5 Shocking Live-Action Spider-Man References That Appear In Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse
Released earlier this June, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse quickly gains positive reactions from fans and critics, and is heavily considered one of the best Spider-Man movies of all time. Tackle further the complicated concept of the Multiverse, the animated film still manages to create a solid and intriguing world of the Spider Society, with countless variants of the Web-Slinger that come from different universes, from Spider-Man India to Scarlet Spider, and Spider-Punk as well.
Of course, the vast Spider Society also includes the most well-known Spidey variants from our favorite movies on the big screen. From Tobey Maguire to Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland, all of our beloved Spider-Men, while didn’t directly appear in the movie, they were either mentioned or referenced in creative ways that the audience might not realize at first glance. Let’s take a look at these 5 subtle references that Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has made, to see how the movie seamlessly connects to Maguire, Garfield, and Holland’s respective universes.
#1. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker and Doctor Strange were briefly mentioned at the start.
At the start of the movie, we got the chance to feast our eyes on the action-packed fighting sequence between Gwen, Spider-Man 2099, Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman, and the Renaissance Vulture. During the fight, Miguel O’Hara, aka Spider-Man 2099, the Spider Society’s leader, complains about “Doctor Strange and the little nerd on Earth-199999”.
This is obviously a reference to the MCU movie Spider-Man: No Way Home, where Tom Holland’s Peter Parker messed up the multiverse after interrupting Doctor Strange’s magic spell, which, as a result, brings a bunch of formidable villains to his world and ultimately causes a huge crack between time and space. With the damage both of them caused, it’s no wonder why Miguel doesn’t look too happy when talking about them.
#2. Uncle Ben’s death (Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man)
One of the most tragic passing in every Spider-Man universe is mentioned in Across the Spider-Verse and made into a phenomenon, when Miguel O’Hara, explains to Miles about the concept of canon events. According to Miguel, a canon event is necessary to happen in every Spider-Man’s universe to help them grow, and to define who they are. Specifically, the canon events always result in the death of an important character in Spidey’s life, it can be Uncle Ben, Captain Stacy, or their respective variants.
The advanced hologram of the Spider Society headquarter allows Miles to see different alternate versions of Uncle Ben’s death from multiple universes, including Peter B. Parker’s, all of which are eerily identical to each other. These deaths are unavoidable to maintain the balance of the multiverse, or else it will collapse on its own.
#3. Captain Stacy’s passing (Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man)
Similar to Uncle Ben’s death, different iterations of George Stacy’s demise are also shown to Miles as examples. One of them is the clear hologram that recreates the heartbreaking scene in The Amazing Spider-Man, where Andrew Garfield holds the dying Captain Stacy in his arms. Earth Gwen Stacy is also presented to see the death of her father’s variant, which implies she, at the time, also comes to terms that her father might give his life sometime in the future as a result of the canon events.
Miguel shows these scenes to Miles to make him realize that every Spider-Person in the society has sacrificed something pivotal in their life to maintain the Multiverse’s balance for the greater good, and that the latter should also do the same. Of course, as always, Miles has other ideas.
#4. Donald Glover returns as The Prowler in Nueva York.
Another MCU reference is made in the movie, specifically in the Spider Society HQ. While touring the headquarter with Gwen and the others, Miles encounters an imprisoned live-action Prowler, who’s portrayed by a familiar face. The man is none other than Donald Glover, who plays Aaron Davis in Spider-Man: Homecoming. In the MCU title, Davis deals hybrid weapons to the Vulture, and later helps Spider-Man get all the alien guns off the streets to save lives.
We had a good hunch about it, and it turns out Davis is really MCU’s version of The Prowlers, who got teleported to another world as a consequence of Wilson Fisk’s collider in the first movie. In a deleted footage of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Davis also briefly mentions his nephew on the phone, who could very possibly be Miles Morales. This may imply that Miles might eventually have his debut as the Wall Crawler in future MCU projects.
#5. Peter & MJ's iconic kissing scene in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.
As Gwen Stacy made her return, fans were on their feet to see her blooming chemistry with Miles reignited again in Across the Spider-Verse. And the movie, in return, drops a massive hint about the two of them. During a scene, Gwen looks out of the window, unaware that Miles, in his camouflage mode, hanging upside-down from the ceiling and looking directly at her face.
Spider-Man fans will immediately realize a similar scene from the 2002 Spider-Man that features the iconic upside-down kiss between Peter Parker and Mary Jane. This famous kiss once again appeared during Miguel’s hologram display, during a bunch of sequences that show canon events from different universes. You blink once, and you might miss this tiny detail.
Are there any other cool Easter Eggs from Spider-Man movies that are featured in Across the Spider-Verse? Tell us more in the comments.