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What Spider-Man 4 can learn from the new Spider-Verse short

Published Mar 27th, 2024 4:17PM EDT
Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Image: Sony Pictures

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If I were to choose between Sony’s Spider-Verse and all the live-action Spider-Man movies Sony made to date, I’d pick the animated trilogy without blinking. I want to see Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse more than the MCU’s upcoming Spider-Man 4. That’s how good the first two Spider-Verse adventures were, and hopefully, Sony can learn from that. 

However, there’s no release date for Beyond the Spider-Verse for now. But Sony did put a short Spider-Verse story on YouTube, which you can stream right now.

The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story is about seven minutes long, including the intro and the credits. But it might be just what we need to tide us over until Spider-Verse 3 drops. 

I’ll also say the short Miles Morales story made me realize Sony is sitting on a potential goldmine for Spider-Man 4, one it should absolutely tackle.

Obviously, some spoilers will follow below, but only after The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story, which you can watch here:

Released on Wednesday, The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story is also part of a fundraiser, the Donate to the Kevin Love Fund campaign. You can donate by going to the short story’s YouTube page at this link.

The Spider-Verse Story is about mental health and the way everyday life impacts the mind. The focus is on teenagers and young superheroes like Miles. But you don’t have to be a superhero to go through similar issues. That’s actually the point of this fundraiser: 

Sony Pictures Animation has teamed up with the Kevin Love Fund to digitally release the animated short film, The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story, that will be incorporated into the Kevin Love Fund’s new mental health focused lesson plan, “The Hero Within.” The lesson plan invites students to tell their own story through the lens of mental health awareness via an interactive curriculum including a creative storyboard activity. Visit for additional information.

The connection to Spider-Man 4 is obvious to me, especially considering the drama around the making of the highly-anticipated MCU sequel.

Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home ending scene
Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in Spider-Man: No Way Home ending scene. Image source: Sony

Reports have claimed that Sony wanted to make Spider-Man 4 as big as No Way Home by bringing the former Spider-Man variants again to the MCU’s main reality. Kevin Feige and Marvel wanted a more grounded, street-level adventure. I’m a big fan of the latter, considering what happened in No Way Home.

As a reminder, Peter (Tom Holland) has lost everything. He has no living family left, and the entire world has forgotten who he is. MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon) aren’t exceptions. They, too, forgot they were close to Spider-Man. Also, Peter has lost the Iron Man suits for good, so he’ll no longer be as powerful as before. 

Finally, the Avengers are disbanded, and they don’t even know who he is. So there isn’t any support for Parker there.

All of this came right after Peter lost Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in Endgame, something we have sort of explored in Far From Home.

Peter is determined to continue to fight the bad in the world, even if that means going at it alone. And Spider-Man 4 could explore Peter’s mental struggles as he navigates this period of his life.

We’ve seen Tom Holland’s Peter Parker deal with the stress of battle in Endgame. We saw him suffer in Far From Home. And he very nearly broke down in No Way Home after Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) died.

But there’s a possibly unique chance to explore Peter’s mental state in Spider-Man 4, considering his current predicament. Miles still has his family in the Spider-Verse Story. He can still come to them for support in a way Peter can’t. And Miles hasn’t even experienced all the pain Peter has. Peter has nothing left, and it’ll be a while until he gets MJ, Ned, and the Avengers back.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.