Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is easily one of the most exciting superhero adventures of 2023, and that’s saying something considering the competition. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and The Flash hit cinemas this year, with the last two premiering right around the same time as Spider-Verse 2 release. That makes the next installment, dubbed Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, a highly anticipated sequel that will hopefully be as good as the second part.
Spider-Verse 3 has a March 2024 release date, but insiders already say Sony will not make that date. Instead, the animated adventure might be delayed until 2025, if not later. Before I proceed, I’ll warn you that some spoilers might follow.
Animation is the key ingredient of the Across the Spider-Verse story. It’s not just the plot or the way Sony explains the Spider-Man multiverse. I said before that Spider-Verse 2 is my favorite Spider-Man movie because of how the story is told.
Animation offers an additional tool the storytellers have used to add depth to the characters. And the same effects would be extremely difficult and costly to replicate in a live-action movie.
But a recent report outlined the incredibly tough task of animating Spider-Verse 2. Some of the artists involved said that working on the film was “death by a thousand paper cuts.” Vulture reported:
As a result [of various Across the Spider-Verse delays], these individuals say, they were pushed to work more than 11 hours a day, seven days a week, for more than a year to make up for time lost and were forced back to the drawing board as many as five times to revise work during the final rendering stage.
The same report indicates that it’s highly unlikely for Sony to make that March 2024 release date for Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.
Citing the Vulture story, insider CanWeGetSomeToast said the cat is out of the bag. That is, Beyond the Spider-Verse will not release next March. Instead, it will be delayed to “at least 2025, maybe even 2026.”
Even before the Vulture report came out, The Cosmic Circus writer Alex Perez speculated that Beyond the Spider-Verse might be delayed.
As a fan of the Spider-Verse so far, I’ll say that I’d be more than happy to wait for a proper end to the story. Even if we have to wait until 2026 to see this Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) adventure reach its conclusion.
Not to mention that, if rumors are accurate, the Spider-Verse will connect to Spider-Man 4 and Avengers: Secret Wars. The latter has been delayed, and Marvel’s next Spider-Man movie doesn’t have a release date yet.
I’ll also add that, like Marvel, Sony needs to fix how it treats people involved in making these spectacular movies. Working “more than 11 hours a day, seven days a week, for more than a year” is not the way to make these films.