Into the Spider-Verse 2 is about to reintroduce a beloved Spider-Man into the fray, or at least the man who voiced him. Spider-Man vet Christopher Daniel Barnes is now confirmed to appear in the hotly anticipated sequel. Barnes was Peter Parker in Spider-Man: The Animated Series from 1994 to 1998.
Barnes joining the cast of Into The Spider-Verse 2 was previously just a rumor, further perpetuated by a post he made on Instagram alleging against this. But That Hashtag Show just confirmed Barnes has officially signed on. The actor is reportedly in final talks with Sony to play his version of Spider-Man in a small 5-10 minute role spread out across the film, particularly in the third act.
Christopher Daniel Barnes has certainly earned his place in Into the Spider-Verse 2, having portrayed a version of the wallcrawler that is beloved by most Spider-Man fans still fighting and clamoring over which live-action Peter Parker made the most impact. He not only played the webhead, but he also played Electro, Spyder-Knight, and Wolf Spider in The Ultimate Spider-Man for a good few years. He also made a lesser-known appearance in a handful of Spider-Man video games, including Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions as Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man: Edge of Time as Spider-Man 2099/Miguel O’Hara, Marvel Heroes as the symbiote and the Superior Spider-Man versions of the web-slinger. He reprised the role of Electro in Spider-Man Unlimited and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order and also featured in the video game adaptation of Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Suffice it to say, the man lives and breathes everything Spider. There’s no one more fitting to join Into The Spider-Verse than an actual veteran of the ‘verse.
Into the Spider-Verse 2 is likely to add fuel to a common debate in superhero cinema. Whether in comics or in film, fandoms have argued over the perceived validity of a character’s multiple iterations since time immemorial. Which version did Batman justice? Which Superman was the most accurate? Which Hulk made the most sense? Which Captain America captured our interest the hardest? A superhero’s mantle is often passed on from person to person, but some fans are hard-pressed to believe multiple holders (or versions of the same character) are even necessary. Well, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse proved one can never have too many iterations of the same hero. Not only can multiple titleholders be a legitimate plot point, but it can also still be as compelling as it is unique. And we’ll likely see the same in Into the Spider-Verse 2.
Spider-Man has had three major cinematic iterations, more than a couple video game and cartoon iterations, and several more versions spanning 59 years of comic book history. And yet only one film truly encapsulates what it means to be New York’s favorite hero in truly distinct Parker fashion: Sony’s Oscar-winning hit, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. While other Spider-Men have been trashed and criticized to death, mainly over how Peter Parker was ultimately characterized, Into The Spider-Verse shot to universal acclaim within days after it opened in theaters. Fans and critics both finally agreed on a Spider-Man (or rather a handful of Spider-people) they loved more than anything. Into the Spider-Verse 2 was a no-brainer.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse came out in 2018 and featured the writing talents of Phil Lord and Rodney Rodman, best known for their screenwriting contributions to the Jump Street series. Jake Johnson played the alternate universe, down on his luck Spider-Man, Peter B. Parker, while Chris Pine played the original Spidey from Miles Morales’s timeline. Hailee Steinfeld also lent her voice to Spider-Gwen, Nicolas Cage to Spider-Man Noir, John Mulaney to Spider-Man, and Kimiko Glenn to Peni Parker. Shameik Moore voiced Miles. Rothman, Bob Persichetti, and Peter Ramsey directed the movie, which won Best Animated Feature Film at the 91st Academy Awards, 24th Critics’ Choice Awards, and the 76th Golden Globe Awards. Into the Spider-Verse 2 was announced the following year. Steinfeld and Moore are set to return as Gwen Stacy and Miles Morales, in a storyline that can only be described as a romance to rival Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s. Animation work is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.