How Across the Spider-Verse Changes the Mantra of ‘Anyone Can Wear a Mask’

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse will change the mantra “Anyone can wear the mask” of its predecessor, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verseaccording to the franchise star and actress of Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman Hailee Steinfeld.

Steinfeld spoke to Empire, where she was asked where Gwen was at the beginning of the film.

“(Gwen) is at a point in her life where she realizes she can write her own stories,” Steinfeld said. “If the first movie was about Miles (Morales) learning that anyone can wear a mask, this one is about wearing a mask. So, Gwen is discovering who he is, deep down. I loved seeing Gwen take ownership of who she is and what she is capable of.”

Self-discovery isn’t the only thing Gwen will experience in Across the Spider-Verse, as she’ll also be at the center of a romantic rivalry between Miles and new wall-crawler Hobie Brown/Spider-Punk, with co-director Kemp Powers pointing out Miles’ jealousy of Gwen and Hobie’s relationship. “When Miles meets Gwen again, she’s not wearing her ballet slippers, but the Converse Chuck Taylors that Spider-Punk gave her,” he added. “Miles starts asking himself, ‘How related are these two?'”

A more mature Spider-Verse film

Despite the uplifting message, senior animator Ere Santos hinted in 2022 that Across the Spider-Verse won’t be a children’s film, recalling how difficult working on the project was. “But what kept us going was we were frustrated, or something changed, or a sequence got cut, and then we’d see a new render, and we’d say, ‘Okay, okay? Let’s go, let’s go,” Santos noted. “Also, some of the choices characters made in the story were like, ‘What? Ok fine. Is this a children’s film? I guess it’s not a children’s movie. Ok fine. Yes, that’s fine.” So it’s very, very, super exciting for me.”

Miles will have to contend with his fellow web-slingers as they “clash over how to handle a new threat,” indicating the plot’s darker tone. Additionally, writer-producer Chris Miller recently commented that Across the Spider-Verse has drawn comparisons to Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back from people who have seen it, going on to say that the film is “ an exciting story that ends at a point where you need to see the third (Spider-Verse movie).”

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