Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduced several different versions of Spider-Man from across the multiverse, and it appears that the recently-confirmed sequel will continue that trend.
Phil Lord, one of the Spider-Verse producers, revealed on Twitter that Japanese Spider-Man will appear in the sequel. And if you know anything about that version of the character, you know his appearance should be a lot of fun.
The Playlist pointed us to this recent tweet from Phil Lord, revealing in a response to a fan that Japanese Spider-Man has already been designed for the upcoming sequel:
— Phil Lord (@philiplord) November 5, 2019
40-plus years ago, Marvel licensed the TV rights to Spider-Man to a Japanese production company called Toei, who produced 41 episodes of the show (and a movie!) from 1978-1979. The Playlist has a great description of the resulting series:
The series followed a motorcycle racer named Takuya Yamashiro. Yamashiro discovers a crashed UFO and brings his father (a space archeologist, naturally) to investigate. There, they find the last remaining survivor of the planet Spider, who gives the young Yamashiro a bracelet that turns him into Spider-Man and allows him to control his very own large robot.
If you grew up watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, you’re familiar with the quality of the robot battles that appeared on this show. But that description, as bonkers as it is, can’t compare to seeing this character in action. Here’s the entire first episode, but if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, just stick around for the opening theme song:
As you can see, this is unlike any traditional version of the character that’s existed before – which makes him a perfect candidate for jumping into the animated Spider-Verse. And as we saw with Peni Parker, the anime-inspired comic character who appeared in the first film, the filmmakers can take ideas that seem ludicrous on the surface (Peni has a psychic link with a spider who lives inside her father’s robot???) and mine pathos out of them when the situation calls for it. So I feel like there’s an equal chance that Japanese Spider-Man just pops in as a quick joke and that he sticks around and manages to tug on the heartstrings a little.
It seems unlikely that Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and their team at Sony Pictures Animation would go through the trouble of designing a character for this movie only to leave him on the cutting room floor, so strap in, because the Spider-Verse sequel is about to get weird.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 is slated to web its way into theaters on April 8, 2022.
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