SPOILER ALERT: This article contains major spoilers for “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” now playing in theaters.
Just like the infinite Spider-Verse itself, there are so many different versions of Spider-Man and other spider-themed heroes that pop up in “Across the Spider-Verse” that it’s almost impossible to keep track of everything.
In the new movie, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) reunites with Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) and learns about the Spider Society, a group of Spider-People who protect the multiverse. The team is led by Miguel O’Hara (Oscar Isaac), a Spider-Man who lives in the futuristic Nueva York in the year 2099, and Jessica Drew (Issa Rae), a pregnant Spider-Woman who rides a motorcycle. The other major cast members include Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson) from “Into the Spider-Verse,” who’s joined by his infant daughter Mayday; Pavitr Prabhakar (Karan Soni), aka Spider-Man India; Hobie Brown (Daniel Kaluuya), aka the rocker Spider-Punk; and Margo Kess (Amandla Stenberg), who controls a virtual hero named Spider-Byte.
“Across the Spider-Verse” connects to other “Spider-Man” movies and shows, but there are tons of blink-and-you-miss-it cameos from comic book heroes that eagle-eyed fans will notice. Those include a cowboy Web-Slinger and his masked horse Widow (voiced by Taran Killam); Andy Samberg as the ultra-dramatic clone Ben Reilly; Yuri Lowenthal’s Spider-Man from the PlayStation video game series; the sentient Spider-Mobile, aka Peter Parkedcar; Pter Ptarker, aka Spider-Rex; the Spidey from “Spider-Man Unlimited”; and many, many more.
With this movie, every iteration of Spider-Man is now interconnected in one massive, multiverse web, including the previous live-action movies. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” connected the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield movies, and even Tom Hardy’s “Venom” spinoffs, but “Across the Spider-Verse” goes even further. Below, find some of the major crossovers and cameos in the new movie.
Donald Glover as Live-Action Prowler
In a jaw-dropping cameo that almost nobody could have predicted, Donald Glover appears as a live-action version of the Prowler locked up in the Spider Society’s headquarters with other villains. Glover previously had a small role in Marvel Studios’ “Spider-Man: Homecoming” as the Prowler’s alter-ego, Aaron Davis, but this is the first time he’s appeared in full costume. Miles Morales hasn’t appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Glover mentioned offhandedly in “Homecoming” that he had a nephew, which means Miles is out there somewhere. His cameo is also especially poignant after Glover had campaigned years ago to play Spider-Man while starring in “Community.”
Andrew Garfield’s ‘Amazing Spider-Man’
As Miguel O’Hara is explaining the concept of canon events — occurrences that happen in every Spider-Man’s timeline, like loved ones dying — footage from different Spider-Man universes appears onscreen. Miles learns that every Spider-Person deals with loss in their own way in order to keep balance in the multiverse. Footage from “The Amazing Spider-Man” is shown, with Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker witnessing the death of Capt. George Stacy, played by Denis Leary.
Tobey Maguire’s ‘Spider-Man’
In addition to Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire’s web-slinger from Sony’s original trilogy also appears. In the same canon event, Maguire’s Peter Parker loses his Uncle Ben (played by Cliff Robertson) in the tragic scene from the first “Spider-Man.”
Tom Hardy’s ‘Venom’ Universe
We don’t see Tom Hardy’s Venom in “Across the Spider-Verse,” but we do briefly visit his world. The Spot teleports himself into Mrs. Chen’s (Poppy Lu) convenience story, which appears in “Venom” and its sequel, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” The scene is the first live-action moment in the animated movie, teasing more live-action surprises to come.
Doctor Strange and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man
There’s a quick reference to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). As Miguel O’Hara explains the different multiverse crises he and the Spider Society have been dealing with, he mentions Doctor Strange and the “little nerd” on Earth-199999, which is home to the MCU. Though the characters aren’t shown onscreen, “Across the Spider-Verse” proves that the events of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” have shaken things up across the multiverse.
‘The Spectacular Spider-Man’
“The Spectacular Spider-Man” was a beloved, yet short-lived, animated series that ran on Kids’ WB on CW and Disney XD for two seasons. Fans have clamored for the show’s return after it was canceled in 2009, and they got their wish (kind of!) with “Across the Spider-Verse.” “Spectacular Spider-Man” star Josh Keaton reprises his voice role briefly in the Spider Society headquarters.
J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson
J.K. Simmons, the iconic voice of journalist J. Jonah Jameson, is back once again. We don’t see him onscreen, but his instantly recognizable voice is back as the owner of the Daily Bugle. He tears into Spider-Man and Spider-Woman in “Across the Spider-Verse,” proving to be one of the most loved, yet grating, constants in the multiverse.
Mahershala Ali’s Prowler
It’s hard to stay dead forever in superhero movies, especially when there’s an infinite number of alternate dimensions out there. After dying in “Into the Spider-Verse,” a version of Mahershala Ali’s Aaron Davis returns near the end of “Across the Spider-Verse.” But in this Aaron’s universe, there was never a spider to bite Miles Morales, and the world has plunged into crime without a Spider-Man. The movie ends with our Miles captures by Earth-42’s evil version of Miles, who has taken on the Prowler mantle and is a villain with his Uncle Aaron.
Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir and Peni Parker
“Across the Spider-Verse” introduces a mostly new group of spider-themed heroes, but the supporting cast of “Into the Spider-Verse” makes a triumphant return at the very end. Gwen assembles a rescue team to save Miles from Earth-42, which includes Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir and Peni Parker and her SP//DR mech from the first movie. The group is complete with Peter B. Parker, his daughter Mayday, Spider-Punk, Spider-Man India and Spider-Byte, but we’ll have to wait until “Beyond the Spider-Verse” to see if they can save him.