Leap further into the complex strands of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” via home video.

“Don’t watch the mouth; watch the hands.”

– Peter B. Parker (voiced by Jake Johnson) in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

In 2018, a brand-new Spider-Man story hit theaters and audiences would not be the same. That’s an enormous statement and, yet, it remains true. Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman from a script by Phil Lord and Rothman, audiences were introduced to the Spider-Verse, a multi-dimensional tale that involved the usual amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker, but centered on Miles Morales, an Afro-Latino character first introduced in 2011 in Ultimate Fallout #4, created by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli, before being made a mainstay character in broadcast animation, video games, and comics. Not only was Into the Spider-Verse a box office hit, it went on to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Despite the tease at the end of that film, audiences couldn’t be prepared for what would come via 2023’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, a film which takes the story we know of Miles’s fear of taking on the mantle of Spider-Man and propels it into something altogether new while feeling like a natural extension. Whether you were one of many audience members who made Across the Spider-Verse another box office smash or not, you can now bring the new interdimensional adventure to your neighborhood with over 90 minutes of bonus materials to expand on what you know and maybe give you something to think on before the third film in this announced trilogy concludes.


Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE. Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures. © 2022 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

It’s been a year since the events of Into the Spider-Verse and Miles is settling in well to being Spider-Man. He’s saved the day, helped is neighborhood, and generally built a reputation of dependability. Unfortunately, that rep doesn’t extend into his family, whom have noticed that he’s keeping secrets about his life with all the times Mile has created one excuse after another. However, when Gwen (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld) makes a surprise return to his dimension, things seem to be turning around, except her reason for her visit brings with it a load of secrets of their own, beginning with the one she couldn’t keep from him, an entire secret society of Spider-Beings run by one of their one, Miquel O’Hara (Oscar Isaac). With a new foe determined to become a major obstacle in Miles’s life and now the revelation of O’Hara’s team, the scope of what it means to be a Spider-Being is put to the test, but is Miles ready for a new leap of faith?

This may be an initial review for Across the Spider-Verse for EoM, but, moving forward, we’re going to treat this like a standard home release and not avoid spoilers. So if your spider-sense is going off, it may be best to come back after you’ve seen the film.


L-R: Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) and Rio Morales (Luna Lauren Velez) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE. Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures. © 2022 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Much like Peter B.’s advice to Miles in Into back in 2018, some of us failed to watch the hands at work when we watched and rewatched the initial outing ahead of Across. If we had heeded those words, we might have noticed things like Miles tracking down the spider that bit him and the fact that it glitched. If we had cared to recognize Peter B.’s experience, we might have noticed that when Miles and Peter A. Parker (voiced by Chris Pine) first meet, their spidey-senses tingling, Miles’s start off as purple and green before matching Peter A.’s blue and red. If we had taken the time to notice what was being said via the visual language of Into, the surprises within Beyond would’ve still hit hard, they just would’ve confirmed suspicions also. What is confirmed for sure is that the story within Into absolutely sets up the story within Across from Miles being an anomaly (he is a Spider now, but he wasn’t *meant* to be because he was bitten by a spider meant for someone in Earth-42, hence the number on the spider that’s frequently shown off in the art) and that this Miles was originally destined to become the Prowler, following in his Uncle Aaron’s (Mahershala Ali) footsteps. Within this context, Across is just as much a continuation as a it is a recontextualization.


L-R: Pavitr Prabhakar (Karan Soni), Spot (Jason Schwartzman), Gwen Stacey (Hailee Steinfeld), and Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE. Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures. © 2022 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In Into, Miles was challenged, pre-bite, to figure out who he is, to write an essay titled “Great Expectations.” That film can be summed up by the extraordinary sequence known as “What’s Up Danger?” in which Miles suits up for the first time, having decided that he *can* be a hero and does possess the courage and confidence to bear the mantle of Spider-Man. In Across, he’s seeking understanding and companionship, uncertain if he can tell his parents what he’s doing (despite the growing friction between them) and lonely because the only people who he felt really understood him are separated by dimensional barriers. It’s no accident that Miles offers a speech on studying at Princeton so that he can study physics and explore dimensional theories: he wants to get back to his friends, specifically Gwen. But: secrets. Thus, the script by Lord, Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), and Dave Callaham (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) kicks things off here with a look into Gwen’s story, showing us the pain of losing her Peter (voiced by Jack Quaid) and how things got worse when she told her father, Captain Stacey (voiced by Shea Whigham), the truth. Her story is the mirror to Miles’s, setting up why she would seemingly “betray” him by not telling him about what’s been going on with her as well as the truth regarding Miles’s existence as a Spider. So where we, the audience, think the journey Miles is on here is to reunite with his friends or to prevent the cannon event of Spot (voiced by Jason Schwartzman) of killing Miles’s father, the nearly-deputized Captain Morales (voiced by Brian Tyree Henry), what the film is really about is having Miles deal with the fact that where he thought he was destined to join the Spider-Verse, he’s an accident, created when Spot was working for Kingpin (voiced by Liev Schreiber) and they grabbed a spider from Earth-42 in testing their collider. Miles was never meant to be a Spider, yet, despite this, even with fear still in his heart (notice that he still doesn’t break cleanly from surfaces when he jumps), he takes action: he makes the leap of faith.


L-R: Gwen Stacey (Hailee Steinfeld) and Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE. Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures. © 2022 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

If all of the above tickles a part of your brain to think about, you’re going to really enjoy the bonus features in the home release as there’s something to explore just about every conceivable aspect of the film. Want to get a taste of the things hidden in plain sight? Head straight to the nearly six-minute “Obscure Spiders and Easter Eggs” featurette. Want to learn about the score? Head straight for the five-minute “Scratches, Score and the Music of the Multiverse.” Want more Spider-Society? There’s an eight-minute featurette exploring them. The only format that doesn’t contain all the available bonus materials is the DVD, which only has three featurettes, totaling roughly 37 minutes in length. It’s not nothing, but if you want the full behind the scenes look, you need to get one of the High-Definition versions of the film. Of all the things that do frustrate me, it’s the lack of exploration regarding Miguel because there’s something about this version that irks me as a comic book fan of the original run. The physicality is different from Into, ok fine, this is a sequel and things change, but there’s a moment in the initial meeting with Miguel where it looks like he’s going to kill the version of the Vulture they’re fighting which gives off Inheritors vibes (the comic book bad guys in the original Spider-Verse run) and, later, is of an intensity that doesn’t align with the “with great power” mantra. It *does* line-up with who Miguel is as he had no Uncle Ben-type figure and was manipulated through most of his life leading up to the process that gave him his powers — BUT — there’s still some underlying nastiness going on there and the filmmaker commentary doesn’t address it. Will there be something more in Beyond? Only time will tell. For now, I can say that learning that Donald Glover kept his appearance a secret from Atlanta castmate Henry is a demonstration of absolute commitment and sincerity from an artist who’s wanted to *be* Spider-Man on-screen for more than a decade is both a joy and not surprising in the slightest given the breadth of his nerddom.


L-R: Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac) and Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE. Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures. © 2022 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Everything audiences have seen thus far from the first frame of Into to the last of Across means something to the larger story, and it’s been in front of us the whole time. What it all means we won’t know until Beyond the Spider-Verse releases (originally March 29th, 2024, but is now currently undated) and this trilogy is completed. Until then, we can trust that the story will end with the spectacular Miles Morales on top, aided by Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Noir (Nicholas Cage), Penni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), Spider-Punk (Daniel Kaluuya), Spider-Byte (voiced by Amandla Stenberg), Pavitr Prabhakar (voiced by Karan Soni), Peter B., and Gwen, to take down Spot and correct whatever is going on with Miguel (whom I love from the comics, but this version I don’t trust in the slightest). Until then, true believer, at least we have the first two films to pour over, likely finding new things even well after the trilogy is completed because we were too busy watching their mouths.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Special Features:

4K UHD, Blu-ray, and Digital

  • Filmmaker Commentary (2:20:06)
  • Obscure Spiders and Easter Eggs (5:40)
  • Deleted Scene: Miguel Calling (5:33)
  • “I’mma Do My Own Thing” Interdimensional Destiny (8:26)
  • Across the Worlds: Designing New Dimensions (7:53)
  • Designing Spiders and Spots (12:32)
  • Scratches, Score and the Music of the Multiverse (5:18)
  • Escape from Spider-Society (8:14)
  • Across the Comics-Verse (8:04)
  • Two (2) Lyric Videos (4:38)
  • Creating the Ultimate Spider-Man Movie (14:50)
  • Raising a Hero (8:57)
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Cast (13:10)


  • Creating the Ultimate Spider-Man Movie (14:50)
  • Raising a Hero (8:57)
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Cast (13:10)

Available on digital August 8th, 2023.
Available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD September 5th, 2023.

For more information, head to the official Sony Pictures Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse website.

Film Score: 4.5 out of 5.

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Categories: Films To Watch, Home Release, Home Video, Recommendation, Reviews, streaming

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