the trajectory of her character in the next installment.
Across’ ending sees Gwen put together a crack team of Spider-People (including Peter B. Parker and John Mulaney’s Spider-Ham) to rescue Miles who got stranded in a universe where he’s a villain and Spider-Man never even came to be.
Not only that, but Gwen was able to patch up her relationship with her dad who gave his daughter his blessing to continue with her superheroics. But before that happened, Oscar Isaac’s Miguel O’Hara revoked Gwen’s membership to the Spider-Society.
So, without the backing of the society and a good friend‘s life hanging in the balance on another world, it’s probably safe to assume that Beyond the Spider-Verse will be a rescue mission to save Miles from Earth-42. How much of its runtime the movie chooses to devote to this endeavor remains to be seen though.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is in theaters now. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse hits theaters on March 29, 2024.