Will ‘Spider-Man: Freshman Year’ and ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ have a crossover event?

Miles Morales Spider-Man Far From Home

Since Spider-Man: Freshman Year is part of the MCU Multiverse, it could lead to an animated crossover event with Sony’s Spider-Verse. Here’s how.

Last week, producer Brad Winderbaum confirmed that the animated Spider-Man: Freshman Year would exist in the MCU’s official Multiverse. That lends itself to theories that the official animated MCU Peter could cross paths with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s Miles Morales.

The news

via Marvel Studios

Freshman Year being in the Multiverse made headlines across the internet mainly due to it seemingly confirming the show’s direct ties to the live-action universe despite there being noticeable differences between FY and the Spider-Man: Homecoming films. For one, Tom Holland will not be the voice for the newest Peter Parker/Spider-Man, but Charlie Cox will appear as Daredevil. Cox rose to fame for his portrayal of Matt Murdoch/DD in the three seasons of Netflix’s Daredevil, the reigning and undisputed champion of all Marvel Comics’ television/streaming adaptations. 

During San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel pulled back the curtain to reveal many exciting details about Spidey’s latest cartoon series. The artwork spotlighted a variety of suits that Spider-Man will wear in the series, including his Negative Zone attire, which should link him to the MCU’s version of the Fantastic Four or the Future Foundation. There also was a shot of the newest Norman Osborn, this time portrayed as African-American and apparently taking Tony Stark’s place as Peter’s mentor.

The Freshman Year revelations have sparked plenty of theories and debate among the MCU faithful. While there could be implications for the live-action Marvel’s 616, the biggest moment could be strictly in the animated realm when Freshman Year’s Peter Parker meets Into the Spider-Verse’s Miles Morales.

The animated corner of the MCU

Thanks to the Sony-verse’s latest exploits, the Spider-Man spinoffs all technically exist inside Marvel’s MCU. The most obvious example of this is Spider-Man: No Way Home, a movie that famously starred the casts of Sony’s Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man franchises along with Tom Hardy’s Venom in a wasted cameo. Sure, they were sent back to the Sony-verse in NWH’s conclusion, but it cemented their existence in the ever-widening MCU Multiverse. To a lesser degree, there was Michael Keaton’s Morbius cameo as Homecoming’s Adrian Tooms, but after the movie bombed, it’s unclear if that story will continue.

A key difference between the Sony-verse and the MCU (besides the quality of their products, frankly) is that Marvel Studios has merged their animated wing with the live-action entries. It happened first with Hayley Atwell’s Captain Carter bringing her shield to the Earth-838 Illuminati in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Last year, her character debuted in the first episode of the Disney Plus cartoon, What If…?. Her crossover into live action sets the stage for other characters to move between the live-action and animated dimensions, and that could soon include Freshman Year.

To this point, Sony has made no indication that its animated Spider-Verse films exist alongside their expanding Spider-Man villain spinoff films. However, that could be the next step. While the world has waited for Hardy’s Venom to meet Holland’s Spider-Man, we could instead see Venom once again step into the Multiverse to meet the Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales. That may help explain why Venom was stuck in a bar during the events of No Way Home and didn’t meet the MCU’s Spidey. This way, if he does make his way into the animated Spider-Verse, he would only vaguely know about Spider-Man, so when he meets Miles, it would be like meeting Spidey for the first time.

How could the MCU’s animated Peter meet Sony’s Miles in ‘Beyond the Spider-Verse?’

spider-verse
via Sony Pictures

With a title like Beyond the Spider-Verse, it certainly has a large-scale Multiversal ring to it. What better way to go beyond the established Spider-Verse than to have Miles meet the MCU’s Peter Parker? After all, this is a franchise built around the idea of multiple spider-powered heroes joining together as their own superteam. Naturally, it would be the perfect place to bridge the gap between the animated MCU and Sony-verse.

BTSV will be the third film in the coming Spider-Verse trilogy. The original Into the Spider-Verse was a surprise megahit for Sony Pictures, and it elevated Spider-Miles into the mainstream zeitgeist. Earlier this year, the studio released the first long-awaited trailer for the sequel, Across the Spider-Verse. Initially, the third film was titled simply, Across the Spider-Verse: Part 2. When both films were delayed, Sony changed the name to Beyond the Spider-Verse, though it will still be a continuation of ATSV. While it may have a new label, BTSV will still feature the same characters and story that will begin in 2023’s ATSV. However, it does raise questions about why Sony decided to alter the film’s name.

Officially, Sony has not commented on the BTSV title shift. While it is easy to simply dismiss it as a corporate marketing decision, it could imply that something larger is afoot. Before the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns put a chokehold on the production schedule, ATSV: Part 1 was slated for April 2022 and Part 2 was proposed for 2023. When COVID life reared its ugly head, it pushed ATSV back to October, where it currently stands. At the same time, Sony quietly changed the title from ATSV: Part 2 to Beyond the Spider-Verse. In the wake of Marvel’s SDCC panels, we now know that BTSV and Freshman Year will both be released in 2024, which seems like a highly suspicious coincidence.

Let us not forget what could be an intriguing piece to this puzzle. Spider-Verse writers-producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller said that their story, while outside Marvel’s cinematic canon, existed inside the MCU’s Multiverse. While they were hesitant to directly pair their world with the MCU, they basically acknowledged that all Marvel characters regardless of the studio are part of the MCU.

The importance of Spider-Gwen

via Sony Pictures

Besides Miles Morales playing the student to Peter B. Parker’s teacher, Into the Spider-Verse’s main attraction was the numerous Spider-people. Hailing from dimensions of all types, these Spider-variants stole the show by providing comic relief with their more dramatic backstories. In many ways, No Way Home emulated ITSV’s use of the Multiverse to bring the Spider-Verse together. 

One returning main character from ITSV will be Spider-Gwen. Before starring as Kate Bishop in Hawkeye, Hailee Steinfeld lent her voice to ITSV as an alternate-reality Gwen Stacy. In her world, Peter died and Gwen was bitten by the radioactive spider. We know that Freshman Year is set in the MCU and appears to be sort of an alternate-timeline Homecoming. There’s been no word on whether or not we will see Spidey’s plucky live-action sidekicks M.J. or Ned, nor has Marvel mentioned if we will see the one and only Mary Jane Watson. That leaves the door open for Gwen Stacy, who was Spidey’s first love from the comics.

The last time we saw her in live action, she was played by Emma Stone in both TASM movies opposite Andrew Garfield’s Peter/Spider-Man. In TASM 2, she followed her comic book roots and died a tragic death, which was reflected in Garfield’s Spider-Man’s lingering grief and guilt in No Way Home

By bridging Sony’s animated Spider-Verse films with the MCU via Freshman Year, this could be the opening needed for Spider-Gwen to enter the fray with or without Miles Morales. In fact, I could see her getting a spinoff series of her own, either in animated or live-action form.

Big things are coming

Sure, Morbius might have left a bad taste in the mouths of fans everywhere, but the Sony-verse/MCU crossovers are far from dead. Madame Web and Kraven the Hunter are both on the way, not to mention the two upcoming Spider-Verse films. Reportedly, the Amazon Prime Silk show is still on the table, though there haven’t been any updates on that front for quite some time. Venom left a piece of the symbiote in the MCU, and it’s still alive and well as far as we know. There’s also rumor after rumor of more Spider-Man films starring Garfield and Tobey Maguire.

That leaves plenty of ties between the two cinematic universes that will eventually cross paths. Logically, having the first original Spider-Man cartoon on Disney Plus leaves a trail that points toward Beyond the Spider-Verse.